TIL that 40 percent of Cambodians suffer psychological problems as a result of the Khmer Rouge massacre that killed a third of its population between 1975 and 1979

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>In 1979 there were no cars being pushed, or motorcycles. There were no television sets, radios, electric fans or cartons of books being carried. If people had any possessions at all they carried them in small bundles on shoulderboards, on their backs, or balanced on their heads. They trudged along in barefoot groups, two or three or five skinny people in rags and then another few coming along a hundred yards later. Most had facial sores. In 1975 women had cared how they looked, but in 1979 there were only torn clothes, and the women had no sense of fashion or pride in their appearance. In 1975 when friends met they asked “Have you eaten yet?” or “How many children do you have?”. In 1979 they stared at you with haunted eyes and asked, “Who survived in your family?”. **Survival in the Killing Fields** by Haing Ngor, Roger Warner


I mean, it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? It’d be an entire generation marred by unspeakable tragedy and loss that don’t have any access to PTSD help. 🙁


I was in the Peace Corps in Cambodia starting in 2009. The genocide has touched the loved of everyone there, and it comes out on ways you never think. I was once building a fence with my host father and he suddenly stopped and said “last time I built a fence, they made me kill my father,” and then he told me about how his father was sick and couldn’t work day enough. So they made him kill his dad or the whole work group would be killed. Then he just sighed and said “that was a long time ago though.” And we went back to work. Edit: spelling


As a Cambodian with a family that has a problem with psychological issues, (mother, sister and I have depression and father was always stressed-out) I wonder if the genocide affected me and my sister’s psyche through epigenetics or something.. I feel like our culture as a whole is very somber. A lot of popular Khmer songs are depressing when you listen to the lyrics. Love my people though <3


I know a refugee from Sudan – I helped her pass her citizenship test – and she had some horrifying stories about being chased from her burning village as a child, having to walk for days with no food, being given to a man as a teenager, seeing family members raped and cut up with knives. She obviously has very deep psychological scars from it. I’ve lived a fairly comfortable middle class American existence and I just have no concept of what that would be like. I doubt anyone can truly understand except other refugees.