Hong Kimtry, Nurse

Loved studying when I was young, but my parents wanted me to get married. Even when I was pregnant, I kept studying until my belly became huge. My parents then made me the manager of a business they had renting cyclos [pedicabs]. My husband Hong Kimtry was a nurse at a hospital in Phnom Penh. We […]

Mong Muon, Nurse

Five of my ten children died during the Khmer Rouge regime. My two oldest boys, Muon and Mut, were executed. My third son, Ty, starved to death, as did his sister Chrip and my youngest son Aun, who died when he was only a year old. I didn’t know how to get food for my […]

Lam Som, School Inspector

When we were small, my father liked to play with us, pretending he was an elephant. He would take a big mattress, fold it in half, and put it over his head. Then he would extend his arms, sway, and come after us. He would chase anyone in the house. He inspected schools for a […]

Uk Sivutha, Teacher

When I was young, I wanted to study so that I could become a teacher. I had seen that teachers were well educated, dressed smartly, and did not have to work very hard. But Cambodian tradition was very strict in those days. My parents were afraid that no man would want to marry me if […]

Chhuon Leang Vuoch, Teacher Hok Chhay Sreng, Military Policeman

When my father returned from studying at a military school in Indonesia, he was promoted to the rank of major in the military police. My mother was a teacher in Phnom Penh. They met before my father went to Indonesia. After he came home, he proposed to her. In 1974, father was transferred to Battambang […]

Chey Phon, Teacher

My father died of old age before the Lon Nol regime took control of Cambodia, so my mother sold mats to support our family. But it wasn’t enough, so two of my brothers went to live at a pagoda where they became monks. When I was five years old, I began living with them at […]

Lao Um, Teacher

My father was ordained a monk when he was young and taught in the monastery. Sending a son to the monastery was customary among older people. They felt that becoming a monk was a way to get an education, and that women would easily agree to marry someone who was educated enough to teach at […]

Mei Monyroath, Student

I was the oldest son in a family of six children. My father Mei Sam Aol was a government nurse at a hospital in Phnom Penh; because he was a kind man, he sometimes treated people without asking them for money. My mother Men Malin was a primary school teacher. In the beginning of 1975, […]

Som Sila and Lam Séna, Students

All of the children in our family studied hard, and we all liked science. My oldest brother Som Sila had a PhD in economic engineering from Yugoslavia and my second brother Lam Viry had a master’s degree in civil engineering from Russia. My third brother, Lam Séna, earned his MD in France, and my adopted […]

Phin Ratha, Student

I was born in Takeo Province, but during the Lon Nol regime, my family fled to Vietnam because it was not safe in my village. However, the Vietnamese authorities sent us back to Cambodia. We lived on the river in Phnom Penh along with many other refugees, and relied on the Red Cross to live. […]