Parents should share with their children their experiences under the Khmer Rouge, which can help heal old wounds and move the country forward, the author of a groundbreaking history book said Monday.
Dy Kamboly, whose “History of Democratic Kampuchea” is being distributed in Cambodia to help teach about the regime, told “Hello VOA” that digging into the past can be painful, but it can also be helpful.
Saturday, April 17, will mark the 35th anniversary of the fall of Phnom Penh to the Khmer Rouge guerrillas, who immediately emptied the cities and began Year Zero, a communist experiment that led to the deaths of up to 2 million people.
Cambodians are still reticent to discuss their experiences with their children, and many still live among those who followed the Khmer Rouge.
But authors like Dy Kamboly and others at the Documentation Center of Cambodia encourage speaking out, claiming that sharing can be helpful, even among victims and former perpetrators.
“In order to avoid negative consequences of bringing up the painful past, the Documentation Center, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, has come up with a plan to teach more than 3,200 teachers around Cambodia how to teach the history of Democratic Kampuchea,” he said.
This is being done in a way that avoids “negative impact on society,” he said.