Arn Chorn-Pond

by Diana from San Diego

Arn Chorn-Pond (
Arn Chorn-Pond (

When you hear the words Khmer rouge, for some people its automatically bad, but there was one Khmer rouge that was different. Arn Chorn-Pond is a family guy. His family kept him alive. Wishing that when the war was over; when everything was over, he could see his aunt, his sisters, and brother. Yes, he would get a lot of flashbacks of them and it would hit him. But he knew if he wanted to see them again he would have to store them in his heart and show no emotion. If he shows any emotion, he dies. Arn was a smart boy, while he was young he found ways to get money, and have more. So he was kind of doing the same with this. If he did something for them and gambled his talent, they would treat him well. After being in the U.S for quite a while, Arn decided to go back to Cambodia to help teens. He now wants to start a program that supports Cambodian music survivors. He wants to bring back all the old Cambodian music that was heard of before the Khmer rouge. One of the important places for my hero was the Khmer rouge camp, which is where he found his strength and himself. During those long 4 years he found ways to keep himself alive and still try and help other kids too by sneaking some rice to them. A hero must possess the ability to reach out to anyone in need and always be there to support people. Heroes must not say what they're doing, they show what they're doing. Arn Chorn-Pond is a hero because he is brave and intelligent.

Arn Chorn-Pond is brave because he was different than all the Khmer Rouge. This article explains how Arn felt while living in the harsh conditions of the Khmer rouge. "Arn explains that "never fall down" is a phrase he used to tell himself repeatedly.(Penh) "Even working in the rice field if I fall down, just stumble in the rice field with the mud, if I step in the rice field and fall down once, just once, you will never get up," (Arn explained)." He is brave because no matter what happened he was always tough. He showed no emotion, because he knew showing no emotion would get him somewhere. He never gave up on what he believed; he helped other kids in the camp. He became good friends with the Khmer rouge soldiers. He stopped some kids from suffering. The bravest thing I thought my hero did was run away. He ran away from the little Khmer Rouge group he was in. He seeked to find help, and thanks to that, he found help. But he didn't leave Cambodia forever, he still comes back to help and support other survivors that are also in need of help. Arn explains how he came to be"Khmer rouge" in this article. ".I was caught with thousands of other children who were tall enough to carry guns. And if you don't take the gun, I saw the commando shoot kids."(Staff). He was brave enough to take that gun and go for anything they told him to do. The kids were bait for the Khmer rouge, after they went, the Khmer rouge were after the kids that were in the front. And they would kill the Vietnamese after the Vietnamese shot the kids. Arn was always the one who was first, but somehow he didn't end up dying like all of his other friends.

".Arn Chorn-Pond sits with his eyes closed, exhaling as his fingers dart along his bamboo flute. There was a time when playing the flute was, to him, a matter of survival."Arn is an intelligent person because he knew what to do while the Khmer rouge where there. He was ahead of the game. If they asked for any volunteers to do something, he was there. The flute job came out as a success because he became famous in "the Khmer rouge lifestyle". He didn't know how to play the flute but that didn't matter. Khmer Rouge can't kill famous people, so he learned the flute fast and that got him where he is today. "So I raised my hand to be a musician, to play, and they gave me more food. I started with five other kids. Three kids didn't succeed playing. They were playing slower than us and ended up in the mango grove. My first teachers were also killed" (Staff). He didn't even know how to play an instrument. But the mango grove means killing. The mango grove is a place where the Khmer rouge soldiers take professionals and kill them either because they know too much or they aren't good to work. And he knew if he didn't do something worth not being killed. He knew he would die in those camps and he needed to see his family. He "tried out" to be a musician and if you didn't know how to play you would go to the mango grove where 3 kids and 2 of his music teachers were going to.

Arn is brave and intelligent. Arn Chorn-Pond inspires me and many other people because he literally went through hell. He had to kill at the age of 12. He protected other kids like they were his own when he was 10. He didn't only look out for him and his family; he also looked out for others in his band group, his teachers and also a Khmer rouge soldier whose name was Sombo. He sees the bad and also the good. When one of his close friends was dying he would give up the little rice he had to give it to him. He has gone through so many loved ones deaths. After all Arn has been through he still stands in front of an audience and talks about everything that happened there. I'm sure i wouldn't want to talk about anything that happened because that would mean, reliving it. But Arn doesn't tell his story for sympathy; he just wants people to know what is going on in Cambodia or what went on. Arn is more than anything strong. He went through all that and he is still here inspiring other people. Not many human beings would be able to support any of what he did. He taught me never to give up on anything. And anytime people want to give up on something that they are having trouble with, don't let them give up remember these words, never fall down, because when someone falls down they won't get up.

Works Consulted "Friends Without A Border's Gala Honors Cambodian Genocide Refugee and Peace Activist." PR Newswire 4 Apr. 2012. Biography in Context. Web. 29 Jan. 2014. Glatzer, Jocelyn. "POV." PBS. PBS, 22 July 2003. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. "KHMER ROUGE LABOR CAMP SURVIVOR LEARNS TO CRY." States News Service29 May 2012. Biography in Context. Web. 29 Jan. 2014 "Biography: Arn Chorn Pond." Home. Facing History and Ourselves, 2014. Web. 05 Feb. 2014. Staff, NPR. "'Never Fall Down': Surviving The Killing Fields." NPR. NPR, 19 May 2012. Web. 06 Feb. 2014. "Arn Chorn-Pond / Cambodia | View from the Pier." View from the Pier. Peer to Pier, 29 July 2011. Web. 06 Feb. 2014.

Page created on 11/8/2014 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 11/8/2014 12:00:00 AM

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