Thunder Storm in the North, Water is Fired

When I was a small kid living in the poor rural area of Cambodia, I remember hearing many senior people talking about the forecasts made by some fortune tellers who claim to reiterate the Buddhist words about the future. I clearly remember one phrase, amongst many other phrases, which is “Thunder Storm in the North, Water is Fired”.

back then, I did not understand what it meant. Even till now I could not understand what the phrase refer to. It is such a high level Cambodian literature with different implications and interpretation.

But recently, I came to understand this phrase more when I am doing research on the South China Sea issue. The recent tensions which can lead to armed conflict in the near future rightly fall into the forecast by some senior citizens in my villages two decades ago.

Thunder storm may refer to the increasing conflicts and tensions. The North refers to those countries in the Northern part of Cambodia. Water refer to the Seas (South China Sea and East China Sea). Fire means war/armed conflict.

Well, whether such kind of forecast is realistic, we need to follow closely what is going on now in the South and East China Seas.

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