Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation Youth Committee (KKFYC) is an active committee of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF). The committee represents all Khmer Krom youth groups, clubs, and associations internationally that are recognized by the KKF, while the KKF represent millions of voiceless Khmer-Krom people living in the Mekong Delta and its surrounding regions of current day Vietnam as well as thousands living in exile. Learn more here and here.
I am Khmer-Krom, born in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, so I’ve been involved with the KKFYC in the past. Although I am no longer an active member, I still believe in their work of advocating for freedom, justice, and the right to self-determination for the Indigenous Khmer-Krom peoples. Every year, the KKFYC holds a conference were Khmer-Krom youths from all over the world come together in Philadelphia, PA and discuss issues that Khmer-Kroms face at home. Furthermore, they represent the indigenous Khmer-Krom peoples’ voice at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), which takes place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
For this year’s conference, my friend recommended that I enter in the t-shirt design contest. The goal was to create a design to effectively represent our Khmer-Krom identity and is fitting of the conference’s theme. The major requirements are as follows:
This year we will be hosting a competition for the best designs! First place will win $50, second place will win $25 and third place will win free T-shirts.
- The design must include the words “Khmer-Krom” or related to the Khmer-Krom identity.
- The design can include our flag or the logo, something related to the KKF, but does not have to.
- The design must fit on the template provided.
- Please use 2 or 3 colors at most (think printer friendly).
Here are my original submissions:
With the help of another friend, I learned about significance of the Khmer-Krom tree. According to history, Khmer hero Oknha Son Kuy planted this chheu teal tree upside down in 1821 before giving up his life to save the Khmer nation as we know today in Kampuchea Krom. The tree stands today in Preah Trapeang (Tra Vinh) province.
Since this tree has long-lasting history that is tied to Khmer-Krom identity, we decided it would be appropriate to incorporate it into the design, especially when the conference’s theme is “Protecting our Khmer-Krom identity through the implementation of the UNDRIP“.
A couple of days later, I was informed that my designs were chosen for both the conference shirt and general identity shirt of the year, with some slight modifications.
In the design for the conference shirt, “We are” on the tree’s trunk is changed to say “Khmer-Krom” in Khmer words (ខ្មែរក្រោម). Here is the final design:
In the second design, that is now intended for the general identity shirt, the following changes were made:
- “We are Khmer Krom” is now “Khmer-Krom Pride”
- Conference information, KKFYC logo and website has been removed because this is intended for the general t-shirt
- Conference theme name is been removed and replaced by the Khmer-Krom flag to wrap around the top area
Here is the final design:
Update: the general shirt is no longer going to be printed, so only the design with the conference theme name will be used. Furthermore, they will also be donating towards my service-learning, cultural-exchange tour to Cambodia! Thanks you for your kindness, KKFYC!
This is the picture from their official announcement:
We would like to congratulate Makara Thach Sernett for being selected the winner of this year’s T-shirt competition. She has created an awarding winning design with Khmer-Krom’s Tree of Life as the central theme, which is symbolic for our struggle for greater human rights and religious freedom on behalf of our voiceless Khmer-Krom people living in the Mekong Delta. Makara will receive $50 for being selected the winner, an extra $50 to support her trip to Cambodia and a free t-shirt!