Meet the Team: Kimhak HUN, Ticketing and Customer Service
By Emily Martin
Kimhak HUN is our 21-year-old customer service star at the ticketing desk. He’ll greet you with his signature grin… he’s awesome with English so why not strike up a conversation with him while you wait for your tickets, he’s always more than happy to chat.
How did you start working at Phare?
I actually saw an announcement for a job here and I felt I really wanted to work for an organisation… it was for a position in customer service and after I applied they called me to come in for an interview. I was successful and I have worked for Phare for almost a year now.
I like my job a lot. Sometimes I feel strange with the guests and the costumers… they make me feel strange because they have a different culture to me. That’s why I want to know about their culture so when they come here I will try and talk to them about it. I want to know more about them and I want to find out what is different between Cambodians and other people around the world. How do they communicate with each other etc.
What do you like about learning new cultures?
When I know the culture of another person it means I can relate to them more and adapt how I communicate with them. Sometimes when we don’t know about their culture we can make them feel uncomfortable without knowing it… if we understand then we can make them feel comfortable, that’s why I have to find more about cultures.
I have never been outside of Cambodia but I would really like to… I’d like to go to France and the United States.
France is a big country and it’s a modern country, also its economy is higher than Cambodia. I want to know why it’s higher than the other countries and why it’s different to here.
Why do you like to work with people so much?
Why do I like it? It just comes naturally to me I guess… I don’t know why exactly. When I meet new people I want to speak to them, I want to hear everything, I want to know new information. In my job, in my position, it’s always with the people so that’s why I applied here so I could learn more and interact with people.
Tell me about your family life…
I was born in a small village, it’s about 16 km from Phare to my home. I come back home every night on my moto and it takes about 30 minutes if I drive moto fast…. I don’t go so fast just 60km/h really.
I live with my parents and my younger and older brother, they haven’t married yet so they still live at the family home. I also have an older sister.
My father is a fisherman and my mother is a farmer. They can do some agriculture and after they have free time so they can go fishing and take some fish to sell in the markets. With 4 children it’s a big family to feed and look after!
Do you have to help them with the fishing and the farming?
Yeah! When the rice is ready to cut down I come and to help them harvest the rice. When I have free time I also go to the river and get water to help with the irrigation of the crops.
We use the canals but sometimes we use buckets to take the water to the fields. Today usually most of the people use machines so it’s easier than before. Before they used cows and humans energy but now-a-days, after the development of science, there’s easier and quicker ways to farm.
My family still use man power though, we can’t afford one of the machines. We sometimes borrow machines from other people if they have it though.
I also used to go out on Tonle Sap Lake with my father a lot. I would get up in the morning and the sun would rise and any many birds would fly around me…. it made me feel so amazing. I still want to tell the world about the wonders of the Lake.
What about your brothers and sisters?
My older sister now works at a factory. I think it’s difficult for her because she’s a girl… I don’t know how to explain… it’s difficult in the factories. You may know that the workers in factories work very hard and are not treated well.
She stopped school after Grade 9… in Cambodia we have 12 grades. After that she could not get a bachelor or certificate from the school so she doesn’t have enough knowledge. Especially English because in Cambodia most of the economy depends on tourism. If we can’t speak English or have a specific skill then we cannot get a job. If we don’t graduate from grade 12 they cannot offer you a good job.
My younger brother is still at school and he’s studying in grade 10 right now. He’s a good and clever student. I support him and I learnt before him so now he’s learning and I can give him advice and help. If he doesn’t finish school I will be so disappointed! I want the people to get a good education. Good education can make the life better. If you don’t have the knowledge and a good education you will have to work very, very, very hard….
Where did you learn your English, you’re very good!?
I mostly learnt under the tree at the pagoda and so the monks teach us the English for free!
How often did you go?
In the morning I studied at public school and then from 5 – 6pm I studied at the pagoda. In the afternoon I went to a place called the dream centre. It supports the Cambodia children so they can study. It’s a Christian organisation and they support children with pens and books and clothes… everything! Not food but they support all the student supplies for school.
The school that supported me taught me the Christianity as well. I think it’s good… you know I can say I am Buddhist, I can say I am Christian because I am like a snake, weaving in and out. I want people of all religions to love and not look down on each other because they think they are better. Buddhism and Christianity are both good, they just want the people to walk on a good way and work in a good way… but the difference between Christians and Buddhists is the Buddhism is like a science as well, it is a science not just a belief but a science.
I want to learn more about Buddhism and I plan to go to Battambang to do meditation. I will go in May for 10 days. I think it’s good, good, good for me because I want to… it’s difficult to say why I want to. You know we want to know ourselves inside, how does it work inside. If we want the world to get peace, we have to make peace inside first.
What do you want to do in the future?
Can I hide it? I want to keep it as a secret…
Why do you like Phare then?
You know, I work here… I find the answer for this in my heart, not in my brain… why do I like Phare? I like to work with the people here, and I see hare always supports the children and so that is what I want when I was young. I wanted people who lived in difficult situations to improve their lives and their economic situations. Phare helps the children in Battambang and so they can give a better life to them, that’s why I love this place.
I have only one or two words. I love Phare and I want Phare to grow and go up. So I want especially the artists and the arts sector to get a new face and be able to show others – how is Cambodia, what is Cambodia, who is Cambodia… I want them to know.
Read more about the social mission of Phare, The Cambodian Circus and how is supports PPSA.
Interested in reading about an empowering women’s circus?
Meet Jean-Noel, the performing arts manager at Phare Ponleu Selpak…