In the beginning when Bang’s family was in
that town, no one forced them to farm because they did not know
how to farm. So they started out following other people in chopping
wood. Slowly, the work became harder where it was required to carry
mud, dig paths for pipes, and farm. Bang’s family lived there
until 1979, which is when the Khmer Rouge was over-thrown by the
Vietnamese. The whole family went back to Phnom Penh with the Vietnamese
protecting them all the way. After staying in Phnom Penh for five
months, Bang’s family went to Vietnam.
Bang had many events that he still remembers
deeply. Here is one.
During the four years in that town. Bang
was once sick and went into the hospital. There was not enough food
for everyone, so a boy a bit younger than Bang asked if he would
come with him to ask the vice-director for more food. Bang said
sure, as he was still hungry himself, and so they went. But the
vice-director told them that there was no rice or food left. Bang
and that boy had no choice but to leave. When Bang and that boy
went to the vice-director, every patient saw them with plates and
spoons. They were afraid to be laughed at by those patients since
they did not get any food, so the boy suggested that they wait until
everyone is asleep then go back to their beds. The vice-director
had ordered a ten-year-old girl to listen to what they were talking
about. The girl told the vice-director, but said that that Bang
and the boy had said that they will wait until all the doctors are
asleep and will kill them all.
The vice-director immediately called
the Khmer Rouge soldiers and arrested Bang and that boy. They were
tied up by six soldiers and asked separately what the two of them
were talking about. The soldiers did not believe Bang and the boy
that they were only talking about the patients being asleep. The
soldiers decided to hang the two of them. The boy was so scared
that he could not walk, so he was beaten. Bang saw that and told
himself that he would not want to get beaten before he dies, so
he walked fast. The soldiers said that he was walking too fast and
looked like he wanted to run away, so Bang had to walk slowly.
They finally arrived at a Khmer Rouge
station. The leader of those soldiers told them to not beat or kill
Bang and the boy yet. When the leader questioned the girl, he found
out that it was just a mistake, so Bang and the boy were released.
After coming to the U.S., Bang has never
been back to Cambodia, and he does not plan to go back right now.
If there is a chance later, he might go back and visit. <<Back
Personal Interview: Mr. Huynh, Date:
July 29, 2003