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Day 10~May 10th~ Cambodia

The post genocide generation

“To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss.” The horrific motto of the Khmer Rouge, the movement whose guerrilla forces lead a genocide killing and torturing one fifth of the whole population of Cambodia in the 1970s. Cambodia had the misfortune of giving residence to the monster of war that tours our planet taking away innocence and leaving only death in its wake. But as is always the case, out of the greatest darkness, the brightest of lights is born. From those dark times comes a new age to Cambodia and in the new generation lives kindness, pride, strength, brightness and a promise of a much better future.

CAMBODIA children children's rights human rights Photography war

What gets into a humans to make them do something like this?

On the first day of my trip to Cambodia I took a morning trip to visit The Killing Fields also known as Choeung Ek, where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime, during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979, immediately after the end of the Vietnam War.

About 2.2 million out of 7 million were killed during the Khmer Rouge rule under big brother number 1, Pol Pot .

The facts are there to be read and retold, but the feeling and registrations you get while there are impossible to forget. It was so overwhelming to think of all the children and women killed in this execution center which is only one of thousands that sprung around Cambodia at the time.

To try and push away the thought of babies smashed on trees to save bullets, and women raped and then killed in cold blood is a task I will never be able to achieve.

And yet I wanted to see this. I wanted to know what my fellow humans did, what possessed them to do this.

And it keeps going on all over the world atrocities, cruelty, genocide.. and so many of us just turn around and pretend that we don’t see.

I suppose I had to go through this day before I went on to see the beauty, spirituality and charm of Cambodia. Our human history taints us and is an integral part of who we are.

Cambodians are now happy  to have peace since the year 2000, and they are content. Because of the extreme cruelty they had to endure, they are happy to simply enjoy their lives and their families in peace.

Much to learn here…