Last November, the world first heard about a Cambodian souvenir seller boy, Thaksin on social media. Thaksin, also known as Thuch Salik became an internet sensation when he impressed a Malaysian tourist, Venus Gwc, while selling souvenirs in Ta Prohm Temple.
The tourist hailing from Penang was so moved by his multilingual sales skills that she caught it on camera. In the video clips, Thaksin displayed his fluency in Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai, English, Japanese, Korean, and French.
Watch the viral video here:
Along with his mother, Mann Vanna, and his younger brother Tithya, Thaksin frequented Ta Prohm every day to earn a living. The income they earned from selling souvenirs was used to fund Thaksin and Tithya’s education and the family’s daily expenses. Sadly, the family was struggling to make ends meet.
Despite his state of poverty, Thaksin always had a passion for learning. No way was he going to allow his circumstances to stop him from pursuing an education. In fact, he utilised his time at Ta Prohm to pick up as many languages as he could from tourists and even aspired to pursue studies in Bejing, China.
What happened next changed Thaksin and his family’s lives for the better. The clip that went viral on social media caught the attention of various influential organisations. Amazed by his abilities, a Beijing TV station invited him for an interview and to sing in a show on the channel. They even offered to pay for his flight cost!
The family also received support from Cambodia’s Red Cross Society. The foundation offered to provide food supplies and monetary donations to fund the brothers’ education. However, it didn’t end there. Thanks to a generous businessman, Thaskin is currently enrolled at Hai Lian Foreign Language School, a private middle school located in east China’s Zhejiang province.
The businessman has volunteered to cover the fee of his education and half of his living expenses through his university years. This includes postgraduate studies if Thaksin has an interest to pursue it. According to his teachers, he is doing very well and is excelling in subjects like painting, music, physical education and computer studies at the private school.
Thaksin’s story shows us that together we can do so much as to change one young boy’s destiny forever. We may come from different walks of life and have different opinions, yet generosity and humanity is what binds us together!