Ajitabh Pandey's Reviews > Dancing In Cambodia And Other Essays

Dancing In Cambodia And Other Essays by Amitav Ghosh
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Aug 20, 2011

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bookshelves: essays, history, indian-literature, literature, asian-history
Read from August 13 to 21, 2011 — I own a copy

The book, as the title suggests is a collection of essays.

Dancing in Combodia - The Khmer classical dance originated from the Royal courts. It is performed for invocation of deities and spirits as well as to pay homage to royalty and guests. It is interesting to see how the author has found links between the 1906 royal visit of the King and royal dancers to France and the Khmer Rouge revolution. The essay presents the dance to mean more to the middle class of the country than being historical in nature and how the existence of the entire middle class of the country was threatened during the Khmer Rouge period when the revolution killed 90% of the dancers and teachers.

Stories in Stone - In the second essay the author has written about the temple of Angkor Wat and its influence on Combodian life and how the Khmer Rouge revolution completely sidelined it and the people /buddhist monks associated with the monasteries around Angkor Wat were all killed.

At large in Burma - In this third essay the author has written about his experiences in Burma and the impact of civil war on Burmese people. He has also spent some time with the revolution fighters in their strong hold near Thailand border and tried to analyse as to how democracy can be established with a united Burma. He has also mentioned couple of interviews with Suu Kyi, who is the daughter of famous Burmese General Aung San assassinated after he won the election and just before Burmese independence in 1948.

The town by the Sea - In the fourth essay, the author has written about his visit to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands after the Tsunami in 26 Dec 2004. He has mentioned the indifferent attitude of the union government and civilian authorities to help people of the island and rather providing aids to Sri Lanka. He has appreciated the role of armed forces in the rescue efforts and re-settlement of the island inhabitants after the Tsunami.

September 11 - In the last essay, which is very short one, the author has mentioned the impact of 9/11 attacks on a family that he was close friends with.

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Reading Progress

08/14/2011 page 47

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