Dydara's Blog

February 3, 2011

This is my original article for youth leader magazine

SSEAYP has made it to the headlines in various media reports. Because of SSEAYP I got interview on local TV news, Thai TV5 and Now Youth Leader Magazine.

I had the honor to be interviewed for Youth Leader Magazine. This article is about SSEAYP, my blog and My Philosophy of Life.

The magazine is the world’s hottest change-making medium. With the most mindblowing solutions already applied and ready for transfer for almost any problem you can imagine, we have great stuff to inspire action in your own community, at events, in school.It is  a dynamic, action-oriented online magazine network and community focusing on groundbreaking positive change initiatives, portraits, tools and more. Merging several world leading approaches in one inspiring medium, YL is built to include & amplify the creative power of people, groups and organizations. You will obviously be quoted and cited.

Click here to see edited article w… asia.youth-leader dot org/?p=3208. I cannot write a full link. WordPress not allow user to link to any other address.

Or https://dydara.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/sseayp-ship-for-southeast-asian-youth-program/

This article is dedicated to my lovely parents and friends, without them I am nothing. Thank you so much for everything that my parents and friends have done for me.  I would like to show my gratitude and appreciate towards my parents, who forebear pain and discomfort in bringing me up to adulthood. I am most proud of my parents. Because of them, I have been able to live the life I want to. I love my parents with all myheart. When I have decided to do something, I put my all into it. It’s a valuable piece of work for me, the time and thought I spent to write this article. My hope is that all of you can get my good messages. I had the honor to be interviewed for Youth Leader Magazine. Thank you so much YL Magazine, you did a big favor for me!

My name is Dy Dara, from Cambodia.  I am 27 years old. I do not wish to be any other age because my life at 13 was nowhere as exciting and enjoyable as my life at 27. I enjoy almost every aspect of my life. Learn to view everything as a worthwhile experience. I am a fun-loving person. But I am mistakenly judged by people who don’t truly know me. It is not all about having fun- it’s about learning, experiencing and exploring life. My life is more than a one man show! The people around me, parents, siblings, grandparents, friends etc all have played a role in my life’s story. How I have interacted with them and how they have influenced on my life make me the man I am today. What I’ve learned, heard, seen, done, experienced etc. Remember, those whose lives you have touched and whose have touched yours are always a part of you.

Youth is a once in a lifetime gift. Make it memorable… and meaningful.

One of my greatest enthusiasms is philosophy. It has always been regarded as a means of discovering the secret of happiness. What really is that has the amazing power to make us happy? In my life I have learned a lot wise words. These words are really useful for my life. The question is how we can relate it on our daily life?

Before, my personality was like a mirror, whatever you did in front of it, you would see it reflected back at you. Because I have learned two phrases, my personality has changed from being a person that would be good to people who were good to him and bad to people that were bad, to a person that respects others and treat others as he would like to be treated. The two phrases are “treat everyone with politeness even those who are rude to you, not because they are not nice but because you are nice, if you do the same as them, you’re no different from them.” And “If you can control one moment of anger, you can escape hundred days of sorrow”

“Quotations help us remember the simple yet profound truths that give life perspective and meaning.” Criswell Freeman

When it comes to life’s most important lessons, we can all use gentle reminders. This is a gentle and heartfelt guide to the fundamentals of living a life rich in joy and contribution.

Being a hedonist is a philosophical way of my life.
Hedonism can describe myself = living and behaving in ways that mean you get as much pleasure out of life as possible, according to the belief that the most important thing in life is to enjoy yourself. I also want to learn, experience and explore life. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. I am a believer in life-long learning. Love of learning is the guide of life. People are born with blindness so we need good books and teachers to guide our way.  Real learners are very open mind and very humble to learn from others and think that everyone can be their teachers. Everywhere is school, school without roof!

How did you get started on the program?

Well, I saw an interview with one of the participants on TV. And then I applied, I was selected by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

Could you please describe the program?

Alright, it is with great honor and privilege that I am writing about my beloved program, which has changed and improved my life. I thought I needed to know what it was like out there, in a real world. So I went out there and I lived it. I’ve been part of several youth exchange programs, I love SSEAYP the most. SSEAYP stand for Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program. A program that has been changing the youth’s life, vision and future, and I was lucky that I was there in 2005! The Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program started in year 1974 after a positive reorganization of the Japanese Youth Goodwill Cruise Program in order to achieve a wider exchange among youths from countries in South-East Asia and Japan.

We only get one life so we owe it to ourselves to see as much of this beautiful world as possible. For many of us, lying on a beach for two weeks each year is just not enough anymore. We want to see ancient monuments, extraordinary scenery, endangered wildlife, foreign culture, architecture and art- Places that give us the chance to grow and expand our horizons. SSEAYP has all these things. Participating in youth exchange program enable you to develop self-improvement and help promote mutual cooperation and friendship for the peace and prosperity of the world. This program brought out the best in me as a Cambodia youth. It has opened my eyes to understand other cultures and traditions, brought new friends and foster families. I think mutual understanding, friendship, peace and respect must be acknowledged among youth around the world. SSEAYP offers the opportunity for young people in Japan and youth from South-East Asia, by sharing life together on the Ship for South-East Asian Youth named “Nippon Maru”, to study and discuss common problems from a global point of view and to be engaged in various activities on board the ship as well as in six visited countries. By doing this, the program aims at promoting mutual understanding and friendship, at expanding global perspectives, at fostering the spirit of international cooperation and the will to practice it, and at bringing up young people who will play the leading role in various fields of internationalizing society. Furthermore, their contribution to youth development activities after the program is also expected. I’ve been a volunteer through the Youth Program.

Maybe it is more of a time commitment. But you’ll be a part of something exciting, SSEAYP

SSEAYP shaped my interest in patriotism, volunteerism, culture, sharing and contributing to society. I have learned a lot from pre-departure training and during the program, how to share, love and appreciate people. I have also learned how to be a sweet person and how to do for others more than you do for yourself. I met a lot of incredible and talented people. I have learned a lot from them. I can tell a few examples here” it is not a problem if you think it is a problem it makes you have a problem.”  and” learn to satisfy.” SSEAYP has such a big impact on my life. I♥SSEAYP, you’ve given me so much, so far beyond my expectation. You are the one journey that I will never ever regret taking. You have given me a new family outside my own. We love each other as a family and this is the other family of mine called SSEAYP family. Family isn’t whose blood you carry, it’s who you love and who loves you. These experiences from this program, it was an unforgettable moment of my life. This is the best program ever!!!!!! Words really can’t quite describe the thrill of actually being here.

SSEAYP allows us to discover ourselves, true friends, the world and meanings of life. Without you, I would not be easy-going, outgoing, confident and outspoken as I am today.

My dearest SSEAYP family, I would like to say big thanks for the wonderful love, memories and priceless friendship. You have made a very special difference in my life.  I will never forget it and will treasure the memories forever. SSEAYP is awesome. I wouldn’t trade it for anything! SSEAYP 2005 ended, but the memories never end; it is still sailing in my mind forever. A program keeps me talk about it for a very very long time. Think you have what it takes to be a part of SSEAYP? Try it! If you don’t try, you’ll never know. SSEAYP is for ASEAN and Japan youth only. Ship for World Youth Program is for beside those countries.

I am very grateful that I have been a part of this awesome program; it gives me a great sense of pride.

Any special memories?

I remember 2005, that was the year I participated in SSEAYP and one of the best years of my life. Actually, I have some special memories out there, here they are:

I set foot in the ship at port Klang, Malaysia on November 8, 2005. You know, in life, the first act, always exciting. The minute I walked in the ship, I went, Oh yeah, that’s amazing. That’s where it all started for SSEAYP 2005. 6 years seems like yesterday!

Delegation pay a courtesy call on Cambodia Prime Minister H.E. Samdech Hun Sen

On board the ship, I watched the sunset.

I drank beers with youth participants.

It was so cold when the ship nearly reached Tokyo, I am not sure that’s me or my friends who said “let’s take off our shirts.” I miss that time so much!

Did you face any challenges? How did you overcome them?

One of the big challenges for me was a few people were hard to get along. I know “everybody is somebody’s difficult person sometime.” I had the courage to walk away from unnecessary conflict. Before participants can join SSEAYP, they have to go through pre-departure training, which I have learned a lot for dealing with that problem, it is an easy job. Some people taught me something very important, I learned this from someone, and I cannot remember who, maybe my national leader of youth contingent. So if it was you, please jump in and remind me so that I can give you credit. The idea is that you should think like a digger who digs a big amount of land just to find small diamonds. Which means you should see his good deeds rather than their bad deeds. This helps me to work well with other people.

My first experience as youth ambassador to represent my country, whatever I did, people could judge the whole Cambodian youth. So I had to follow a code of conduct.

Sometimes, I felt unhappy and tired, but there are some words that I always keep in mind, a meaningful life consists of every aspect of life, good or bad. That inspired and motivated me.

What are you presently involved in?

Recently, I help out my parents’ business. My old job was a volunteer coordinator for the Cambodian Hope Organization (CHO). This job let me put my degree to work. My primary responsibility was translating for English speaking visitors. I also show visitors around the CHO projects, checked and replied to CHO emails and taught Khmer to the long term overseas teams. I enjoyed my work as I learned so much.

From here, made friends and met new people. I was working with lots of visitors from western countries, so I was learning more about their culture. I felt happy working in contribution to the community. Working here has opened my eyes and made me realize that foreigners love and help poor Cambodian children, why don’t we love and help our own people. Even their kids are motivated to help when they see our poor children photos; they save their lunch money and send it to them here in Cambodia. I particularly enjoy seeing the children of my country are being taken care of and having an education, giving them opportunities.

What led you to the idea of a blog?

Well, talking about my blog “https://dydara.wordpress.com.”, I wrote “If the world will come to know me, it will be through this blog.” You must get to know me from this blog as well, right? It doesn’t mean I live the life of the unknown and search for the known by this blog. Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.  I am searching for the real meaning of life. Our real mission is to find our own purpose as we live. We never know what it is. It’s just for us to search, to make our existence meaningful. You can find some interesting and useful topics on my blog. This is also my online diary and collection of good sayings.

The idea that led me to make a blog was I saw my foreigner friends updated his life story on the blog, so that made me think why I don’t make that one too, something interesting to share. I’ve learned a lot from my SSEAYP family. I had a passion to add value to what SSEAYP family has taught me. I’ve written on my blog or Facebook, it is not about impressing anyone. But it is about sharing with someone who likes reading, remembering something as well. I want to improve my English. I am not bragging or anything. Helping people from all walks of life, reshape their personal vision of what’s possible. I hope my good messages of possibility, opportunity, and action can help create startling and powerful change in thousands of individual worldwide, especially Cambodian people! No need to thank me help what we can with others in need…the world is ONE big family! 🙂

You might be wondering why I am so passionate about writing. The thing I love about writing a blog is that it allows me to talk to many people I will never personally meet. I had a passion to add value to what people have taught me and energized me to write. Everything here in my blog is free. I do, however, accept smiles. 🙂

Great minds talk about ideas; small minds talk about people, once said Eleanor Roosevelt

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea as well, and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”  George Bernard Shaw

Don’t be scared of having your ideas stolen by others when you share it with them. Having people hear your ideas will spark criticism and contribution within them, only strengthening your own thoughts and counter-argumentation.

I hope this blog is not just for entertaining but also you learn some things from it as well.

My blog inspired by SSEAYP

That’s my legacy to the world!

What are you future plans?

I consist of more than just my past. In fact, I think about it, my past is only one third of who I am. The other two parts consist of who I am today, as well as who I hope to be in the future…in other words, I hopes and dreams for the future. Who I am today and who I hope to be in the future is all part of the Whole Person. This is who I am.

I would like to live in as many as different countries as possible. This is just my dream. Maybe the dream is what it’s all about, one of the important words for me. I was a little boy with a little dream that came true, not so little, by the way.

I will take care of my family business and I want to have my own happy family, as my parents did. This is what I plan and hope to do with the rest of my life…

Is there any message you would like to give to the youth?

To the youth who read this I have this message: You should have self-discipline, effort, academic achievement, social participation and community service. Listen to your parents and do as much as you can. Just be the best you can be “For your parents’ sake.” If you can do most of these things, your parents will proud of you!

Lack of self-discipline is one of the common failing of the youth; they just enjoy too much the current attraction of life. Too much of something is not good.

You can’t get too much done in life if you only working on the days when you feel good. You can’t broaden your knowledge if you only read what you like. It was my honor to receive my certificate from Prime Minister of Cambodia, graduated with honors. A degree is just the piece of paper it is not what makes a man; it is man who makes himself! It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate someone who gets high education. What I am trying to say here is if you can’t afford or don’t have time to pursue your study, you can learn by yourself.

Everybody is capable of doing something great in their life; they either don’t believe in themselves or think it’s impossible to make a difference. Many people worked so hard to get big name on the international stage. The greatest people of all time started out alone, trying to make a difference… and they did. You can too…

Everyone cannot succeed in everything they do, but just keep trying. Failing does not mean the end of everything. You should keep your self-belief, find out your weak point and improve on it. Failing to achieve is not a failure, but losing your hope and motivation is a true failure. What I am saying here is not teaching you. I am not qualified to teach anyone, but I just want to share some ideas with you guys, audiences!

Before, I was a dare-devil when I got drunk and sad, I drove very fast. It could get me killed and others too, without realizing the value of life. Now, I am no longer that person. One life is connected to many hearts. When you have a problem or lose your life, it can damage the heart of your friends, loved ones, relatives and especially your parents.

I always say the words take care of yourself to my friends. I just realized that words mean be careful, don’t get into trouble, take a good care of yourself. It basically means to eat healthy, and live healthily so you don’t get sick from neglecting your needs or health. And also the obvious things like not to do anything potentially dangerous. I used to drink alcohol a lot and I could not sleep at regular time. I thought I am a man, it was ok. Right now I know it is not about proving myself a man, it is about take a good care of myself. If I am not taking care of my health, I will hurt myself. From now on I will take a good care of myself.

Take a good care of your life my friends!

Life is wonderful!
Why? There are so many reasons that I and you can think of that makes our life wonderful. For me I am so blessed to have my lovely parents and I’m so grateful for the family and so many friends that love me and care about. There’s a lot to live for in this life. You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough. Living the inspired life means living with purpose, meaning, and intentionality. It means living out our callings. It means choosing to LIVE and not just be carried along by the circumstances of life. I Live the Inspired Life- I pray you’ll be inspired, too! I’ve learned to be self-aware, and that changed a lot of perceptions about myself, other people and life. We need to consider our actions and what the consequences will be.

That’s it. The journey that made me the man I am today. You can do whatever you want, guys, it’s your life. But, it is also about being careful, do not step on other people’s shoes and do not spit on other people’s life and don’t force a person against their will.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my long story.



  1. your good

    Comment by kathy — February 20, 2011 @ 5:35 am | Reply

  2. I truly like your blog, the way you write and subject you covered are purely fantastic. I know how difficult it is to get the site visitors interested. I have made a decision to add your website to my blog list.

    Comment by Wedding Rings — February 27, 2011 @ 1:14 am | Reply

  3. This is an awesome writing and wonderful experience! Thank for sharing. I love that you said about spending your life wisely. You know what? I have wished to apply for SSEAYP since I was little! Hmmm…. It was when I was 14 to be exact when I first heard about the program. Now I am already 21, and still I haven’t applied it yet. You know why? I have no confidence in myself. Now I got a lot of experience and achievement, so I was ready for the program. I just wish the tsunami won’t affect sseayp this year! 😦

    Comment by Mesa — March 27, 2011 @ 12:32 pm | Reply

  4. My pleasure!:D I hope tsunami won’t affect SSEAYP too. Good luck with that.

    Comment by dydara — March 27, 2011 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

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