We paid homage to a “killing field”, a mass grave of the victims of Cambodian genocide.
Our guide brought us to Wat Thmey or Wat Thmei in Siem Reap, where a glass-covered stupa stands, containing skulls of those killed during the Khmer Rouge regime in 1975-1979.
As I looked at the skulls, I couldn’t help thinking how much I didn’t know of our neighboring country back then. I was in grade school, children in Cambodia were separated from their parents, recruited in a regime that instructed brutal methods. The intellectuals were murdered.
A wave of thousands of people abandoned urban centers for rural communities, forced to work in the fields. There were tortures, mass execution, malnutrition and deaths.
There are not many things to see at Wat Thmey. But it is a strong reminder of the past, and what we would not want to happen again.
To know more about what happened in the 1970’s in Cambodia, hubby bought a book, Cambodia: Year Zero by Francois Ponchaud (1977). He was one of the first authors to write about the genocide while it was happening.
I bought the book “First They Killed my Father” by Loung Ung.
We also saw the films “Killing Fields” (1984) and “The Missing Picture (2013).
I googled and saw tips about other books and films about the Khmer Rouge.