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Activity 2: Customs and Culture

Read the short story "Dara's Cambodian New Year", by Sothea Chiemruom (found in the Cambodia kit). This book compares the life of an adult Cambodian with the life of a Cambodian child.

1. Ask students why Dara and his family were forced to leave Cambodia.

2. Discuss the feelings Lokta had about leaving Cambodia and living in America.

3. Discuss similarities and differences between the climates, customs, and cultures of Cambodia and the United States.

4. Briefly review Buddhism.

5. Compare languages across countries.

6. Introduce Pol Pot as the communist leader who promoted the war- Show cover of book titled "Pol Pot", by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (found in the kit).

7. In addition to showing the cover of Pol Pot book, show students pictures of Cambodia before and after the war found on pages 12 and 15.

Note: The Teacher's Guide for Dara's Cambodian New Year is filled with excellent follow-up activities and ways to integrate Cambodia across the curriculum.