My dear Kacvey,

You must certainly have heard of the new term that has very recently propagated in the political corridor in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk: “Culture of dialog”, acronymed “cod”  (not to be confused with the fish from the cold water of the North Atlantic Ocean, or other slangy term!)

As the saying goes, it is never too late to do good deeds or it is better late than never!

Let us wait and see what future days will bring whether and how well the dialog will go through the test of times and culture. Meantime, benefit of the doubt is granted!

But, whereas the word “culture” has a very lofty, noble and civilized meaning, and whereas the word “dialog” implies a conversation between two or more persons, and leaving aside the unknown intention of the person who coined that phrase, let us just ask ourselves the following questions:

– Why now? Have Khmers never known how to talk to each other?

– Is the era of self-dialog (ni yéy mnèak èng dauch mônouss…!) about to reach an end?

– Are the dialogists in the same and even playing fields and subject to the same rules throughout? At the discussion table, who is David, who is Goliath?

– Does the dialogists have an opened-door culture and with public input?

Kacvey, please share with us when you get the answers.

BTW, here are a few words of warning:

1. “Culture of dialog” has a very influential neighbor; its name is “horse trading.”

2. Beware of the dialog with cross purposes. Et comme disent les expatriés Khmers francophones: “Gare au dialogue des sourds!”