Phylypo Tum of the Cambodian Humanitarian Organization for Peace on Earth, known as C-HOPE, hosts the spelling contest at the Khmer Language Gala.
The Khmer Culture Preservation Gala provides Cambodian children an opportunity to display their knowledge of language and culture, and to compete for cash prizes. The gala is hosted and sponsored by community and business leaders as a way to promote the development and retention of the Khmer language and culture in Long Beach. At these events, young Cambodians are introduced to key culture bearers and elders in the community, and meet young Cambodian professionals who can serve as role models.
As reports from survivors of the Khmer Rouge atrocities leaked out to reporters and were published in the New York Times in July 1975, Cambodians from Long Beach and the surrounding area organized a protest in front of the United Nations building in downtown Los Angeles.
LOST BOYZ: Deporting the Cambodian Diaspora
After escaping the long war and the Khmer Rouge genocide, hundreds of Cambodian refugees reached safety in America, only to wind up, decades later, deported to a land many never even knew. Cambodian refugees got caught up in reforms dating to 1996, designed to clear courts, prisons and holding cells of undocumented immigrants and foreign criminals. To speed deportations, the new codes removed appeals, hearings, and reconsiderations. The Cambodians presented a quandary for a variety of reasons. First off, they weren’t undocumented immigrants at all, but refugees invited to America with ‘permanent resident’ status.