Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gangnam style, Khmer style

South Korean rapper PSY's Gangnam Style video has taken the world by storm, a fact you are no doubt aware of even if you've been sleeping in a hammock in the Cardamom Mountains for the past three months. (Something I don't recommend.)

Despite the silly veneer and infectious beat, it's an exploration of economic inequality, skyrocketing property values, the behavior of the nouveau riche, and gentrification in a country that has become wealthy, fought a brutal civil war and achieved independence in the last 70 years. It's something Cambodians, who were once briefly occupied by the same colonial power, can identify with.

Also, there's a horsey dance.

Amid the infinite parodies frolicking on the Internet, Cambodians and Cambodian-Americans have added their remixes. These include highly polished filmmakers who are both well-armed and well-choreographed:

Cambodian tourists in Bokor who are nothing if not enthusiastic:

The rudely culinary:

Even the kids are doing it:

And then a shot-for-shot remake in Phnom Penh by the kind of wealthy people who are being parodied in the original video:

It's meta. How deep can this rabbit hole go?

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