Second-generation - Kevy Chea SOC 4 M Lo 02 December 2016...

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Kevy Chea SOC 4 M. Lo 02 December 2016 Second-Generation Identity One can argue that it is harder for second generation immigrants struggle to find their identity more so than 1st or 1.5-generation immigrants. This is because they’re already immersed in the culture since birth and they have the privilege to decide whether they want to balance between their cross-cultural identities or completely abandon one. It is a valid struggle for second-generation individuals that can either make or break them, and in this interview, Marcella sat down for an hour interview at a local hidden coffee shop to share her struggles with her self-identity as a second-generation immigrant. Marcella sat down politely in a wobbling chair across from me, sitting with such a proper stature, despite the fact that she is a fellow peer of mine. This is how she has always carried herself. My immediate thought was to question whether this had to do with her cultural identity. “You’re so gentle,” I say half-jokingly. She smiles shyly and so begins our interview. Marcella describes her parents’ history as “unique” because “not many knows about this history because it isn’t mentioned in American textbooks”. She explains further that her parents survived the Cambodian genocide that occurred during and after the Vietnam War. It is, as she put, “shadowed beneath the Vietnam War, since it’s typical of America, likes to clump everything together unless it’s about America”. Marcella does not ask too much about her parents’ past to avoid bringing up triggering moments. Her mother was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder upon
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arrival of the United States following the Cambodian genocide. What she knows is that her parents grew up in separate refugee camps. Her mother’s camp was bombed, and raided by the Khmer communist soldiers and she escaped and made it safely to another camp where Marcella’s father stayed. Within the year, Marcella’s oldest brother was born, however, sadly, that camp was also raided by soldiers. Marcella notes that these raids were to capture people, and kill them. To get a deeper perspective on how massive this genocide was, about 2.5 million people were taken and killed during this regime, which is a third of the entire country’s population. Marcella’s parents were captured, and tortured. She recalls as a child, she would notice physical scars on her parents’ skin. Her father has 6 even circles on his stomach, that came from the soldiers pressing their cigarette into his abdomen. Marcella’s mother and newly born child was taken elsewhere,
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