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KLVH-CMONICA Interview Part 1

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Moderator: Hi Mak. Hi. Moderator: Um... so... Moderator: Um... Moderator: Can you tell me a little bit about your family growing up? Moderator: About your mom, Moderator: and your dad Moderator: and your brothers and sisters? Okay. Moderator: Wait... I guess... your name first? Moderator: Kay, Hi Mak! Hi. Moderator: Can you say your name? Yeah. Uh....my name, Jesri, they call me. Him. Yeah. So, after, I get citizen... So I... change my name. I put my name like, a, Monica. Chum. I get last name from Pa. Moderator: Why did you change your name? Because if Him, the people always... When, my supervisor, they hiring me, uh, the manager ask, "You told me its a girl." "Why you say him?" And, then, she say, "That's a Her, but," "its a Him." So I decided to change my name. Yeah. Moderator: So, can you tell me a little bit about your childhood? Moderator: About your brothers and sisters Moderator: and your parents? Yes. Moderator: How many brothers and sisters do you have? Actually, I, I know it, my mom have 10. Moderator: 10? Monica: Yeah. But, 2, they pass away, when, the war, it teenager, when, she pass away. And another one, it, I think, from maybe, yeah... Moderator: What were...were you the youngest? Moderator: Of all? Monica: Yeah. Called the youngest. Talking about the girl in the family. Moderator: The youngest girl of our family? Monica: Yeah... Mmhmm. Yeah. Moderator: So... Moderator: Um, were your parents... Moderator: pretty strict or? Moderator: What was it? Monica: Yeah. Actually, my mom very strict. Uh, yeah... We have a very strict family. Yeah. So, we have more sisters or brothers. So, when we go somewhere, my mom or my dad, have to decide. Which one can go. Which one can stay home. So... Sometime, they pick, like a, how many go with her, with them. You know? How many have to stay home. So we have no idea. What you want to go. Monica: You know? Moderator: Mmhmm. Except, they decide. Which one to bring with them. Yeah. Moderator: What did your parents do? Uh, actually my parents, they kind of, businessmen. But they, it kind of, up to, like, a, they have more land. They have farm. Yeah. Moderator: Did you say they have plantations? Moderator: and.... Monica: Yeah, uh huh. Moderator: Banana? Yeah, they had different, a, banana farm. They have a pineapple farm. They have a mango farm. So, we call... side of the mom, kind of, they call, kind of rich. Yeah. Moderator: What's the name of the village? Moderator: What's the name of the village? It's a, they call, Preh Prah Sok. Moderator: Preh Prah Sok? Yeah. Moderator: Was that a big village? Uh... it kind of, it just, not, a big big. Yeah. but it kind of. Yeah, its, not that small. Moderator: So you were, Moderator: you were pretty wealthy? Moderator: Didn't you have servants or... Yeah, we have. Yeah, the people, to... inside the house. Yeah. to help clean, to help take care, the kids, you know? Because, we kind of have, big family. And my mom, and my dad, always, you know? Not inside the house. Yeah, they have, like a, what they call, the royal age, you know? They I don't, Khmer factory, or something. Moderator: Rice Mill... Yeah, Rice Mill. Yeah, a, So my dad, usually, leave in the morning, when he wake up. Yeah. He go to eat breakfast and then, he bring some breakfast for kid. Yeah. Before I, miss, before he went to the... Yeah. The... what they call? They call, rice. Yeah. And, my mom, usually, she, like a take care, the farm. Like a, the farm, its not like a, she have to run someone, to do it, the farm. You know? Actually, she never do by herself. So, she just, you know, hire someone to, yeah, to, do all the stuff. So, like, Mak, Mak just go to school, and come back home. I just help the parents, like a, sometime, on Sunday or, on Saturday, I have go to help my dad. Just, you know, the people come from, like a, the, the farm. They come serve the, the rice for you. And you stay with you know, later on, you send to. You sell to. The, yeah... City, yeah. Moderator: So you... Monica: Like a big city. Yeah. Moderator: So, how many brothers did you have then? Moderator: You said there's 10. Monica: Yeah. Moderator: How many brothers were there? Moderator: And how many sisters? Brother, okay. I have 4 br....brothers. And 6 sisters. Moderator: Oh wow. Monica: Yeah Moderator: Okay. Moderator: And...did you have any childhood memories Moderator: Like did you guys play games and stuff? Moderator: Or? Yeah, we usually, you know, we usually in the family. We, you know, like each other a lot. We take care each other. Because, you know, if, the other one do mistake, the mom, you all, get trouble. So, we have to remind each other. Moderator: Mmhmm. Monica: Yeah. Moderator: Who are you closest with? Moderator: Out of your brothers and sisters? Yeah, I close to, my one brother, and like uh, and, my sister, here. Uh, Socheata Mom, yeah. And one more brother, Yeah. Moderator: The brother in California? No, actually, the one that pass away. Two that pass away. Yeah. So, we close. Sometime, we went to, we always went to movie together. When we, you know, after '70, like a, when Khmer, Its not Khmer Rouge or Kapie yet, but, it start to become a war. Yeah, after '70. So, my parents and all the kids go to stay in Phnom Penh. Yeah. Moderator: So, your, when the war broke out, Moderator: your parents sent all the kids to Moderator: Phnom Penh then? Monica: Yeah. Monica: Because they.... Moderator: To stay or? You know, Hourt Too's brother, still in school, but, Mak, it, Mak, already quit school. So... because on that time, that, Red, you know, Khmer Rouge, gonna, because we have war... holiday, yeah. So we afraid, gonna, something gonna happen... So... they just send a kid, go to, Phnom Penh. Moderator: So your parents didn't go with you? Eh, uh, on the time, my mom and my dad, still over there. Moderator: In your village? Yeah, in the village. Moderator: Preh Prah Sat? Monica: Yeah. No, in the Preh Prah Sop. Moderator: Okay. But, for a while, they look at situations. Its a real bad. When you know, when Khmer Rouge, thought, you know, it fight one time. Yeah. In Preh Prah Sop. And then, my dad and my mom... It, all, come, to live in Phnom Penh. Yeah. Moderator: So... Moderator: How long did you live in Phnom Penh then? Yeah, we live in Phnom Penh until '75. Moderator: When the Khmer Rouge took over? When, occupied by Khmer Rouge. So... the day that, Khmer Rouge go in, we thought its okay. Yeah. First time, everybody happy. Yeah. In early morning, like at 7 o' clock, we open the door, and then we see, you know, the people singing, you know? Laughing, because they, yell at each other, they say, "Okay," "Now, the war is end." Yeah. Every people so exciting. And you know, very happy. But, after one or two dray... two day, we know, is, something wrong. Something going on. Moderator: How did you know... Monica: Yeah. Moderator: something was wrong? Because, the soldier come knock the door, and say, "Get out the house!" Yeah. So we know it. Yeah. Moderator: So did they come into your house? Moderator: when they knock the door? Monica: They come every house. They knock the door and they say, "Okay." "Just get out the house." They try to clean up everything. They say, maybe, like a... They talking about, you know, before, they always think, "Americans." Yeah. They say, "They try to find," You know. "Just get out from the house." They think maybe, American people is there, you know? Yeah. But actually, they, want you to get out from the house. They have their plan. They want you to go out, to the city, go to the, you know, outside the town. Yeah. And first time, they told, yeah, we try to stay in the house, maybe one or two night. First time. After that, we know it something, maybe, is not normal. Moderator: So hide in the house? Yeah we hide in the house. Moderator: And they would come knock on the door? And then, later on, come knock the door again. He ask my dad. He say, you know, he call, like a, what they call... they call, If the old people over there, they call Tah. They said, "You wanna get out of the house" "Or you don't?" "If you don't. You're gonna die here." "In the house." Yeah. They point the gun at my dad. Moderator: So... Yeah. Moderator: is that your.... Moderator: So, you are altogether, Moderator: with family, Moderator: and then they evacuated you? Monica: Uh, we... we altogether and with my sister, actually it, uh, Cheata ha.... mom. Yeah, on the time. That our sister, we separate. Because, you know... Yeah, I stayed with her mom. And my dad, my mom, and, my grandmom. Yeah. Moderator: So... Moderator: So you were with your mom, Moderator: Your grandma and your dad, Moderator: Uh, Om Sei.... Monica: Yeah. Moderator: And nobody else? Om Sei and then... Bang Poh... Moderator: Okay. Yeah. Moderator: And, where were the rest of your brothers and sisters? The rest, you know, that uh, Leakhena mom... Moderator: Mmhmm. She went to stay at her cousin's, house. Because on that time, they say, over there, it kind of sad, they have like a, what they call, they call a, villa. They have, basement. So they can, when they can stay in basement, you know, Moderator: Everybody's there. Monica: Yeah. Mmhmm. And, my two brothers, and, he stay in another house, in, like uh, what they call, they call close to Wat Swey Pruh Preh. Yeah. Moderator: What is that? They stay in the building, they call, the building, the house, or you know, that the bank, worker, they live in there. Yeah. Moderator: Okay. So my two brothers stay over there. Yeah. And, actually, we went with another, we get out from the house, with another brother, Om California. They come, he, come to my sister, house, that's Socheata's mom. Because, my mom stay over there, and then, have another grandma. Is a old people. So he welcome to over ha....over here. Yeah, Olympic, they call. Yeah. So we get out from the house together. Yeah, on that time. Moderator: How old were you? I think on the time, I'm 23. Moderator: 23? Monica: Yeah, Uhhmm. Yeah. Moderator: Okay, so... Moderator: they evacuated you guys? Monica: Yeah. Uh huh. Moderator: And, where did they take you guys? They just, they show you where you have to go. Like, they have directions. Like, okay, these people, go this way. Like, a, go, you can go North, only, they point the gun to you, they say, "You go North." So, you to go North. Other people that say "Your direction, you have to go South." You have to go South. Yeah. Moderator: So... Monica: And other people, they point to East, you have to go East. And other people, they point to West, you have to go West. So, me, they point to go South. Or West. So, we go, we left. Moderator: The whole family left? The whole family. The first time, we thought it like a, maybe, we just stay, a little, outside from Phnom Penh. And one or two day, maybe, we come, come back. But actually, it not. Yeah. We stay over there, outside. About two, three day. And later on, they push us, to go far. Yeah. And on the street, you know, the people that sit, like old people, and it hard to move it, they shoot them. They kill them. On the street. Yeah. Moderator: So you saw people get shot Moderator: and stuff? Monica: Yeah. Yeah. So, along the way, you see, the people die on the street. Yeah. And the smell....small people, like a, about, Cameron or Paulina... If you afraid to lose them, to lose them, the parents have to tie, their arm, to go with, so... Moderator: Just tie... Monica: Yeah. Just, tie, cannot, yeah. Because too many people. Maybe you lose your kids, small kids, you know. Monica: Yeah. Moderator: So, how many people Moderator: were like traveling together? Moderator: To this camp, wherever? Umm...that's a lot of people. You know. Just walk, yeah. The people have something to move, you can move. But when outside the town... They, you know, when you have motorcycle, or you have the car, after you run out of gas, that done. You have to carry your own stuff. So how much you can carry, for you survive? Yeah. Yeah. You have a little. Yeah. That you pack a rice, or some dried food, you know, so you can eat. And some clothes, that's all you can bring with you. Yeah.

Video Details

Duration: 17 minutes and 38 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Khmer Legacies
Director: Socheata Poeuv
Views: 114
Posted by: khmer legacies on Feb 6, 2009

First of four parts of an interview with a Cambodian genocide survivor conducted by Khmer Legacies.

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