Dad Will Never Fly a Kite for Me







Sorya Sim


When I was young, my father used to fly a kite for me. But now I don’t have him anymore. Last year, I gazed through the window, watching other fathers flying kites for their children. It was the time when people were playing with kites at Independence Monument in Phnom Penh. At times I saw national police try to stop the people from playing. Some of my friends said the park should be protected for its beauty, while others argued that the players should be free to use it. The argument droned on, but I turned away quietly to another window, where I recalled my mother’s words telling me that my daddy loved me very much, as I was the last child and that occasionally, he was so interested in flying a kite for me that his sarong would slip. Now I am thirty-two. I can still remember his face and the place where we played with kites, all still clear in my memory. The place was called Baraing Village,  a provincial town in Battambang.


The day I realized I would have no more chance to play with a kite with my daddy again was the day when my mother caught my hand firmly, her other hand holding a basket of areca palm fruits. I was the shortest of the children there. It was so crowded that the paths could not be seen. My mother told me my father was enraged by the way the Khmer Rouge soldiers had forced him to stop using his motorbike, and that she had tried to calm him down. My father decided to take the wheels off the motorbike and convert them into a cart for carrying and storing personal luggage. The motorbike body was left behind in the vicinity of Ta An School, located on thee Sangke River approximately ten kilometers from Baraing Village. We had reached Snao Village, and my father had been quiet since the motorbike had been taken.  He had stopped eating much, and was beginning to be very sick. While I was blowing away cotton as a game, I heard my mother shouting in panic, “Your father is dead!” My mother recounted how my father had died shortly after a physician removed a syringe from his body.


I do not want to see the game of kite flying any longer, as it makes me so mournful that I cannot work, thinking of the happy life with my parents that the Khmer Rouge deprived me of. Nothing can remedy the loss of happiness in my life and my family. In my capacity as a researcher of the history of Democratic Kampuchea, I only want to help my father’s soul to rest in peace, and identify those who were the genuine leaders that got him killed-to record the true history and work towards justice, so that the genocide will never return.








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