Cambodian Culture since 1975

Cambodian Culture since 1975

Homeland and Exile

Since the civil war of the 1970s, Cambodia has suffered devastating upheavals that killed a million ' people and exiled hundreds of thousands. This book is the first to examine Cambodian culture after the ravages of the Pol Pot regime-and to bear witness to the transformation and persistence of tradition among contemporary Cambodians at home and abroad. Bringing together essays by Khmer and Western scholars in anthropology, linguistics, literature, and ethnomusicology, the volume documents the survival of a culture that many had believed lost. Individual chapters explore such topics as Buddhist belief and practice among refugees in the United States, distinctive features of modern Cambodian novels, the lessons taught by Khmer proverbs, some uses of metaphor by the Khmer Rouge regime, the state of traditional music, the recent revival of a form of traditional theater, the concept of pain in Khmer culture, changing conceptions of gender, and refugees' interpretation of American television. Together the essays map a contemporary Cambodian culture, which, for over two hundred thousand Khmers, is now firmly entwined in the social fabric of the urban West.

Judy Ledgerwood

Judy Ledgerwood is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University. She is a contributor to Anthropology and Community in Cambodia, a collection of essays in honor of May Ebihara. Her most recent book is At the Edge of the Forest, published by Southeast Asia Program Publications.


At the Edge of the Forest
Essays on Cambodia, History, and Narrative in Honor of David Chandler
Inspired by David Chandler's groundbreaking work on Cambodian attempts to find order in the aftermath of turmoil, these essays explore Cambodian history using a rich variety of sources that cast light on Khmer perceptions of violence, wildness...

A Khmer Village in Cambodia
May M. Ebihara, May Mayko Ebihara
May Mayko Ebihara (1934–2005) was the first American anthropologist to conduct ethnographic research in Cambodia. Svay provides a remarkably detailed picture of individual villagers and of Khmer social structure and kinship, agriculture, politics, and religion. The world Ebihara described would soon be shattered by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. Fifty...