Humans of Khmer America

Liz Hing

My name is Liz Hing. Actually, my real first name is Sisomolisa and I’m really proud of it. It comes straight from the creativity of my dad, but it’s easier for everyone to call me Liz (sorry dad!).

Born in a French small town, I grew up in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood where the only Khmer community was mostly represented by my relatives so it wasn’t easy to keep connected to my Cambodian roots. That didn’t stop me from being really proud of my heritage and having a deep love for our country.

My parents have a strong role in shaping my Khmer identity by speaking mostly Khmer with my siblings and I and by teaching us Khmer values.

When I was younger, dealing with Cambodian culture at home and French culture outside home was quite confusing sometimes. Growing up, I understood that my parents gave me an invaluable gift: a double culture.

It is important to know, embrace and respect your heritage because it is part of your identity, part of who we are and a priceless wealth.

My role models are my parents who managed to escape the genocide and started out from nothing. I have a great respect and admiration for them.

Graduated from ESG Management School with a Master Degree in International Business, I’m currently working as a CRM Marketing Coordinator and I do modeling as a part-time job.

I’ve been modeling for four years after a professional photographer contacted me for my first photoshoot. I always thought I wasn’t pretty enough and way too shy but after this first experience, I got a few modeling jobs which has allowed me to develop myself as a person.

Even if I don’t really consider myself to be a professional model, it makes me extremely proud to have had the opportunity to work with talented Cambodians (photographers, makeup artist, designers…), walk on the runway and be published in Cambodia especially because it was in my country of origins.

I have recently joined an association for Cambodian orphans called CHOC (Comité pour les Hôpitaux et les Orphelins du Cambodge) as a Board Member. This organization has built an orphanage in Kompong Speu with the goal of improving the quality of life of vulnerable children and orphans through providing education, giving care, love and support. Additionally, CHOC has built a health center in Vihear Suor to provide health care services to people in need.

I love the fact that Khmerican makes me feel closer to my roots. It is an amazing platform to strengthen connections with Khmer from all over the world and always stay informed of news related to Cambodia. I never miss a post!

I’ve been travelling to Cambodia every two or three years since 2003. Since my first time in the Kingdom of Wonder, I need to go back as often as possible to spend time with my family and know more about our beautiful culture. I also moved to Cambodia at the end of 2012 for a year and it changed my vision of life.

Aside from all the amazing places I visited and my time with my family, the most memorable moment I had there would be every moment I spend to talk with people I didn’t know, from the tuk-tuk driver to the street kids and who shared with me their story, a lovely time or a simple smile.

Ten years from now, all I wish is to remain happy.

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