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Music of the Ghosts


A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of...
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Discuss Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner:
Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

Created: 03/28/18

Replies: 19

Posted Mar. 28, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

One of Yaya's family comments "[W]e don't know our own history…Oh, we know, but we'd rather not! We choose to forget." Do you think this attitude is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?


Posted Apr. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 64

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RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

Forgetting is hurtful. If it happened, we must always remember and try to learn from it, as difficult as it is.


Posted Apr. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 211

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RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

My husband and I were in Siem Reap several years ago. The people are warm, friendly, kind upbeat, despite that most had lost all or some of their families. So I have to say forgetting has been of benefit to them. Other cultures, such as those persecuted under the Nazis believe it’s important to remember and I can understand how we need to remember to try not to repeat our mistakes. I don’t believe there’s a right answer


Posted Apr. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RuthEh

Join Date: 07/31/17

Posts: 15

RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

Not forgetting history is so important, whether specifically or generally. Everyone benefits from history, to remind ourselves of the horrors of war, the inhumanity to people and cultures and the breakdown of societies. Our world needs to remember and learn from past events. Suterra is among the thousands and thousands who have suffered. To know is so much better that to not. I feel she got peace of mind knowing, which is helpful.


Posted Apr. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

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RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

How can the people who lost so much forget. I believe they need to get on with their lives and find some happiness. We all need to remember the horrors of war and reach out to other countries with love and caring.


Posted Apr. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 324

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RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

I think there's a difference between forgetting history and forgetting what one has personally experienced. There was so much pain and so much guilt spread throughout the culture that I think most Cambodians needed to look beyond it and in a sense forget what had happened.

I think it's interesting that this seems different to me than other situations where a country kills its own citizens, like the Armenian genocide or the Holocaust. I guess it seems a lot more random, like a temporary insanity that spread throughout the culture, than something planned and systematic, and so different rules apply.


Posted Apr. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 172

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RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

It may seem helpful, even necessary to forget the horrors in order to keep your sanity. But deep down I don't believe they ever forgot. It is necessary to remind the next generations of the truth so that they will find better solutions to conflicts.


Posted Apr. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lois Irene

Join Date: 01/20/16

Posts: 45

RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

What a thought provoking question. Certainly people have to forget on some level the atrocities that they witnessed or they would be unable to function. Life requires one to move forward and with that moving forward, things do have to be left behind.
What is important is that lessons be learned from the horror and that the lessons are productive ones, that empower the individuals and help them enjoy their lives.
I have always wondered how people of these war torn areas find the strength to move ahead and embrace what is coming. It must take a great deal of strength. I am also sure that many individuals cannot do it and succumb to mental illness.


Posted Apr. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 169

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RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

One must always remember the past if they don't want to relive it again. The concentration camps in Germany and Europe are a reminder of what evil can do. Yet, there are people who clam the holocaust never happened! One must never deny or forget the truth of the past.


Posted Apr. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sweeney

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 87

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RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

I think that on an individual basis...the choice must be made personally, in order to survive and function. However, collectively, the history is important, to be able to understand and appreciate and prevent it from happening again.


Posted Apr. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 215

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RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

There's a balance needed here. One must forget enough to be able to cope, while remembering enough to keep from repeating the horror. Perhaps the forgetting can be done on an individual level, but collective remembering is important it's called history.


Posted Apr. 05, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 193

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RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

I don't think that anyone truly forgets, for often remnants and reminders of what happened remain. Those remnants and reminders can prove helpful and hurtful; nevertheless, they are always there.


Posted Apr. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annl

Join Date: 04/03/17

Posts: 25

RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

As a mainstream white American, it is hard to identify. But never forget. And learn from it.


Posted Apr. 07, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 235

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RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

I am not sure the Cambodians have forgotten, especially those who lost entire families as did Tun. Yes my neighbor found the people to be friendly and upbeat, but should it not be better to learn from it?


Posted Apr. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 311

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RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

I don't believe that the individual ever forgets. However, I do believe that in order to move on, they must wrap up the memory and place it somewhere safe in their mind. These memories are often brought to the surface by the sound of music or the scent of a certain flower. Cambodians, as a whole should remember what happened to their country so they can prevent it from ever happening again. History has too often heard the words "but I didn't know'.


Posted Apr. 09, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darleneg

Join Date: 02/15/18

Posts: 7

RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

This is an evocative question. Again there is a delicate line between learning from and holding on to, healing or retribution/revenge, and so on. Also when I read "war-torn" I immediately thought of when and how has been or is the U.S. war-torn? It is always easier to have answers for others. Seeking a path of love is the hardest and probably the easiest too.


Posted Apr. 09, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 235

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RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

I agree that it is necessary to honestly remember history. We all think of the past in different ways depending on how it affected us. I didn't know is not a good answer but knowing does not mean believing the past. That is a problem here today and may also be in Cambodia.


Posted Apr. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janb

Join Date: 06/27/11

Posts: 15

RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

My sense is that it is both. Those who have lived through genocides and killings within their own country, must create a space between what happened and the present in order to move forward. They have their "places" of remembrance that they can visit, but need the emotional space, what we term as "forgetting" to truly be present in the world around them.
Those who are not involved, but complicit by not "acting against", are the people who must never forget. A complicated piece for those who are separated generationally, but part of those who were complicit in action or silence.


Posted Apr. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 323

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RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

We were in Cambodia a few years ago. While there, we visited the Killing Fields. I hope no one ever forgets that type of horror. Hopefully we learn from the past. I think its important to move forward but not forgey.


Posted Apr. 18, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
donnag

Join Date: 04/18/18

Posts: 3

RE: Do you think choosing to forget is helpful or hurtful for the Cambodians? Is the same true of other war-torn nations?

Choosing to forget may be helpful in that it provides for a certain degree of functionality, moving on- which is a triumph against the depraved perpetrators. However, in the long run it is not beneficial to humanity to forget the atrocities and the victims. We must never forget the evil that created the killing fields, the concentration camps, the mass graves.


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