'Multilingual Cambodian boy an inspiration', says Penang woman who discovered him

'Multilingual Cambodian boy an inspiration', says Penang woman who discovered him
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

GEORGE TOWN - A Penangite whose video has turned a multilingual Cambodian boy into an Internet sensation said the cutie's positive outlook is such an inspiration.

"Many people like to complain about how tough their lives are.

"But this boy, had a lot of positive vibes.

"His positivity and cheerfulness in the face of adversity just won me over," said Venus Goon, a frequent traveller.

Early this month, she shared a three-minute video of her with Cambodian boy, Thuch Salik, who can speak a dozen languages and dialects while selling souvenirs near the ancient Angkor Wat.

Her posting on Facebook has since been viewed millions of times and widely shared online.

on Facebook

HOW MANY LANGUAGES CAN YOU SPEAK? WHAT WERE YOU DOING WHEN YOU ARE AT HIS AGE? I visited Siem Reap last week, temple...

Posted by Venus Gwc onĀ Friday, 9 November 2018

In the video, the 14-year-old boy even sang her a Chinese song 'wo men bu yi yang' ("We are different").

According to Channel News Asia, the life of Salik and his family had since been transformed.

They have been brought on expense-paid trips to be guests on local television programmes in the capital Phnom Penh.

Tycoons and charities have pledged thousands of dollars, donated new bicycles and toys, and promised to support Salik's education until he finishes university.

Goon said she met Salik at Ta Prohm - a site in the famed Angkor complex that was used as a set for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

He spoke to her in Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai, Japanese, English, Korean, French, Spanish, German, Tagalog and Bahasa Melayu.

"I find him to be very persuasive and convincing.

"He is bubbly and a smooth-talker! He would use all kinds of ways to make sure people buy from him.

"He asked me to buy a flute from him and he would teach me how to play with it.

"If I still didn't know how to after he taught me, he would give me the flute for free.

"He is so cute and funny! He told me he learnt all the languages from tourists," she said.

Goon said she was surprised when the video caught international attention.

"I was overwhelmed by all the response.

"Some of my friends told me the video made them sit up and take notice that there are still many children who live in poverty out there.

"We must be grateful and thankful for what we have," she said.

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