Cautious Cambodia - 2007

T HE K ILLING F IELDS Our lady guide of about 40 years was disarmingly forthright about her sufferings during the era of the “Killing Fields” and also informed us that her miseries have not ended with the change in government. She too was separated from her family and lost both parents and ended with only a married sister for immediate family. The reason she still suffers is because there is a prejudice in Cambodia against orphans that continues even today despite all the orphans left by the genocide. The prejudice is rooted in a Cambodian interpretation of Buddhist conceptions of the reincarnation wheel. They believe that if you come back to human form after death as an orphan you must have been a pretty wicked person in the former life and therefore deserve to be shunned and shamed. Therefore, no one will marry an orphan or accept one as a friend. This lady appears to be living a very lonely life except for the relationship she has with her sister, nieces and nephews. Another sad story in a country filled with them.

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