WBEZ | Cambodia http://www.wbez.org/tags/cambodia Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Leaving Cambodia http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-11/leaving-cambodia-103843 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/killing%20fields%20memorial%20wbez.jpg" style="float: right; width: 446px; height: 334px;" title="(WBEZ/file)" /></div><p>Most of the Cambodians in Chicago came here as refugees in the years following 1975, when the brutal Khmer Rouge regime seized control of Cambodia. In that country, there began a four-year reign of terror in which&nbsp;millions of Cambodians were killed.</p><p>Peter Jennings once told me about that place, &ldquo;So much suffering. Such a tortured history&hellip;&rdquo;</p><p>He also said, ``The Khmer Rouge are the most genocidal people on the face of the earth. These people are maniacs.&rdquo;</p><p>And so the people came here. With limited education, most Cambodian refugees sought jobs in factories, crafts and blue-collar service jobs. English as a second language and other educational programs helped Cambodians adjust to American life&mdash;but poverty remained a major problem, with 49 percent of Cambodians here living beneath the poverty line at the end of the 1990s.</p><p>There are only 5,000-some Cambodians in Chicago now and yet they&mdash;all of us&mdash;have a most amazing museum. Opened in 2004 and located at 2831 W. Lawrence Ave., the Cambodian American Heritage Museum is an example of how ambition, hope and perseverance can result in a miracle.</p><p>It took nearly three decades for this place to become a reality, but the efforts have been worth it. The museum&#39;s centerpiece is a gathering of 80 glass walls of varying heights that constitute the Killing Fields Memorial. Each holds names, etched into the glass are the names of Illinois Cambodians&#39; relatives who died during the nightmarish regime of the Khmer Rouge.</p><p>It is estimated that as many as 3 million people perished as a result of starvation, torture or execution in a country that has yet to fully recover.</p><p>The glass panels comprise the first such memorial in the U.S. and, like the &quot;The Wall,&quot; as the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. is commonly called, it is emotionally overwhelming in its simple presentation, which includes a stone column with the words &quot;We continue our journey with compassion, understanding and wisdom.&quot;</p><p>It shouldn&#39;t be surprising that nearly 70 percent of the $1.5 million raised for the project came from our Jewish community, which knows a great deal about inhumanity and horror and losing loved ones.</p><p>Leon Lim, the chairman of the museum, calls the museum &quot;A place to educate, to heal and to celebrate.&quot;</p><p>He looks at names etched into one of the glass walls. On the top row on the right are the names of nearly two dozen of his own relatives and friends. Though the Killing Fields Memorial, and some related exhibits, evoke deadly times, there is life aplenty in the museum in the form of literacy classes, cultural programs, language classes and other building blocks for a hopeful future in this foreign land.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 13 Nov 2012 12:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-11/leaving-cambodia-103843 'Afternoon Shift' #189: On the line http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2012-11-14/afternoon-shift-189-line-103842 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Jeff Garlin.jpg" alt="" /><p><script src="http://storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-189.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-189" target="_blank">View the story "'Afternoon Shift' #189: On the line " on Storify</a>]<h1>'Afternoon Shift' #189: On the line </h1><h2>We talk with Salim Muwakkil and WBEZ's Richard Steele about the rise and potential fall of the Jackson family. Chicago sports photographer Bill Smith will tell us about his work with children in Cambodia. Finally, comedian Jeff Garlin stops by to chat with Rick and share some laughs. </h2><p>Storified by &middot; Tue, Nov 13 2012 14:19:38</p><div>Congressmen Jesse Jackson Jr. again<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/jackson-jr-leaves-mayo-clinic-103816" class=""> left the Mayo Clinic</a> in Rochester, Minnesota today where he was receiving treatment for bipolar disorder. The South Side Democrat has been on a leave of absence from Congress since June—but has remained in the headlines. The congressman has reportedly been working on a plea deal with the justice department for weeks for allegedly misusing campaign funds for personal use. The investigation now includes the conduct of his wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson. The congressman and his wife are inheritors of the great political legacy of the family’s patriarch, Rev. Jesse Jackson. We examine the rise and potentially pending fall of the Jackson family dynasty with Salim Muwakkil,&nbsp;host of the Salim Muwakkil Show on WVON, and WBEZ’s Richard Steele.</div><div>What will become of the Jackson political dynasty? by WBEZCongressmen Jesse Jackson Jr. again left the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota today where he was receiving treatment for bipolar disor...</div><div>met-jesse-jackson-jr 0229 mhMy Sapolitics ™</div><div>Cambodian immigrants by WBEZRick discusses the plight of native Cambodians as well as Cambodian immigrants in Chicago.</div><div>As the team photographer for the Bulls, Blackhawks and Bears, Bill Smith has captured iconic moments in Chicago sports history. But the images burned in his mind are those he snapped of helpless children in poverty-stricken Cambodia. Smith returns each year to work with the children--and many of his Bulls’ colleagues have joined him on his travels and mission. Tonight, Comcast SportsNet premiers its two-part documentary, <a href="http://www.csnchicago.com/journey_to_cambodia" class="">From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia</a>.</div><div>Chicago sports reaches out to Cambodians in need by WBEZAs the team photographer for the Bulls, Blackhawks and Bears, Bill Smith has captured iconic moments in Chicago sports history. But the i...</div><div>This gorgeous little girl is so well-spoken. &quot;A Journey to Cambodia&quot; airs Tuesday and Wednesday at 7pm on CSN. http://pic.twitter.com/VWjtdAEmSarah Lauch</div><div>Heroes. Watch &quot; A Journey to Cambodia&quot; on Tuesday &amp; Wednesday at 7pm on @CSNChicago . Life-changing. http://pic.twitter.com/QhqOpl28Sarah Lauch</div><div>.@CSNChicago's &quot;Journey to Cambodia&quot; team @WBEZ #AfternoonShift (@ChuckGarfien, @SarahLauch) http://pic.twitter.com/lxPi3yTvJeff Nuich</div><div>.@WBEZ #AfternoonShift host, the great Rick Kogan http://pic.twitter.com/Zlc6B6G7Jeff Nuich</div><div>.@CSNChicago's @ChuckGarfien on @WBEZ #AfternoonShift http://pic.twitter.com/J5M3KsH9Jeff Nuich</div><div>WBEZ blogger Jim DeRogatis and Mike Fourcher hit up the latest Petraeus news; plus, they'll debate the notion that Chicago has too many street festivals and talk about photog-about-town, Steve Starr, who passed away suddenly yesterday at the age of 65.&nbsp;</div><div>Our 3@3 panel talks Petraeus, street fests, and a celebrity photographer by WBEZWBEZ blogger Jim DeRogatis and Mike Fourcher hit up the latest Petraeus news; plus, they'll debate the notion that Chicago has too many s...</div><div>Who's Who in the Petraeus Scandal: Broadwell, Kelley, AllenHere's a guide to the major figures in the widening scandal, which now includes both the former CIA head and a four-star general nominate...</div><div>As Street Fests Multiply, Organizers Ask: &quot;Are There Too Many?&quot;When Rock Around the Block struggled in its rebirth in West Lakeview last June, one of its organizers acknowledged a reality of the curre...</div><div>Celebrity photographer dies after collapsing on Gold CoastA prominent Chicago photographer known for covering fashion shows, charity and society events and capturing celebrities on the red carpet...</div><div>Today's Break Room track comes from Brendan Benson with the track "Light of Day," from his latest album What Kind of World. <br></div><div>Brendan Benson - The Light of Daybrendanbensonwhat</div><div>WBEZ arts reporter Alison Cuddy talks about how the intersection of commerce and art has created a bit of an uproar on one corner in Lakeview.</div><div>Missing in Lakeview: one goat, two giraffes by WBEZWBEZ arts reporter Alison Cuddy talks about how the intersection of commerce and art has created a bit of an uproar on one corner in Lake...</div><div>Missing in Lakeview: One goat, two giraffesLakeview residents awoke to find neighborhood three John Kearney statues were removed from their Elaine Place pedestals, after being part...</div><div>WBEZ interviews my grandparents about the removal of three of my grandpa's sculptures: http://bit.ly/VXIsnU (825 clicks for this so far!)skearney</div><div>Comedian, actor and producer Jeff Garlin stops by for some Afternoon Shift laughs.&nbsp;</div><div>Comedian Jeff Garlin stops by for some Afternoon Shift laughs by WBEZRick talks to Jeff Garlin about the Chicago comedy scene and how he healed from his father's death just a year ago.</div><div>Comedian Jeff Garlin on the #afternoonshift #wbezwbezchicago</div><div>Jeff Garlin - Young &amp; Handsome - The First Something I Stole Somethingcomedystation</div><div>Listen to an extended interview with Garlin from last year where he discusses his comedic influences. <br></div><div>Comedian and writer Jeff Garlin returns to ChicagoOne of the Chicago area's greatest exports is perhaps Jeff Garlin. He's a writer, producer, director, actor and stand-up comedian. He co-...</div></noscript></p> Tue, 13 Nov 2012 12:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2012-11-14/afternoon-shift-189-line-103842 Worldview 12.21.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-122111 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-december/2011-12-15/mexico2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>You wouldn’t know it from the rancorous national debate, but the flow of immigrants from Mexico to the U.S. has slowed to a halt. <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-21/mexican-economy-improving-fewer-cross-border-92275" target="_blank">Worldview</a></em> talks to Douglas Massey, co-director of Princeton University’s <a href="http://mmp.opr.princeton.edu/" target="_blank">Mexican Migration Project</a>, who says the reasons have as much to do with improved education and economic prospects in Mexico as they do beefed up security on the border. Also, an exhibit at the <a href="http://cai.maaillinois.org/" target="_blank">Cambodian Association of Illinois</a> uses images, artifacts and personal stories to shed light on the genocide. Two local Cambodians <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/cambodian-genocide-survivors-gain-new-voice-exhibit-92274" target="_self">tell their story</a> of survival. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/globalnotes" target="_self"><em>Global Notes</em></a>&nbsp; explores another consequence of the Khmer Rouge: the death of 90 percent of Cambodia's artists. Evanston native <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-21/global-notes-evanston-man-preserves-cambodian-music-endangered-genocide-" target="_self">Dan Schwarzlose introduces</a> Jerome and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/radio-m" target="_self"><em>Radio M</em></a> host Tony Sarabia to some of the traditional Cambodian music he's dedicated his life to preserving.</p></p> Wed, 21 Dec 2011 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-122111 Global Notes: Evanston man preserves Cambodian music endangered by genocide http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-21/global-notes-evanston-man-preserves-cambodian-music-endangered-genocide- <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-21/camb_09.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On this edition of <a href="http://wbez.org/globalnotes" target="_blank"><em>Global Notes</em></a>, Jerome and <em>Radio M </em>host Tony Sarabia explore Cambodia's rich musical heritage. Ninety percent of the Southeast Asian nation's artists were lost in the genocide.</p><p>After a fateful visit to Phnom Penh a few years ago, Evanston resident Dan Schwarzlose decided to devote his life to Cambodia's endangered musical traditions. He's since traveled to remote regions of the country in search of masters who can teach the younger generation how to play indigenous instruments. Because Cambodian music has been traditionally taught aurally, he also uses Western notation to write down the music.</p><p>Jerome and Tony sit down with Dan, who's the founder and director of the cultural preservation organization <a href="http://elasticcambodia.org/" target="_blank">Elastic Cambodia</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Watch this video featuring the khsae diev, an ancient Cambodian instrument with one string made from a hollowed-out gourd. According to Dan Schwarzlose, it’s informally known as “the instrument of the heart.”</strong></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sGrNEeLLCk4" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 21 Sep 2011 17:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-21/global-notes-evanston-man-preserves-cambodian-music-endangered-genocide- Worldview 9.21.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-92111 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-september/2011-09-21/mexico2.jpg" alt="" /><p>You wouldn’t know it from the rancorous national debate, but the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico to the U.S. has slowed to a halt. We talk to Douglas Massey, co-director of Princeton University’s Mexican Migration Project, who says the reasons have as much to do with improved education and economic prospects in Mexico as they do with beefed up border security. Also, a new exhibit at the Cambodian Association of Illinois uses images, artifacts and personal stories to shed light on the genocide. We hear from two survivors in the Chicago area who are concerned that people still don’t know about the genocide that killed two million people. And on Global Notes, we look into another consequence of the Khmer Rouge: the death of 90 percent of Cambodia's artists. We meet Evanston native Dan Schwarzlose, who’s dedicated his life to preserving Cambodia’s rich musical heritage.</p> Wed, 21 Sep 2011 14:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-92111 Cambodian arts nearly destroyed by a genocide find new life in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/actor/cambodian-arts-nearly-destroyed-genocide-find-new-life-chicago <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/cambodian 006.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Cambodian-Americans in Chicago are determined to keep their art and culture alive in this new country. What makes their dedication so fierce is that a genocide nearly succeeded in wiping out all of the artists.</p><div>Several men sit on a mat in a computer lab at the Cambodian Association of Illinois. They play wooden instruments that resemble crocodiles, and a two-stringed fiddle that looks like a tin can attached to an ax handle.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Cambodians have been meeting like this in Chicago to learn traditional music, language and dance for nearly 20 years.</div><div><strong>&nbsp;</strong></div><div>Soung San, a master musician who&rsquo;s their teacher, said they won&rsquo;t let the genocide silence their music.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;This is an indication that we were stronger than them, being the Pol Pot,&quot; San said. &quot;No matter what they do, we still survive, and we will keep it like that forever. Whenever, wherever, there will be a time, there will be us. The Cambodians will survive.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, seized power in 1975. An estimated two million Cambodians died. They were killed either outright or died of disease, starvation and forced labor.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The genocide killed 90 percent of the artists.</div><div><strong>&nbsp;</strong></div><div>&quot;What we see is art literally disappears in Cambodia,&quot; said Charles Daas. &quot;If you&rsquo;re practicing art, then you risk death.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Daas is the former director of the Cambodian American Heritage Museum and Killing Fields Memorial. He said&nbsp; the Khmer Rouge wanted to create a communist utopia without money or schools or businesses. They brutally set out to destroy any sense of personal identity.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Everyone was going to be the same,&quot; he said. &quot;So for anyone who was wealthy, who was educated, who was an artist, who was religious, who had been involved in the government, who had been involved in the army, they were an immediate enemy of the Khmer Rouge. And they were actually the very first people to die.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>To survive, artists hid their professions.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Before the Khmer Rouge took power, Sareth Kong&rsquo;s mother was a main actor in the opera and her father, a master musician. She remembers singing while climbing trees as a child.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Then the music stopped.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Our family was pretty well known that we&rsquo;re artists in Battambang Province, and then when we escaped to the Moung Village, my parents changed their name, their first name, their last name, so to disguise themselves as an artist, and we would always declare that we do farming,&quot;&nbsp;Kong said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Her parents lost their instruments as well as their identity.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;It's very difficult, but you know, in order to survive, that's something we have to give up,&quot; she said.</div><p>Kong was 10. The Khmer Rouge separated her and her siblings from their parents and forced them into hard labor for three years. Then Kong and her family fled.</p><div>&nbsp;It was there in the refugee camps &nbsp;-- the most unlikely of places &ndash; where dance and music would return and flourish.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;There were few master artists who were still alive and able to escape to the Thailand border and the camp,&quot; Kong said. &quot;That&rsquo;s when they start recruitment and opened classes, to build a Cambodian community, during the camp.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Sareth Kong says this is where she and her future husband, Sarun Kong, both learned to dance.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It&rsquo;s also where Soung San, who&rsquo;s playing this music, heard traditional Cambodian songs for the first time.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I felt like I was floating on air, I had no bones whatsoever, no skeleton whatsoever in my body, I felt like I was floating like a fish, floating in air in this case,&quot; San said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He says his jaw dropped.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I asked my dad, please introduce me to music. I want to know more, I want to learn more, and so he did,&quot; San said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Before the war, his father, Bun San, had made musical instruments as a young monk. So he cut wood from a jackfruit tree and made his son his very first instrument.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Through the&nbsp; association&rsquo;s Anneth Houy, who translated all the Cambodian conversations, Bun San said: &quot;Before he left, he saw a lot of killings. It's hard to see that many people died. When so many people were killed in a certain country, what happened to their heritage? So it's important for the survivors to carry on to that culture.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>That&rsquo;s just what father and son did when they came to Chicago. They started teaching at the Cambodian Association along with the Kongs. They all became master musicians and dancers here in the U.S., and Bun San is recognized as a master instrument maker too.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>They&rsquo;re ensuring that Cambodian songs and dances, traditionally performed for temple rituals, weddings or before the royal court, live on.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Bun San started out by playing along to cassette tapes. But he wanted to get better and spread that knowledge to his son. San began traveling to other states and taking lessons from surviving masters.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;When I got those notes, I passed it along to my son, and he would continue learning from those notes, and now he knows more than me,&quot; San said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On the second floor, over the museum, his son, Soung San, counted out the beat. Two girls stood by a row of computers, ready to jump in and sing. They belted out the song. An older girl made a face at them. Her sister socked her in the arm and kept singing.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In the basement, several teens learned stylized dance moves from Sareth Kong.&nbsp; Even though they&rsquo;re far from Cambodia, their heritage will always be part of them, and it&rsquo;s important to pass it on, Kong said. But there are challenges.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Younger generation now doesn&rsquo;t fully understand the Cambodian language, so to communicate certain hand or feet gestures, it&rsquo;s difficult for me,&quot; she said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>There&rsquo;s a generation gap, too, between survivors, their children and grandchildren.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;The older generation emphasized that we learn English, that we fit in with the English-American society, so they don&rsquo;t really emphasize about the Cambodian society and the Cambodian culture,&quot; said Navi Thach, 20.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Thach said she&rsquo;s lucky. Her mother did talk about the importance of the temple and the rituals of music and dance.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Other youth, they kind of gradually go on in their own way, they become more involved in the modern society,&quot; she said. &quot;I really wish they would have this interest that I have for our culture because it really is unique, you won&rsquo;t see anything else like it. There really is nothing as unique and special as the Cambodian culture.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="">Many in the Cambodian community share Thach&rsquo;s belief that passing down the culture is essential.</span> <span style="">When the Cambodian Association had to delay these classes and lay off some staff due to the economy recently, the community rallied.</span> <span style="">Parents pledged funding, and master musicians and dancers volunteered to teach for free.</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="">They figure if they teach 100 students, and find one or two like Navi Thach, they&rsquo;ll have mentors for the next generation.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="">Lynette Kalsnes, WBEZ.</span></div><p><em>Master Soung San performs on a Roneat Ek, a Cambodian instrument that looks like a xylophone placed on top of an ornate wooden cradle. Different mallets give the instrument two very different sounds:<br /></em></p><p>&nbsp;<audio class="mediaelement-formatter-identified-1328076202-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-february/2011-02-09/roneat-ek-2-web.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></div><p><strong><br /></strong></p></p> Wed, 09 Feb 2011 18:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/actor/cambodian-arts-nearly-destroyed-genocide-find-new-life-chicago Global Activism: Young Chicagoan helps Cambodia’s NGOs become more transparent and efficient http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/global-activism-young-chicagoan-helps-cambodia%E2%80%99s-ngos-become-more-transparent-and-e <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/DIAL.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Each Thursday&nbsp; we hear about an individual who&rsquo;s decided to work to make the world a better place.</p><p>At age 21, Allie Hoffman left Chicago for Cambodia, where she started <a href="http://thepariproject.com/" target="_blank">The Pari Project.</a> The organization works with NGOs to help them raise funds, become more transparent and improve their services.&nbsp; Most of their work is based in Cambodia but they also have projects in Africa.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 13 Jan 2011 16:51:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/global-activism-young-chicagoan-helps-cambodia%E2%80%99s-ngos-become-more-transparent-and-e