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Cambodian writer falls in love with children's literature

Updated:2019-11-21 17:33:44   Yunnan Gateway

She is a Cambodian writer specialized in children's literature, and her work related to traditional Cambodian festivals are popular among Cambodian kids: Not Being Afraid of Ghosts, Adventurists in the City, and A Special New Year. She also translates, with her translation “Looking for the Fish King" published in Cambodia. It is a book for children translated from Chinese.

Her name is Chen Xiuyin(transcript from Chinese pinyin), born in 1980. She is currently editor-in-chief of the La Reine magazine and manager of the copies and media at Sokha resort hotel. Writing, translating, and learning Chinese, Chen Xiuyin has made her life rich and exciting.

"To understand more Chinese literature, I’ve been learning Chinese for more than 7 years. It is enjoyable and educational." Chen Xiuyin told his own story in fluent Chinese.

Learning Chinese for many years, Chen Xiuyin has no difficulty in daily communication. To fully appreciate Chinese literary works, however, she still attends school for further learning in the Chinese language.

It’s not easy for Chen to stick to writing. As the eldest daughter in the family, she had to stay at home till 30 years old to help her parents run a small shop, as her parents wish. But to be a writer has been the wildest call in her.

Later, she made the decision and became a full time writer. “Choosing to write for children has something to do with my growing experience. In my childhood, my parents would always tell me about folk customs and what to do on the occasion of traditional festivals: the Cambodian New Year, the Dead Festival, and the Water Festival.”

Nowadays, the customs of some traditional festivals in Cambodia are gradually forgotten. “A lot of children don’t understand the meaning of traditional festivals, so I want them to be aware of the Cambodian traditions through books.” Chen said.

In addition to writing, Chen Xiuyin also embarked on the journey of translation. “I’m fond of children's literature in China. Many Chinese writers tell children Chinese traditions through stories, which happens to be the very way I adopted in my writing.”

Besides children's literature, Chen also reads other kinds of Chinese books. "I’m inspired by the two Chinese books of "Sweet Words and Secrets" and "Live Well", which teach me to be brave and persistent in writing or living."

“The mission of writers is to get readers inspired by the works.” Chen said that she will stick to writing and translation, so that Cambodian youth could have access to more Chinese literature with excellence.

By Gateway reporters

Keywords:   Cambodian children's literature