Khmer Rouge policy (if you can call genocide a policy?) attempted to turn Cambodia into a nation of farmers.
As an educationalist I firmly believe that we all benefit from shared experience with our peers and elders. As human beings we have the ability to encourage each other to excel, be different, explore, discover and achieve, this power can generate ambition, creativity and fulfilment.
The Khmer Rouge wanted this ability wiped from the history of Cambodia.
Referring to 1975 as year zero, all knowledge of the outside world was to be destroyed, all independent thought was to be destroyed, all hopes and dreams that were not focused on the party to be destroyed.
During that period almost all of this country’s role models were targeted and killed. Those who did survive kept their talents and knowledge hidden.
For me this made the hope, talent and ambition we found in Phnom Penh even more inspirational.
A new generation of artists and musicians perform traditional Cambodian dance with unconstrained grace and enthusiasm every night at the National Museum in Phnom Penh. We’d recommend that you treat yourself to an “expensive” cushioned seat with complementary water and a warm welcome (just over £20 December 2016) and help to fund the development of new Cambodian role models.