Pain of Khmer Rouge Era Lost on Cambodian Youth
“I used to tell my children the stories, but they only believed a tiny bit, like nothing,” said Ty Leap, 52, who sells noodles and fruit drinks from a roadside stall. “I don’t like it, but what can you do? It really is unbelievable that those things happened.”
As much as 70 percent of Cambodia’s population is under the age of 30, and four out of five members of this young generation know little or nothing about the Khmer Rouge years, according to a survey last fall by the Human Rights Center, University of California, Berkeley.
That ignorance — among both young and old — seems also to embrace the trials of five major Khmer Rouge figures that began last month, a process that is meant, in part, to begin a process of healing and closure.
Because of these cross-currents in recent Cambodian history, the Khmer Rouge period has not been taught in school, causing some teachers who are survivors to feel orphaned by their students.
A new high school textbook has been prepared but will reach only a portion of the country’s students.
comments powered by Disqus
- Isis Palmyra demolition has begun with ancient God Lion statue destroyed
- Moving Photographs of Japanese American Internees, Then and Now
- A One-of-a-Kind Trove Reveals What 19th-Century American Boyhood Was Really Like
- St. Louis University moves controversial statue after protests
- UNC Renames Building That Honored Ku Klux Klan Leader
- NYT hosts debate including Eric Foner: How Americans should remember Reconstruction
- William Leuchtenburg says historians and the media have been too hard on Obama
- Hugh Ambrose, historian who helped develop WWII Museum, dead at 48
- Historian discounts claim that Churchill and other British PM's were gay
- Nick Bunker Wins $50,000 2015 George Washington Book Prize