Life is a carousel for some

Khmer Times staff / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Theng Long, right, and his small team work hard in difficult conditions, shaping fibreglass into various animals for merry-go-rounds or carousels. The fine splinters from the materials often make them itch. KT/Fabien Mouret

Ever wondered where those fibreglass animals on the merry-go-rounds at Diamond Island and at the rides at country fairs come from?

The majority are made in Phnom Penh at a small shop near the Japanese Friendship Bridge and they range in size depending on the ride.

KT/Fabien Mouret

Theng Long started making the fibreglass figures about seven years ago and has found a market for his products not only in Cambodia, but in neighbouring Thailand as well, where temple fairs can also be big business and attract a lot of people.

“We have a team of eight people working for us,” he said.

KT/Fabien Mouret

Working with fibreglass and the polyester resin to make it set solid can be hazardous, but Mr Long said his team had never had any major health issues because of their work.

“I used to wear a mask with charcoal in it before, but now we stopped wearing that because it made it difficult to breathe. Now we just wear a normal white cloth mask instead,” he said.

On the 10th of August 2017, 2 workers in a fiber glass work-shop in Phnom Penh.

The animal figures Mr Long and his team make are used all over Cambodia and he says he feels really happy when he sees young children enjoying the rides and sitting in a giant duck or some other animal his team has made.

However, being the only major supplier in Cambodia has its downside as his team struggles to finish orders on time.

“I don’t really like this job because it affects my health – it makes us all itchy. But now we have more work than ever before.”

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