cambodia: the sacred and ugly of divine rule


[My below post first appeared as a travelogue in Hindustan Times, one of the largest newspapers in India, on 6 March, 2016 in both its print and online editions. The online edition can be read here]

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From Angkor Wat to the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia reveals that civilisations hold within them, both, the seeds of greatness and those of depravity

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cambodia 2: khmer rouge, hell on earth in the 20th century

To fully understand life one needs to understand the good, as well as the bad and the ugly. To fully comprehend the Cambodian psyche, one needs to walk the sacred walkways of Angkor Wat but also understand the Khmer Rouge, and the dent it has made on an entire nation and its people, still stark and painful 28 years after its demise. No Cambodian can be said to be yet entirely free of the madness and brutality of that era. Every single family has had one or more members that died in it. There is a vacantness in the Cambodian spirit which still rattles emptily the echoes of those years, making you doubt humanity itself. Continue reading