Kampuchea Krom land now knows as South Vietnam.


On June 04 1949, just before their complete withdrawal from Indochina which included Cambodia, Lao and Vietnam for more than a hundred years; the French government illegally gave the lower part of Cambodia’s land (Kampuchea Krom) to Vietnam.

Shortly thereafter the Vietnamese government took over all Kampuchea Krom land including our homes. They renamed our land to Vietnamese names. All the streets and anything that had a Khmer name were changed to Vietnamese.

They forced all Khmer in Kampuchea Krom to change or convert their Khmer name to Vietnamese. If we can’t convert our Khmer name to Vietnamese then we must choose one of these Vietnamese last names assigned for us, and it didn’t matter if we were blood relatives or not. For example, Khmer Krom from Khleang (Soc Trang),Trapeang ( Tra Vinh), Pov Lieu (Bac Lieu) and Tirk Khmao ( Ca Mau) provinces had their last names changed to either Son,Thach or Kim. Khmer Krom from Karmourn Sor (Kien Giang), Prek Reussey (Can Tho), Long Ho (Vinh Long) and Mott Chrouk (Chau Doc) last names were changed to Danh, Chau or Ly. The same was ordered for Khmer Krom from other provinces. Those Vietnamese last names were for them to easily identify Khmer Krom, and which province we came from.

Vietnam also shut down all Khmer public schools. Any Khmer Krom wanting an education must go to a Vietnamese school. It was difficult adjusting to sudden language changes for the majority of Khmer Krom students who spoke only Khmer. At first, there were large groups Khmer Krom students enrolled in Vietnamese schools, but only a handful hung on, the majority being bi-lingual. The reasons many Khmer Krom students dropped out was because their parents were too poor to buy school supplies and school uniforms, didn't speak Vietnamese, also because they were not able to cope with the unfair treatment, mental and physical abuse from Vietnamese teachers and Vietnamese students. Instead of helping our students over come language barriers, and treating all students equally, many Vietnamese teachers made the situation worse and unbearable for our students to continue their studies. It did not matter how well Khmer Krom students studied it was never good enough. They often insulted the students “ tu.i ba^y ngu ho*n bo`” (you people are dumber than a cow.)

Struggling to preserve our Khmer language on our land, most Khmer Krom parents would send the children, mostly boys, to local temples for study Khmer language from Buddhist monks. The boys usually stayed at the local temple for several months up to years.

June 1949, after the Vietnamese government shut down Khmer schools, they drove Khmer Krom out of homes and businesses from big cities (such as Prey Norko (now know as Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City), to undeveloped land in the countryside. Once our Khmer Krom people moved out the cities, Vietnamese people moved in. Vietnamese took over our homes; our businesses, while our people struggled to survive, starting all over, with only clothes on back and empty hands. During that time, a large group of Khmer Krom villagers fled to Cambodia, hoping for peaceful life on the upper part of our land.

Meanwhile South Vietnamese drafted young Khmer Krom men into military services to fight the North Vietnamese. American’s requested many Khmer Krom soldiers to transfer in their Special Force because not only were Khmer Krom men much taller and stronger than Vietnamese men, Khmer Krom men were also known for being brave warriors, trustworthy and honest. Many Khmer Krom men fought for the American and South Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. Many Khmer Krom lives were lost on our land. Many unsung heroes died silent in Kampuchea Krom. Till today, no sympathy, no monument, no special treatment, and no word ever mention from either American or South Vietnamese that many Khmer Krom soldiers has fought and died for our land in Vietnam War.

On April 1975, in Kampuchea Krom the North Vietnamese took over South Vietnam. Vietnamese communists did the same to Khmer Krom; they forced Khmer Krom to “relocated”, abandon homes and businesses, again. “Move or die!” They ordered. Again, our people packed up, again we left our homes, again we abandoned our businesses so the Vietnamese communists officials and their families could move in, took over our properties, our land that we work so hard over pass twenty years to rebuilt. Many Khmer Krom who used to work with South Vietnamese were captured and imprisoned. Some Khmer Krom were lucky to be alive, free to walk out prison after many years in re-education camp, but many Khmer Krom died in prison from torture, illness and hunger. Some Khmer Krom are still missing since captured by Vietnamese communists back in 1975.

Ironically, on April 1975, in Cambodia, our Khmer Krom people life turned from bad to worst when Khmer Rouge show up. Khmer Rouge also evicted everyone out of the cities, just like Vietnamese government did to Khmer Krom on our land. When Khmer Rouge murdered millions of innocents people, amongst the deaths were mostly Khmer and Khmer Krom.

When Vietnam shut down all Khmer public schools on June 1949 they destroyed all Khmer textbooks in Kampuchea Krom.
When Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia on April 1975, before murders millions Khmer/Khmer Krom, they also destroyed all Khmer textbooks. As result our real Khmer history has been deliberately erased. Not only that the Vietnamese don’t like to tell the world, especially the younger Khmer/Khmer Krom generations, that South Vietnam was Kampuchea Krom, but most newer Khmer history books also failed to mention how Cambodia lost our Kampuchea Krom land to Vietnam on 6-4-1949.

1978, when Vietnamese invaded Cambodia, still fear of Khmer Rouge, many Khmer Krom villagers tried to return to Kampuchea Krom, but were shot by Vietnamese communist soldiers. Thousands of innocent Khmer Krom children and women died on our land. Vietnamese communists denied murdering these innocent Khmer Krom villagers and they blamed it on the Khmer Rouge.

Seeing that return to Kampuchea Krom was too risky, some Khmer Krom have no other choice but trying to build another new life on our upper land, Cambodia. Until, recently some top Cambodian officials decided that Khmer Krom do not have the right to be in Cambodia but real Vietnamese do. They welcome millions Vietnamese come and live freely on our upper land but not Khmer Krom. They said Khmer Krom belong to Kampuchea Krom and all Khmer people in Kampuchea Krom should be considered as Vietnamese, and deported back to South Vietnam. Those sent back went straight to prison and some were never heard from, or seen again.

No word could describe the Khmer Krom pain when seeing people from other countries could get permission to build private schools, homes or businesses on our land, but the rightful landowners, Khmer Krom, we couldn’t even get permission to build a single Khmer public school on our land. More than fifty years went by, still, there is no Khmer public school on Kampuchea Krom since 1949 when Vietnam shut down all Khmer schools.

However, if you go to Cambodia, you will see many Vietnamese businesses, schools and even Vietnamese hospital in Cambodia for millions of Vietnamese who came and stay, since Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1978. You will see many Khmer children couldn’t afford to go to school, many poor Khmer children begging on the streets or scavengers on dump sites struggling to survive. Along the rivers there are so many Khmer people living on boats, dreaming for a piece of our land to call home.

For millions Khmer people in Kampuchea Krom daily life is struggling for survive. Many Khmer Krom live under plastic tents with no windows, doors, running water or electric, many poor Khmer Krom families wonder when the Vietnamese government is going to order them to move again. Wondering when the oppression and hardship will end, a good life seems only to come in dreams; a dream that some day, the Khmer Krom people will be free to live peacefully on our land.

Today, the world is getting to know more about us. Buddha said, “Nothing could be hidden from the truth.” So it is up to you, my Khmer/ Khmer Krom brothers and sisters to learn more of our real history and tell the world the truth that these were our lands.

From Khmer To Vietnamese 1956- 1975 1978-1989 Present time
Prah Suakea Ba Ria Phuoc Tuy Dong Nai Ba Ria
Pov Leu Bac Lieu Bac Lieu Minh Hai Bac Lieu
Kampong Reusey Ben Tre Kien Hoa Ben Tre Ben Tre
Chon watt Tra Peang Bien Hoa Binh Tuy Dong Nai Bien Hoa
Tirk Kmao Ca mau An Xuyen Minh Hai Ca Mau
Prek Reussey Can Tho Phong Dinh Hau Giang Can Tho
Mott Chrouk Chau Doc An Giang An Giang Chau Doc
Koh Traleach Con Son Con Son Vung Tau Con Dao Con Son
Koh Gaung Go Cong Go Cong Tien Giang Go Cong
Peam Ha Tien Kien Giang Kien Giang Ha Tien
Prey Norkor Saigon Saigon Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City
Peam Pareaji Long Xuyen Long Xuyen An Giang Long Xuyen
Mee Psar My Tho Kien Tuong Kien Tuong Tien Giang
Kok Tral Phu Quoc Phu Quoc Phu Quoc Phu Quoc
Kar Mourn Sor Rach Gia Kien Giang Kien Giang Kien Giang
Psar Dek Sa Dec Kien Phong Dong Thap Sa Dec
Khleang Soc Trang Ba Xuyen Hau Giang Soc Trang
Kam Phong Ku Tan An Long An Long An Tan An
Raung Domrey Tay Ninh Tay Ninh Tay Ninh Tay Ninh
Toul Ta Mouk Thu Dau Mot Binh Duong Song Be Thu Dau Mot
Prah Trapeang Tra Vinh Vinh Binh Cuu Long Tra Vinh
Long Ho Vinh Long Vinh Long Cuu Long Vinh Long
Au Kap O Cap Phuoc Tuy Vung Tau Con Dao Vung Tau

Chey Yu Khmer Krom!
Thank you for supporting Khmer Krom!

Chuob knear nov Kampuchea Krom

Mylinh Nakry/6-4-2005


Khmer people suffering on own land

  • Pictures of Khmer children working on dump site, 2005

  • Listen to report in Khmer about Vietnamese living in Cambodia on Sept 11, 2005

  • The Khmer-Krom - Marginalised in Their Own Land 08-22-2005

  • Video reportss on Deforestation."Green Deal-Part 1, 2 and 3." August 18,2005

  • 67 ethnic Khmer from Vietnam seek asylum in Cambodia on August 02,2005

  • Listen to interview with Khmer Krom monk in Vietnamese on August 05,2005

  • Suffering of Khmer Krom Buddhist Monks. May 19, 2005

  • Police Kill 5 Poipet Protesters, March 22, 2005

  • Listen to interview with Khmer Krom on Radio Free Asia.October 27,2004

  • Khmer Krom Texts Barred 10-12-2003

  • Khmer children working on dump site. Sept 12, 2003

  • Hun Sen allowing Vietnam to plunder Cambodian forests: green group – Dec 30, 1998

    Click here for more report

    Thank you for visiting!


    Copyrights by Mylinh Nakry© 2001-2008 khmerkromrecipes.com. All rights reserved.