Where is Khmer culture going?

Terminalnomad Photography With such rapid pace of progress, Cambodia eagerly embraces a bright future. That's the upside. What's disheartening is that it's a future that chases inspiration externally-- specifically from the West, while rejecting its own rich legacy and heritage. Silence about the Khmer Rouge period With the KR trials commencing, spotlight is on the reaction of the Khmer population. But collective suppression of this period in history is the prevailing practice. Even the international community avoids the issue: aid funding for mental health has been nil, despite numerous requests and rampant indication of need. What little dialogue is had about tribunal activities is mostly aimed at foreigners and international … [Read more...]

Websites for Khmer Rouge tribunal updates

A few people have asked for some news feeds of the proceedings, now that the Khmer Rouge tribunal has finally begun. Here are some blogs, news coverage and expert commentaries on the Extraordinary Chamber in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC): Cambodia Tribunal Monitor, with webcasts of the proceedings and video commentaries, by Western legal and academic experts on the Khmer Rouge or Genocide. Ka-set is the Khmer-ization of the French word for newsmagazine. This news website aims to promote quality journalism, and is a project started by four journalists (Cambodian, French and Belgian), affiliated with Cambodge Soir (French-language newspaper in Phnom Penh), in 2007. Documentation Center of Cambodia is a rights group advocating for … [Read more...]

The concept of Peace post-conflict

Mental health trauma after years of war is naturally extensively studied in public health. But even living in Cambodia for many months now hasn’t dawned understanding on me of the ravages of the Khmer Rouge period until I took meditation courses with some Khmers. The most popular meditation techniques, usually associated with spiritual activity, are of Eastern origin ie. martial arts and yoga. The premise of meditation is to gain insight or focus, by relaxing the body and calming and focusing the mind. It’s a skill that allows positive energy to be summoned at will. And one of the methods used for clearing the mind is to recall a feeling of peace. I can easily recall such moments: standing on top of a mountain and looking out over the … [Read more...]