By Sichan Siv
Whereas the USA battled Vietnamese Communists within the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies, in neighboring Cambodia dictator Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge declared struggle on their lonesome humans, enslaving and slaughtering anyone who disagreed with them. Sichan Siv knew he might quickly be a target—ending up, maybe, as one of many thousands of nameless human skeletons buried in his nation's Killing Fields—so he heeded his mother's pleas and ran. Captured and compelled to accomplish slave exertions, Siv feared that he'd be labored to demise or killed. It was once just a topic of time. yet he by no means deserted wish or his unbelievable dream of freedom—a dream that liberated him, astonishingly, from his brutal captors and eventually led him to the U.S., the place he later turned a senior White apartment aide. Golden Bones is a rare tale of just about unbelievable trouble and noteworthy braveness via a survivor whose conquer terror and adversity serves as a shining notion to us all.
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Extra info for Golden Bones: An Extraordinary Journey from Hell in Cambodia to a New Life in America
THE PILGRIMAGE Once in a long while, a single trip can become very memorable. My pilgrimage to Angkor was one. Siem Reap was to become my favorite Cambodian city; there, ten years later, I would spend one or two weekends a month relaxing and rejuvenating myself. GOLDEN BONES 25 Before returning to Phnom Penh, we spent half a day at the Siem Reap market, known for its handicrafts. We selected all the best rattan and wicker bags and baskets and had the Chinese merchants wrap them for us. They let us leave our purchases overnight with them.
Like many high school students of my generation, I spent my free time in libraries. I became a bookworm, an armchair traveler, and a political spectator. My favorite spots were the National Library, the Buddhist Institute, and the USIS library. GOLDEN BONES 53 The National Library, established on Christmas Eve 1924, is located next to the Hotel Le Royal near Wat Phnom, where the capital was founded in 1432. It also served as the national archives and had an amazing collection of historical documents and old books in Khmer, French, and English.
We celebrated the Khmer new year on April 13. For me, this was a time of double happiness: it is also my mother’s birthday. Most ofﬁces had their annual party around this time. The medical school had the best ball among university institutions. Sisowath came up at the top among the secondary schools. We managed to get “Apsara,” the most popular young band at the time, to perform at our ball. They played the Beatles, the Bee Gees, the Platters, the Rolling Stones, and of course Paul Anka, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra.