Thursday, April 29, 2010
Love and Dread in Cambodia, looks at what she terms ritualcide during the Khmer Rouge years in Cambodia that had such a traumatic impact on Khmer society. It's a pretty specialist area of study looking at weddings, births and the dislocation of rituals that were an integral part of the Khmer make-up. In the launch of her book at Monument Books tonight she spoke passionately about her study, about the loss of courtship as group marriages were arranged under the Khmer Rouge and the absence of traditional rites and practices that were previously the norm amongst the Cambodian population. The emotional scar left behind is almost irreparable, though she also found instances where the new Khmer Rouge orders seemed to provide a sense of stability in an otherwise lost social order.