Daily Life of Cham Village Girls: Learning to 'think' with stories
Cambodia has a small group of Muslims within its Buddhist majority population; locally known as Cham (from Champa Kingdom) or Khmer Islām. Little scholarly attention has been invested in understanding the daily lives and typical activities (occupations) of Muslim girls living in impoverished conditions in Cambodian villages. This nested narrative inquiry/autoethnography investigates their daily life and occupations. Girls in one Cham village co-constructed illustrated stories with me. Narrative inquiry necessitates living alongside participants in ‘the midst’ of their experiences within the temporality/sociality/locality of their three-dimensional narrative inquiry space, their daily lives. Autoethnography requires weaving together the personal with the cultural to arrive at new understandings of the ‘other’. An ‘occupational lens’ view of their daily-life stories reveals details about the girls while the story of how I did the study in an unknown language and country reveals my journey from an ethnocentric to more a culture-centric understanding.