Yan Cong

Photographer
  
A Cambodian Bride in China
Location: Beijing
Nationality: China
Biography: Yan Cong (b.1991) is a researcher and independent photographer based in Amsterdam. Her current research interests are platform, datafication, ethical AI, culture production and labor. Yan is the co-founder of  Far & Near , a newsletter... MORE
Public Story
A Cambodian Bride in China
Copyright Yan Cong 2022
Updated Jun 2016
Location zhengzhou
Topics Cambodia, China, Migration, Motherhood, Photography, Photojournalism, Women's Rights
Three years ago, when Sophorn arrived in China, not knowing the country, the language or the culture, she knew the face of the Chinese man she was about the marry from a picture she saw. And she believed that she'd have a happy marriage with this man.

"I saw from TV that Chinese people are nice and kind," She said. "I wasn't worried at all before I went to China."

Sophorn was lucky to find things turn out as she expected. She got married with the man Zhang, and they soon had a son. Having been in China for almost three years, Sophorn planned to visit home for Khmer New Year for the first time this year. She misses her mother and her two kids from her previous marriage.

I followed Sophorn as she was preparing for her trip back home in March. Later I met her and her family in her hometown in Kandal, Cambodia in April. I saw her off at the airport in Phnom Penh before she returned to China. 

Sophorn was happy to be back home in Cambodia, but she was also eager to go back to China. Her mother, who's the caregiver of Sophorn's two kids, was fully supportive of her decision of moving to China to marry a Chinese man. Knowing her children are in good hands with her mother, Sophorn was more worried about her son in China. She needed to go back for him.

When asked if she's happy with her life in China, desite concerns over jobs, Sophorn said, "I wish to stay in China for the rest of my life."

Story in English at SixthTone, in Chinese language at ThePaper.cn.

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A Cambodian Bride in China by Yan Cong
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