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In the News: Khmer Rouge story a vague one for young Cambodians

Excerpt from April 4, 2009 AP article, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The U.N.-assisted Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia, which last week began hearing the first genocide case against a former Khmer Rouge official, hopes to find justice for the 1.7 million people who were worked to death, starved or executed by the communist regime, and to set the record straight for survivors and history.

The subject isn't taught in schools, and many survivors find it hard to tell their children about it. When they do, some children don't believe them.

The report found that 81 percent of Cambodians under age 29 said their knowledge of the period was "poor or very poor." Eighty-four percent said what they knew came from families and friends.

Balthazard added that they probably are "more interested in MTV and technology than what happened 30 years ago."

Still, most of those surveyed said they want to learn more.
I didn't realize before beginning the 30 Days of Hope to raise awareness of Cambodian history and current events that the percentage was that high. Hopefully, the current Khmer Rouge trial will spark the interest of all young and old Cambodians as they work towards embracing their culture, finally burying the past and moving towards a promising future.

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