hello there, i'm Nettra (pronounced according to spelling: net + tra = nettra).

i'm a global nomad and digital native currently based in Lausanne. i was born in California, raised in Phnom Penh and was a passionate flâneur in New York City and Paris.

i am a former political scientist keen on helping diverse stakeholders work together towards sustainable solutions to poverty. learning about the impact of technology, entrepreneurship and creativity on society is what gives me energy. i am so happy to have the opportunity to do this everyday at EPFL.

this tumblr helps me keep track of things which have happened to me, as well as the interesting, funny, inspiring and beautiful links i find this on this internet odyssey.

Read more.

for something more focused and structured (i.e., without photos of cute animals), you may like to browse my online art portfolio or visit my website. you can also find me on twitter, ask me a question or feed my fish.

Kant Help Me by Nettra Pan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Material posted here is my own, unless otherwise stated.

If you find your content here and would like me to remove or attribute it to you, please let me know and I would be happy to oblige.


I didn’t survive because I was stronger than others. […] I survived because my family and friends helped me to survive. They took my place. My job is to give them back their dignity, tell their story and say their names.

@RPanh via A Cultural Conversation With Rithy Panh - WSJ.com

I did not go through the horrors of war and the Khmer Rouge, but I do ask myself why my family survived, why my life is blessed. The answer Director Rithy Panh gives here is the only one I’ve heard which makes any sense. It moves me to tears.

Came across this photo from a CAFFedu.org):

"Nin Sopheak Date of Birth: 12 Dec 1989

From Khleang floating community, located about 45km east of Siem Reap. Currently, she is attending USEA university.”

Came across this photo from a CAFFedu.org):

"Nin Sopheak Date of Birth: 12 Dec 1989

From Khleang floating community, located about 45km east of Siem Reap. Currently, she is attending USEA university.”


Informational briefing at @USEmbPhnomPenh for Cambodian students with excellent grades, English and physical fitness.

Ruling Party Wins Narrowly in Cambodian Vote - NYTimes.com

The difference between the quality of journalism in this NYTimes article and an earlier CNN video I saw today is astounding.

Aujourd’hui encore, voilé par les hautes fumées des feux et de ses sacrifices, le ciel est sombre comme un pétale de lotus bleu.

Inscriptions sanscrites du Cambodge, traduites par Barth et Bergaigne

Archiving the “sounds” page I created when I was 17 for nettrapan.net

Still some good, relevant links:

Some good stuff!

Notable artists: 

  • Laura Mam: This singer/song-writer has her own youtube channel [ LauraMamMusic ] where she plays covers and songs she writes about Cambodia and other pleasant, though unconventional topics. 
  • Dengue Fever: American-Cambodian rock band. Their music is a mix of blues/rock/psychedelic songs from the 50s up to now, fused with tradtional Cambodian melodies, a tribute to genres from the Cambodian past, tragically affected by the Khmer Rouge. Features a beautiful Cambodian lead singer with a beautiful voice. They also did a touching, funny and eye-opening documentary about their trip to Cambodia called “Sleepwalking Through the Mekong” (after one of their albums, I think?). Watch it if you can!

More notable performers:

  • Diane Birch: I saw this stylish Londoner at the Cornelia St. bar in New York in the fall of 2008 and she blew my mind with her amazing sometimes clear and sometimes sultry voice, candid lyrics and piano accompaniment. She does her own trumpet solos, without a trumpet! (We were all looking around the bar to see where the sound was coming from: her lips!) Unfortunately, I didn’t get a recording or a CD right then and there, but this is a video of her I found on youtube: Diane Birch ‘s video
  • A class of 7th graders perform a cover of “Whatever You Like” for the 2008 US Election with edited lyrics. Here is [the Times Article]. The video is at the bottom of the article. It’s catchy and adorable!
  • Sweet Child O’ Mine on the sitar! [youtubevid]
  • Colbie Caillat & Jason Reeves singing ‘Permanent’ at the beach in San Diego, CA [vimeo.com/1828239]
  • 'Who's Loving You?' on Britain's Got Talent [perezhilton.com/2009-04-18-hes-no-susan-boyle-but
  • Reni LaneLast.fm says ”The best kind of song is familiar and illuminating all at once, and if you’re lucky, its creator is too. Such is the case with Reni Lane, the 20-year-old whose edgy beauty belies her geekier side. A campus character at Columbia University, this classically trained artist extraordinaire is ready to turn heads in the music scene - while finishing her homework first.” If you’re  CU student you MUST check out her short spoofy song “Frontiers of Science" - looks like it was shot in the freshman dorm, Carman!

Other links:

This flash mob is hilarious! Second viral video from Cambodia this week! Cambodians are so with it and into #social media.

Flash Mob at Siem Reap International Airport

via @kounilakeo and others…

So many metaphysical revelations. I really wanted to create a real human being, and digging in me, and what moves me, and questioning myself about my ancestors, and people I didn’t get to know. Researching for that character just had me become even more aware of the conditions of the world, and mainly in Cambodia — my country — I always wanted to be a voice to fight against the injustice. But I could never do that. But now I have a voice to be heard.