Memory a day #26 – Khmer Rouge

Two places I wish didn’t exist but still very important to see, S21 prison and the killing fields, introduced me to the mass murder of so many Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge. Thousands of people were held in the S21 prison, formerly a high school, and thousands were killed at the killing fields. It’s crazy to think that these catastrophic events only go back to the 70’s. The museums are gloomy but they tell the story of the people who were imprisoned there. The Khmer Rouge movement was meant to take full control of the country and in order to do that they felt they had to eradicate the intellectuals and educated of the country. Anyone that had the potential to be a threat to the regime was killed. The country is still rebuilding, educating and trying to find their way in the modern world. It’s a struggle to breed educated people in Cambodia because school is expensive and in order to survive a lot of Cambodian natives are turning to tourism and becoming guides. Even teachers in schools are leaving the public school system in order to teach private, more profitable, lessons. The Khmer Rouge movement was a detrimental blow to the development of Cambodia but they are resilient people and things are improving. Slowly but surely.

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