Pheap Thon: Stories From The Khmer Diaspora – KHMER OR KHMAO ENOUGH? Vannary Kong

Resilience. My grandfather use to tell me all the time that we derive from the “Land of the Killing Fields.” Being five years old I did not understand the meaning of the “Land of the Killing Fields.”

My mother used to always tell me that I was created perfectly in the image of God. I have always struggled with my identity. My father is Khmao, but he does not look like your typical African American. My father is a ginger with green eyes, freckles, and the complexion of an oyster pearl. My mother is Khmer. She has long, thick, wavy hair with a curl at the ends, and is short with curvy features and tan skin. I was always known as the ‘cute little mixed girl’ because no one really knew how to classify me. I was tan with thick, dark brown curly hair, and a big smile that can be seen around the world.

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