I read a novel recently about Argentina. This novel made me think. The title is “The Memory Stones” and it was written by Caroline Brothers.
I read a novel recently about Argentina. This novel made me think. The title is “The Memory Stones” and it was written by Caroline Brothers. The novel describes how a father and mother respond to the sudden disappearance of their daughter, Graciela, who was a university student at the time. Graciela was secretly arrested by the military “junta” which seized power after a military coup in Argentina in 1976. The Army Generals overthrew the democratically-elected government. They judged any student activists who helped poor people to be communist revolutionaries who should be eliminated from society.
When I asked the author Caroline Brothers why she tried to record the truth of these historical events in a novel rather than a biography, she replied as follows: “I’d spoken to a lot of people who lived thru these things & felt mistakes would dishonour their experiences. Fiction is often ambiguous about facts, so I wanted readers to know they could trust the historical bones of this book even if the characters were imagined”.
Before this event, Graciela’s family lived happily together even though their country was not rich. In fact, Graciela had kept a secret which she had not yet told her parents. She planned to marry her boyfriend and was already pregnant with his child. Graciela was tortured and killed by the military. She became one of the tens of thousands of “the disappeared” who vanished from Argentina after their secret arrest. Her body was dropped into the ocean at night from a military plane along with so many other bodies. Her boyfriend was also murdered.
However, before she died Graciela gave birth in prison to a baby daughter. Graciela’s daughter was taken by the military officer in charge of the torture and execution of the prisoners and he and his wife raised her as their own child. However the real grandmother and grandfather found out about the baby and spend the next twenty years trying to find her. Their love for their dead daughter kept pushing them to search for their granddaughter. They never give up even when all hope seems lost. The grand-mother died from her efforts. But the granddaughter eventually discovers the truth about her identity. She finds her grandfather and the rest of her true family in the end. This novel moved me so much because it reminded me what a blessing it is to live in a democratic and free society. Whether the society is poor or rich, is not really important.
It is democratic freedom that allows families to live and love in peace. When this freedom disappears, the love of family members for each other is the only force capable of bringing change.
The interesting insight of this autobiography is that these working-class white people seemed to be descendants of the older Scots-Irish immigrants who had settled to farm in the rough Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky in the 18th and 19th centuries.
After Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, I had an animated discussion with a close family friend about his supporters. This family friend has lived in the US for many years and like many immigrants, she supported the Democratic Party. The question we were discussing was why did so many of the white working class vote for Trump? I have since read an autobiography called “Hillbilly Elegy” by JD Vance, who describes his childhood growing up in a poor white working-class family outside a large industrial town in Ohio.
Continue reading “Hillbilly Elegy”
នៅក្នុងអក្សសិលខ្មែររឿងដែលសំដែងទស្សនអប់រំផ្នែកសិលធម៌ទាំងនេះឲច្បាស់ជាងគេគឺ រឿងទុំទាវ។ ទុំជាអ្នកបួសមួយអង្គដែលច្រៀងងពិរោះហើយទាវជានារីស្អាតម្នាក់។ នៅពេលទុំទៅភូមិ ជួបទាវ អក្នទាំងពីរស្រលាញគ្នា។
នៅក្នុងអក្សរសិល្ប៍ខ្មែររឿងដែលសម្តែងទស្សនៈអប់រំផ្នែកសីលធម៌ទាំងនេះឲ្យច្បាស់ជាងគេគឺ រឿងទុំទាវ។ ទុំជាអ្នកបួសមួយអង្គដែលច្រៀងពិរោះហើយទាវជានារីស្អាតម្នាក់។ នៅពេលទុំទៅភូមិជួបទាវ អ្នកទាំងពីរស្រលាញ់គ្នា។ ទុំសឹកហើយទៅជួបទាវដែលស្រលាញ់គាត់ដូចជាប្តីរួចជាស្រេច។
Continue reading “Philosophy of Education in Khmer Literature ទស្សនវិជ្ជាអប់រំខ្មែរ ផ្នែកទី៣”
ទស្សនវិជ្ជាអប់រំខ្មែរត្រូវបានបង្កប់ក្នុងស្នាដៃអក្សរសិល្ប៍ កំណាព្យ រឿងព្រេង អាយ៉ៃ រឿងនិទាន ប្រលោមលោក និងស្នាដៃអក្សារសាស្ត្រជាច្រើនទៀត។
ទស្សនវិជ្ជាអប់រំខ្មែរត្រូវបានបង្កប់ក្នុងស្នាដៃអក្សរសិល្ប៍ កំណាព្យ រឿងព្រេង អាយ៉ៃ រឿងនិទាន ប្រលោមលោក និងស្នាដៃអក្សរសាស្ត្រជាច្រើនទៀត។ ជាបឋម ខ្ញុំសូមតែងសម្មតិកម្មបណ្តោះអាសន្នមួយ ពោលគឺអត្ថន័យនៃទស្សនវិជ្ជាអប់រំនេះ ត្រូវបានមើលឃើញច្បាស់ជាងគេនៅក្នុងរបៀបដោះស្រាយទំនាស់សីលធម៌ដែលផុសឡើងពីដំណើរ ជីវិតយុវជនយុវនារី។
Continue reading “ទស្សនវិជ្ជាអប់រំខ្មែនាសម័យបុរាណ ផ្នែកទី២ Traditional Khmer Philosophy of Education”
តាំងពីចាប់ផ្តើមបង្រៀនគណិតវិទ្យានៅសាកលវិទ្យាល័យភូមិន្ទភ្នំពេញនាឆ្នាំ១៩៩៣មក (ក្រោមការព្រមព្រៀងរវាងក្រសួងអប់រំយុវជន និងកីឡា និងអង្កការ Jesuit Service របស់ខ្ញុំ) ខ្ញុំតែងតែចាប់អារម្មណ៍ចំពោះរបៀបដែលនិស្សិតទាក់ទងជាមួយខ្ញុំក្នុងនាមជាគ្រូរបស់គេ។
Continue reading “Khmer Philosophy of Education? Introduction ទស្សនវិជ្ជាអប់រំខ្មែរ ផ្នែកទី១”
“My church was a bit of a trench, the altar a pile of sandbags. Though we had to stand deep in mud, not knowing the moment a sudden call to arms would come, many a fervent prayer went up to Heaven that morning.”
Continue reading “To Raise the Fallen”
Book Review: Pol Pot, The History of a Nightmare by Philip Short (Published 2004 John Murray)
Philip Short begins his acknowledgements by commenting that “History is to a great extent detective work”. He thanks the many people who helped his “assemble the mosaic of fragments of truths, half-truths and lies” on which the book is based.
Continue reading “History of a Nightmare”
Once while living in a Jesuit community in Ballymun, Dublin, during my theology studies, Michael Paul Gallagher S.J., gave me a present of a book.
Once while living in a Jesuit community in Ballymun, Dublin, during my theology studies, Michael Paul Gallagher S.J., gave me a present of a book. The book was about ‘The Cairngorms’ and described those massive peaks of North-East Scotland. I read the book and I felt the call despite the long list of fatal mountain accidents in that area.
Continue reading “Mountain Mystery”
On Monday the 30th of April 2018, I attended the first screening of an Irish-made documentary about three human rights activists in Cambodia, called ‘A Cambodian Spring‘ in the Irish Film Institute in Dublin.
Continue reading “A Cambodian Springtime”
Welcome to my personal website. My name is Ashley Evans and I am an Irish Jesuit priest on mission in the education sector of Cambodia for the last twenty-five years.
Welcome to my personal website, Gaudium Mundi (Joy of the World).
My name is Ashley Evans and I am an Irish Jesuit priest on mission in the education sector of Cambodia for the last twenty-five years. The primary purpose of this website is to pool information on my experience of education in Cambodia and to share reflections on the challenges it is facing.
Continue reading “Welcome to Gaudium Mundi”