By Mutiah Fauzan
When I first came to Cambodia, I knew nothing apart from the friendly people, the amazing landscapes, and their glorious colorful foods. I was blown away on many things. I was mesmerized by the amount of traditional Khmer Baguette, and the name of the street that start with rue.
I used to be a teacher when I first came to Cambodia, in fact I was a teacher for as long as I remember. In one of my Geography classes, we were having a discussion about the Olympics. My students, all lovely and smart Cambodian kids, claimed that the world only have 5 continents. “It is in the Olympic flag teacher,” they said. The five 5 rings representing the continents: l’Afrique (black ring); l’Amérique (red ring); l’Asie (yellow ring); l’Europe (green ring); l’Océanie (blue ring).
So, I told them we actually have 7 continents.
Determined to get to the bottom of the issue, I did some triangulation. I checked with some of my French friends. And to my surprise, they all say we have 5 continents. French students generally learn that there are five continents or cinq continents (cohn-tee-nahn).
The five rings on the Olympic flags represent these five continents. (The modern-day Olympic Games were founded by a French man named Pierre de Coubertin.)
“But which one is the correct answer?”, I asked them. “C’est mon ami. That really depends on your perspective, if you want to follow us or not”. I laughed and retorted ironically “The same but different I guess. As long as we are nice to everyone. We think more like global citizen rather than one small part of the world. It doesn’t really matter.” They laughed and said “Oui!”