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John Vink
Belgian, b. 1948
Jan 14, 2016
Few people out there know that the best rice in the world is grown in Cambodia. That should change. Well, at least that is what the current government would like. Because for now the country’s economy relies almost exclusively on the tourism and the garment sectors for its foreign currency and it badly needs some diversification.

Growth in the tourism sector has stalled in 2014: from an average of... More...
Featured Essays
Dec 3, 2015
Marguerite Duras' novel 'Un Barrage Contre Le Pacifique' was only partly fiction: the novel, situated back in the 1930’s when the French colonial administration undertook the project to render a vast tract of swampland next to the sea fit for agriculture, describes the unsuccessful struggle of Marguerite Duras’ mother against both the French administration and Mother Nature to make the land she was... More...
Featured Essays
Oct 28, 2015
The ‘Pchum Ben’ festival dates back to Angkorian times and plays a central role in Cambodia’s calendar. Quite naturally, rice is part of it.

The festival honours the souls of deceased family members but is held mainly to appease the errant souls of those who were denied a proper burial and allow them to be reincarnated: the destitute, those who died a violent death. And with the 1.7 million deaths... More...
Featured Essays
Oct 8, 2015
‘Rice gives strength, and even gives it to the King. Therefore you cannot despise the rice’.

The cultivation of rice over many centuries has developed an intimate and complex relationship between the Khmer and their staple food. They have acquired a sophisticated knowledge about it, and until the fifties were using about 180 different varieties. Cambodian farmers take great care in choosing the appropriate... More...
Featured Essays
Sep 10, 2015
This is John Vink's first of an 11 part project concerning the wide-ranging subject of rice in Cambodia. His comprehensive exploration will address such issues as seasonal growing cycle, religion, research, tradition, commerce, social and economic impact, climate change issues and more. More...