Neak Pean is an artificial island featuring a Buddhist temple, in Angkor park, near to Preah Khan temple. It was built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, who ruled the Khmer Empire between the years 1181 and 1218. Historians believe the island was built as a “hospital”, with the design taking inspiration from the mythical Himalayan lake Anavatapta, that was believed to cure illness.
The design features a main pond, connected by four smaller ponds, representing earth, wind, fire and water. It was believed that bathing in these ponds that represent the elements would balance an ill person, and cure their ailment.
This is not related to this blog at all but I’m doing this anyway.
Angelina Jolie has directed and produced a film called ‘First They Killed My Father’ which shows the horrors of the Khmer Rogue regime. The movie is made up of a Khmer cast and it will be in Khmer.
When my father heard about this film, he immediately said “we have to see it.” This film is personal to many Cambodians, but this is very personal to my father because not only was he a child during the regime and experienced it himself, they really did kill his father–my grandfather–and he was separated from his mother and siblings. It is guaranteed that there are many just like my father out there.
I am so, so grateful for Angelina Jolie for doing this for the Cambodian people. The regime shaped the country and I am glad that it’s finally getting noticed, and not getting glossed over. I may not be alive during the regime and therefore I can’t relate but as a Cambodian, this film is dear to my heart. It’s a way to tell the whole world about what the past generation experienced, and why the country is like it is today.