BYU professors and students are gathering stories from survivors of life under the Khmer Rouge regime (1975–79) that killed nearly 2 million Cambodians.
Because the Cambodian community relies on oral rather than written histories, many of these stories were dying with the people who lived them. But Dana Bourgerie, professor of Asian and Near Eastern languages at BYU, and a team of dedicated students are changing that through the Cambodian Oral History Project. The group has collected and cataloged nearly 5,000 interviews to preserve survivors’ stories.
“There is an urgency to get these stories done because [about] one-third of a generation was eliminated during that Khmer Rouge period,” says Bourgerie. “So the stories that remain are going to be lost.”
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