Sorry, this entry is only available in %LANG
Have you encountered any young people who don’t believe the Cambodian genocide even happened? That’s a phenomenon that really baffles and frightens me – a generation in complete and utter denial. Maybe it’s a psychological defense mechanism, the fact that many of them can’t seem to wrap their heads around something so awful that happened to their parents’ generation so recently.
What’s your take?
I haven’t been here long enough to say for sure, but I heard this before. Some expats told me the schools don’t teach this recent history, and that the genocide memorials are to show foreigners that they are doing something about it. This is a tough country to “get.” It leaves you with a lot of questions and getting straight answers isn’t easy.
Here’s what I can say after almost a month in Cambodia: there’s no way to deny the genocide. Every single person over 35 lived through the Khmer Rouge regime. Every family has been affected by it.
What might be the issue is that many people don’t want to talk about it. In her book “First They Killed My Father” Luong Ung explained that after the regime ended and families were reunited, no one spoke of it. Everyone just kept it their secret.
After three decades of not talking, it’s possible the younger generation doesn’t know enough or doesn’t want to face it, and that can be perceived as denial.
Interesting new insights – appreciate the follow-up on this.
When you get back to Mtl, I’d love to lend you the documentary “New Year Baby,” if you’re interested. It’s a fascinating story of a woman trying to deal with the genocide’s fallout on a very personal level. http://www.newyearbaby.net/
I’m learning so much reading you and traveling with you.
Dificil y facil a la vez, creer lo que nos podemos hacer entre seres humanos.
“Are most of them uncultured simpletons?”
I can understand how one from a Western perspective would arrive at this question. In my experience of Cambodia, the silence and corruption are fueled by war trauma, exacerbated by poverty . Trauma is an extremely complex, difficult thing to understand, especially (for me) in the case of Cambodia, where it’s existing on a mass, societal level. I see the materialism of some of the youth as a part of it too.
Notify me of followup comments via e-mail
You can consult the archive section for more content. You can also use the search box at the top.
Delivered by FeedBurner