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Forest of StruggleMoralities of Remembrance in Upland Cambodia$
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Eve Monique Zucker

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836115

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836115.001.0001

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The Story of a Village Elder, Part 2

The Story of a Village Elder, Part 2

(p.94) 5 The Story of a Village Elder, Part 2
Forest of Struggle

Eve Monique Zucker

University of Hawai'i Press

In this chapter, the author continues with the story of Ta Kam, whose moral ignorance was allegedly the reason for his betrayal of his neighbors and extended kin during the Khmer Rouge era. Ta Kam's case is emblematic in a number of ways. According to O'Thmaa villagers, Ta Kam's generation committed bad deeds against one another, but he was seen as the sole representative of those deeds. The author considers the motivations that villagers ascribe for Ta Kam's actions and juxtaposes them with his own story. In particular, she examines the choices and decisions of Ta Kam in the civil war years prior to the formal establishment of Democratic Kampuchea. She also discusses the subject of moral judgment as well as the four salient themes of face, patronage, merit, and sacrifice, confining her analysis to Buddhism as it is locally practiced and understood.

Keywords:   moral ignorance, Khmer Rouge, O'Thmaa, civil war, moral judgment, face, patronage, merit, sacrifice, Buddhism

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