IAMA daughter of parents who lived through the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia until its fall. I am with my mom here who will answer any questions at all! She lost her parents and many of her siblings, fought off soldiers, joined a resistance to es...
I am currently sitting here with my mom who is willing to answer any questions related to her life in Cambodia, her experience through the regime and war (where over 1.3 million Cambodians died), and her arrival in Canada in '83.
She was around 11 when they chased everyone from the city and made them march on foot to labour camps. There is so much of her experience I haven't heard yet, so this will also be somewhat of a new thing for me.
One of the reasons why I decided to start this AMA is to raise funds for a personal cause.
My mom lost her parents during the time they made everyone work on the farm in villages. When the regime fell, one of her uncles went from villages to villages in search of my mother and surviving children of the family. He then took them all in and raised them as his own, not only because he had unconditional love for them, but also in memory of his brother (my grandfather) who had always supported him to make sure he had a good life while they were growing up.
She left Cambodia in 1983 and never had the chance to return. My parents and I grew up in a low income household before I started workig.
We recently got news this month that he was diagnosed with lung cancer and is already at the terminal phase, leaving him with less than 3 months to live.
What I'm trying to do is basically raise enough money so my mom can go to Cambodia (she doesn't know this yet!) to meet her uncle, whom she actually calls her adoptive father, before it's too late. One of my regrets in life was not being able to help my dad go to Cambodia when his parents passed away when I first started working. It was devastating to him and extremely heartbreaking to me.
TL;DR: My mom's uncle raised her when she lost her parents. She hasn't seen him in over 28 years and now he has 3 months to live. So I'm trying to raise money by doing this AMA. She's not aware of it, it's a surprise!
For more details, I invite you to visit my fundraiser page: http://www.indiegogo.com/khmer-daughter
And this is my verification with my mom Not sure how I can provide other proof except pictures in the refugee camp of Khao-Dang.
2 hours later
There may have only been only one or two questions, but my mom's responses exhausted me. Wow.
I will continue taking questions, but they will be answered tomorrow if my mom falls asleep. She's currently watching her Chinese stories.
10:20 PM EST Update
Okay, my mom is tired and I am slightly exhausted. Please feel free to continue submitting questions, I will have them answered tomorrow around 7:30 PM EST the latest.
11:45 PM EST Update
It looks like I'm still awake. I'm answering most of these questions based on what I know and my own opinions, but I will re-reply to many of these with my mom's own response tomorrow.
3:12 AM EST Update
Uhhh, so it started off reeeeaaaaally slow, but boy did that escalate quickly! I was supposed to be in bed since 11PM.
On that note, I need to go to sleep for real. I will try my best to answer the questions I may have forgotten and promised to deliver later this evening.
Thank you so much for everyone's support. If you want to know more about experiences during that regime, the war and more, I recommend the following books:
To the ones who contributed and chose the 'Vanity' option, please PM me your email address and I'll be contacting you then to get all the details I need to draw from your picture :)
26/09/2012 10:30 AM EST Update
I am extremely moved by the outpour of support since last night. Little did I know I would wake up to this AMA exploding and receive, not only contributions, but personal stories, bits of history, resources in return. Thank you so so so so much!!! I can't wait to show all of this to my mom when my Indiegogo deadline is met.
I'm going to continue checking this post and provide answers as much as I can & get back on last night's batch of questions.