Saw a terrific student play, "Angkor/America," at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center tonight. I went with Dean, my friend Lynn, who is a nurse at our clinic, and my friend Ly Sieng, who is the Cambodian interpreter at our clinic. The actors were students from local schools, ages 6-14. Most of them were Cambodian, or mixed heritage, and they danced and sang and acted the story of Cambodian cultural and political history. It was very simply but very well done. I loved the traditional Cambodian dancing, with gold and red and green shimmering costumes, the curving hand movements, the bamboo poles clapping together. Especially one dance where the dancers reach their fingertips into a little bowl, and flick imaginary holy water upon the audience. Just lovely.
Though it was a student production, the play was quite intense, especially the parts about Pol Pot and the killing fields. I was worried a little about Ly Sieng, who actually lived through the Pol Pot labor camps in real life, and was softly crying in her aisle seat. She said later it was hard, but it was good to watch, and she was happy to see the younger generation not forgetting. She is a strong woman, in her 60's now, and after the show she went up to the teacher who directed it and thanked him.
Work early tomorrow, and then another week of call. And then . . .