When the Khmer Rouge controlled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, the toll wasn't limited to the estimated 1.5 million human lives lost, it was a whole culture. In an effort to return to a simplistic agrarian-based Communist society, the intellectual elite were specifically targeted for "re-education" or even death. Fine arts including weaving, metal work, music, and traditional dance were all but lost.
That's why it was so touching to visit this traditional Khmer dance school, founded by one of the last living traditional dance teachers. As the country rebuilds itself, there is lots of work to be done. Mines to be cleared, roads to be paved, factories and an economy to be rebuilt. But just as important is the education of the children - not just in reading, math, English and the technical skills that will carry Cambodia into the future, but also in the arts that were almost lost forever.Related Links
Passports With Purpose - We're Building a School in Cambodia!
Apsara Dance: Traditional Khmer Dance-Drama and Dance-Drama Performances
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