Sunday, May 26, 2013

Masunaga - Week 8

What I found most interesting about this weeks reading was in Schlund-Vials's chapter, Lost Chapters and Invisible Wars. In the beginning of the chapter there is a couple of verses from a rap, written by praCh, It describes pain and lost associated with Cambodia, and the historical significance of the Khmer Rouge.  I think this melancholic idea of loss is interesting. Indeed the losses after the Khmer Rouge was tremendous and the pain and suffering was incomparable  but the fact that praCh feels this loss as one which is extremely real and personal to him despite not experiencing the Killing Fields himself is interesting.  It seems that rap takes the place of schools in educating that Khmer youth about such history and in that sense it is kept alive. This I think is similar to the Japanese American obsession with the Incarceration Camps during WWII. Similar not in so much as experience, but rather as a defining point for the community and for the Cambodian American community more specifically because it is the younger generation's recognition of such horrors and events that bring about the need to let people know the significance/importance.  This need reminds me in some ways of filling a void which what filled that void was lost in the regime of the Khmer Rouge.

My question is, what is this melancholic phenomenon in the Cambodian American community and is it similar to the "post memory" or history in memory (so to speak) in relation to the Killing Fields?  Is such need to know what happened or to inform others a way of speaking for those who choose not to speak (their immigrant parents)?

Check out praCh on Public Radio International Interview

Text of interview

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