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Diasporic and transnational notions of belonging : a case study of Cambodians in Japan Hara, Hiroko 2006

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DIASPORIC A N D T R A N S N A T I O N A L NOTIONS OF B E L O N G I N G : A C A S E S T U D Y OF C A M B O D I A N S IN J A P A N  by HIROKO H A R A B A . , Tsuda College, 2003  A THESIS S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S FOR T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF A R T S  in  T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES  (Educational Studies)  T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A June 2006 , © Hiroko Hara, 2006  Abstract In this thesis, drawing on feminist writers and pedagogues, I examine diverse notions o f belonging in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world. While feminist writers and pedagogues have discussed notions o f belonging by closely looking at the cases o f the migrant, the exile, the nomad, and hyphenated people, I examine what "belonging" means to the refugee by focusing on the case o f Cambodian refugees in Japan. Applying concepts o f the "third space" discussed by Trinh T. Minh-ha (1994) and o f "global-nomadic citizenship" presented by Sara Ahmed (2000), I create a fluid and open critical cartography o f Cambodians as global nomads moving beyond borders. This allows us to see more o f the third space. In addition to the analysis o f selected diaspora literature by Jamaica Kincaid (1988), U Sam Oeur (1998), Dionne Brand (2001), and Kugo Ponnaret (2001), ethnographic interviews with eight Cambodian refugees living in Japan and participant observation were conducted in research for this thesis. They reveal the perspectives o f Cambodian women and men, and their positive and negative experiences and emotions o f belonging surrounding history, home, food, language, education, time, space, travelling and dwelling. In the cartography, I aim to attain four conceptual objectives: (1) to clarify transnational movements o f Cambodians, examine the concept o f transnational ism based on their experiences, and reveal their reactions to themselves as transnational citizens; (2) to determine the uniqueness o f Cambodians' notion o f belonging; (3) to analyze the impact of education on their notion o f belonging; and (4) to delineate voices o f transnational citizens and provide an alternative notion o f belonging, referring to their experiences. The critical cartography o f Cambodians created in this thesis shows the possibility o f alternative notions o f belonging! The transnational movement o f Cambodians provides us with a model o f fully participating in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world in the twentyTfirst century. The Cambodians' act o f transgressing not only national but also cultural and ethnic boundaries indicates what is necessary to j o i n in the third space and interact with other global nomads.  ii  Table of Contents Abstract  ii  Table o f Contents  iii  List o f Figures  vi  List o f Illustrations  vii  Acknowledgements  viii  Dedication  ix  CHAPTER I  INTRODUCTION  ..  1  1.1  Personal Context  3  1.2  Rationale for the Study  4  1.3  Research Questions  7  1.4  Terminology  8  1.5  Organization o f the Thesis  C H A P T E R II 2.1  ;  13  Contribution  16 16  Contribution  18  Critical Cartographies  19  2.3.1 2.4  13  Roles o f Education  2.2.1 2.3  LITERATURE REVIEW  Notions o f Belonging  2.1.1 2.2  10  Contribution  21  Conclusions: Implication for the Thesis  C H A P T E R III  21  METHODOLOGY  24  3.1  Interviews  25  3.2  Participant Observation  29  3.3  Khmer Diaspora Literature  3.4  Data Collection and Analysis  C H A P T E R IV 4.1  '.  33 34  HISTORY OF C A M B O D I A N M I G R A T I O N .  Introduction  36 37  iii  4.2  History  37  4.2.1  Migration  4.2.2  Diaspora  4.3  .'  39 41  Memory  43  4.3.1  Daring to Remember  45  4.3.2  Memory as Nostalgia  47  4.4  Conclusion  CHAPTER V  50  HOME/FOOD  51  5.1  Introduction  52  5.2  Home  52  5.2.1 5.3  Cambodians' Home as Imaginary as well as Material  Food  55 61  5.3.1  Hunger and Power  62  5.3.2  Encountering Food in the N e w Land  64  5.3.3  Food Preparation  67  5.3.4  "Ethnic" Food  68  5.4  Conclusion  CHAPTER VI  70  LANGUAGE/EDUCATION  72  6.1  Introduction  73  6.2  Language  73  6.2.1  Khmer as Native Language/Japanese as Second Language  75  6.2.2  Language and Belief in the Third Space  77  6.3  Education  81  6.3.1  Issues o f Education for Newcomers  6.3.2  Issues o f Education among Generations  6.3.3  Issues o f Education between Generations  92  6.3.4  Schooling in Cambodia  93  6.3.5  Illiteracy and Poverty  96  6.4  Conclusion  85 • 87  100  IV  C H A P T E R VII  SPACE/TIME AND TRAVELLING/DWELLING  7.1  Introduction  7.2  Space  '.;  101 102 102  7.2.1  Social Space o f Cambodians  103  7.2.2  Geometrical Space  109  7.3  Time  112  7.4  Travelling and Dwelling  117  7.4.1 7.5  Furusato (Home) for Cambodians as Travellers  Conclusion  C H A P T E R VIII  120 125  CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS  126  8.1  Belonging and Citizenship—Theoretical Terms  128  8.2  Belonging and Citizenship—Empirical Terms  131  8.3  Implications for Transnational Education  132  Bibliography Appendix I Appendix II  135 Letter o f Initial Contact  149  U B C Research Ethics Board's Certificate o f Approval  v  150  List of Figures Figure 1: Angkor Wat at Sunrise  ix  Figure 2: Profile o f Research Participants  26  Figure 3: Interview Questions  28  Figure 4: Southeast A s i a n Refugees in Japan  39  Figure 5: Notes on the Wedding Photo A l b u m  49  Figure 6: Textbook with Illustration  87  Figure 7: Elementary Education in Japan.  91  Figure 8: Houses L o o k i n g toward the River  98  Figure 9: Hanuman's First Love I  105  Figure 10: Hanuman's First Love II  105  Figure 11: Hanuman's First Love III  105  Figure 12: Dance o f Praying and Celebrating Peace and Prosperity  106  Figure 13: Rice Planting and Harvesting Dance I  107  Figure 14: Rice Planting and Harvesting Dance II  107  Figure 15: " M a g i c o f T i m e " 1  116  Figure 16: " M a g i c of T i m e " II  116  vi  List of Illustrations Illustration 1: Calligraphy o f "History" in Japanese and Khmer  36  Illustration 2: Calligraphy o f "Home" and " F o o d " in Japanese and Khmer  51  Illustration 3: House Layout  59  Illustration 4: Calligraphy o f "Language" and "Education" in Japanese and Khmer  72  Illustration 5: Calligraphy o f "Space," "Time," "Travelling" and " D w e l l i n g " i n Japanese and Khmer  101  Illustration 6: Lyrics o f Furusato (Home)  121  Illustration 7: Picture o f Transnationality  124  vii  Acknowledgements I wish first to express my profound gratitude to my research supervisory committee. This thesis would not have been completed without their thoughtful advice. M y greatest debt goes to my research supervisor, Dr. Pierre Walter, for supporting me as an international student, trusting my project, reading the draft many times, and making a number o f helpful comments and suggestions. I am truly thankful to h i m for letting me learn the importance of having a broad view in dealing with educational issues, and gain the better understanding o f adult education, and o f literacy i n relation to gender and development. I am sincerely grateful to Dr. Leonora Angeles for offering me the opportunity to learn the concept o f transnationalism in relation to feminist theory in her Women's Studies course and for providing me with helpful suggestions for developing my research proposal, elaborating ethnographic interviews, and organizing chapters o f the thesis. I am thankful to her for her valuable.feedback in polishing'my thesis. •• • I am cordially grateful to Dr. Jennifer Chan-Tiberghien for providing me with aiding hints and comments in expanding my own research ideas in the directed study course. I thank her for sparing time to see me in Japan and for giving me valuable suggestions for obtaining ethnographic data effectively and strengthening the thesis based on that. I appreciate her helpful feedback in enriching my thesis. I also wish to thank Dr. Handel Wright for acting as my external examiner. I am grateful to h i m for giving me helpful suggestions for strengthening this thesis. I express my deep gratitude to Dr. Atsuko Hayakawa for cultivating my perspective in my undergraduate years at Tsuda College and for providing me with the opportunity to see, think, and act with a critical viewpoint. Her advice has inspired me to be a person actively sending a message. Without her teaching, I would not have been able to come thus far, as a researcher conveying a message o f transnational citizens. Warm thanks are due to all the research participants for allowing me to listen to their precious life stories o f being transnational citizens. This thesis is the result o f their active participation. Especially, I am grateful to a family o f Veasna san and Vana san for welcoming me with generosity and keeping friendship with me. Finally, I thank my dear friend, Korine U n g , for permission to use her wonderful photographs o f Cambodia in Figure 1 and Figure 8.  viii  (Dedicated to Cambodians in diaspora, the active transnational citizens seeing more of the world and to my parents who have brought me up with ungrudging Cove and encourage me to see more beyond boundaries  Figure 1: Angkor Wat at Sunrise Photograph by Korine U n g  ix  CHAPTER I  INTRODUCTION  The notion o f belonging is diverse in the twenty-first century. Citizenship does not necessarily represent where we live. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in 2000, "there were 175 million international migrants in the world, that is, one out o f every 35 persons in the world was an international migrant" (2005: 379). Scholars, educators and activists argue about the diverse notions o f belonging in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world. These notions are presented through the description o f the transnational subjects such as the migrant, the exile, the refugee, the nomad, and hyphenated people (Martin & Mohanty 1986; Anzaldiia 1987; Kincaid 1988; Trinh 1994; Ahmed 2000; Said 2000; Brand 2001; Pratt 2004; and Kincaid 2005). What becomes clear is that the sense of belonging in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world constantly shifts and changes as the migrant, the exile, and the refugee move transnationally. Feminist writers and pedagogues show diverse ways o f transgressing national, cultural, and ethnic boundaries by writing from a shifting perspective/position. Kincaid (1988), the writer in exile, who left Antigua and now lives in the United States, moves mentally beyond the boundary o f the two nation-states. When Kincaid moves transnationally as the traveller and writer in exile, both language and identity accompany the journey and shift transnationally as well. In the case o f Kincaid, the sense o f belonging, namely, the true home can be found in her writing; by writing she reaches her true home. Pratt (2004) positions herself as a gleaner and reuses theories to re-examine the concept o f the home. She gleans elements from various social and cultural theories applicable to the reconstruction o f the home in a globalized world. She applies the theoretical framework she gleans to cases o f hyphenated people o f the middle-class in particular. Pratt herself  1  thus shifts as a gleaner when searching for reusable things and collecting them. Trinh (1994) constantly shifts in her understanding o f belonging, referring to writers, literary works, words, and people in various conditions. She draws on the words o f hyphenated people in America. Trinh herself, arguing about the travelling tales, is indeed travelling; her travelling voice emerges from the journey to the travelling voices o f hyphenated people, the migrant, the exile, the refugee, and the nomad. In a short film, Selves and Others: A Portrait of Edward Said (2003), Said points out that the role o f intellectuals is to challenge power and provide resources o f hope. What is obvious is that feminist writers/pedagogues play such a role. K i n c a i d (1988) challenges the power structure between the tourists and the people in Antigua. A s Said says in the film: "The sense o f exile can be a source o f discovery," being the writer in exile makes it possible for Kincaid to move mentally as an in-betweener and discover things people staying at one place cannot see. Pratt (2004) challenges the cultural hegemony o f "white Canadians" (140) by drawing on the voices o f hyphenated people. She argues the importance o f rethinking multiculturalism, and presents the possibility o f home in a multicultural city. Trinh (1994) proposes the possibility o f the sense o f belonging, and suggests that the migrant and the exile hold the key to it because they can "contribute to questioning the limits set on what is known as 'common' and 'ordinary' in daily existence, offering thereby the possibility o f ah elsewhere-within-here, or -there" (11). In this thesis, drawing on feminist writers and pedagogues, I attempt to examine the diverse notions o f belonging in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world. While feminist writers and pedagogues have discussed notions o f belonging by closely looking at the cases o f the migrant, the exile, the nomad, and hyphenated people, I aim to examine what "belonging" means to the refugee by focusing on the case o f Cambodian refugees in  2  Japan. Trinh (1994) refers to the third space that exists outside binary oppositions, and these people—the migrant, the exile, the nomad, the refugee, and hyphenated people—are in that space. Feminist pedagogues and writers are also in the third space when writing about those who are in an in-between position.  1.1  Personal Context  A s a transnational feminist writer and researcher, I also intend to write from a perspective in the third space.  M y experience as a transnational  feminist originated in my  undergraduate years in Japan. There I met feminist pedagogues and writers who were educated in Japan and other countries, and they inspired me to have a broad view, think critically, and cut/create a path with pride in being a woman. Feminist ideas portrayed in A Room of One's Own by Virginia W o o l f using the stream o f consciousness also took my breath away. The book appealed to my heart beyond the context o f Britain in 1920s. This was the start o f my experience as a transnational feminist. I have been putting myself in transnational settings since then. I was engaged in volunteer work related to a hospital for children in Siem Reap in Cambodia, and learned a lot about the country and its history. I was also educated in the United States. There, I obtained a better understanding of American literature and came to know a diversity of women beyond dichotomies o f the North/the South and the first/the third worlds. A t that time, I met Cambodians living in the States. Through my friendship with them, I learned what would be necessary to live as a transnational agent, and I have been inspired to make my way by the example o f their warm hearts and generosity. Through more encounters  with feminist pedagogues  and writers here at the  University o f British Columbia, Canada, I have gained a much better understanding o f  3  feminist theory and pedagogy. N o w I can integrate them into my research on notions o f belonging for Cambodians in Japan. In this way, both feminist educators and Cambodian people have empowered me to live with pride in being a transnational feminist, no matter where I am. Hence, my experience of going back and forth, moving here and there can allow me to examine the situation o f Cambodians as transnational citizens from a perspective constantly shifting in the third space.  1.2  Rationale for the Study  M u c h o f the research on migrants and refugees has been done in the context o f North America. This is due to the fact that the United States and Canada have been the two major countries granting resettlement to Indochinese refugees (Haines 1989). There is some work focusing on issues o f the identity o f Cambodian refugees in North America and how they adjust to their new environment (Dorais 1991; M c L e l l a n 1996; O n g 2003; and M c L e l l a n 2004), but little research has been done on Southeast Asian refugees i n Japan. Dorais (1991) investigates the conditions o f Indochinese refugees (Cambodians, Laotians, and Vietnamese) in Quebec City, Canada. Indochinese refugee resettlement in Quebec City promotes cultural adaptation as seen in full-time classes on French language and cultural orientation provided for adult immigrants. Dorais suggests that Indochinese identity is preserved through the formation o f ethnic communities while they go through cultural adjustment. M c L e l l a n (1996) discusses problems Cambodian women refugees in Ontario face. One o f them is a lack o f self-esteem, and this is a barrier when they learn English. M c L e l l a n argues that it is crucial for "non-Cambodian Canadians—educators, medical personnel, social workers, government officials—not only to acknowledge the reservoir o f strength that exists within Khmer women, but also to help Khmer women  4  recognize their own inner capacities and to build upon them" (1996: 254). M c L e l l a n (2004) focuses on the role o f religion in relation to social and cultural identities o f Cambodian refugees in Ontario. Transnational linkages o f families and friends around the world essentially help Cambodians switch to the new phase while traditions are maintained, as McLellan  mentions,  refugees... are  in  "Ethnic, political,  large  part  and religious identities  constructed  through  connections  among Cambodian with  transnational  communities and homeland linkages" (2004: 101). Some researchers examine the relationship between Cambodian identities and the education they receive. Smith-Hefner (1990) conducted research on Cambodian refugees in Massachusetts and delineated their positive attitudes towards their native language and bilingual education for their children. Smith-Hefner discusses ethnic pride in relation to the native language acquisition, and suggests that their children who have a strong sense o f ethnic pride have higher achievements at school. Through ethnographic observations in schools and in the Cambodian community in Philadelphia, Hornberger (1992) investigates bilingual education for Cambodian youths and also the community's attitudes towards it. Hornberger describes Cambodian adults' desire to maintain their native language while they show generosity in "biliteracy teaching and learning" (1992: 161). Smith-Hefner (1993) examines why many Khmer women drop out o f school, and reveals persistent gender roles and relations preventing women from continuing their education while some changes emerge. One o f the changes is that autonomy is developed through life in the United States and this promotes'women's success i n education (Smith-Hefner 1993). Skilton-Sylvester (2002) focuses on shifting and multiple identities o f Cambodians as mothers, spouses, daughters, and workers, and suggests that their identities affect their decisions to participate in E S L class at that moment. Skilton-Sylvester argues the  5  importance o f reflecting these multiple aspects o f Cambodian gender identities as spouses, mothers, daughters, and workers in developing curriculum and pedagogy. In this way, E S L , bilingual education, and the preservation of the native language have been examined in relation to Cambodian identities. Research on Cambodian refugees in Japan is limited and mostly incidental. Because of this, the life conditions o f Cambodian refugees as a group have not been understood, and their voices are not yet heard. Oishi (1991) refers to Japanese government policy on refugees mainly in the context o f her discussion o f educational aid provided by a Japanese volunteer group in Cambodia. According to Oishi, the large number o f Cambodians who fled to Japan in order to escape from the genocide o f P o l Pot and the Khmer Rouge are socially isolated because Japan lacks a long history o f immigration and has only a small population o f immigrants. Yamaguchi (1993) focuses on issues o f adult education in Japan, and mentions the educational needs o f underprivileged groups, including  refugees.  Yamaguchi argues the importance o f promoting Japanese acceptance o f "multicultural and multilinguistic society on a global scale" (1993: 21). In another work, two different approaches  to resettlement—an  institutionalized approach applied in Japan and an  individualized one applied in the U . S . are compared (Hirayama, Hirayama, and K u r o k i 1995). Despite the differences between the two resettlement  programs, Hirayama,  Hirayama and K u r o k i (1995) imply the contextual success o f both approaches. A t the same time, however, they describe the language problem o f refugees as a common factor between Japan and the United States. In order to solve the problem, they offer recommendations  that biculturalism should be respected  empowered to adjust to the new environment.  6  and  refugees  should be  The relationship between language (Khmer and English) education and Cambodian identities is well-described i n these works. However, only a few attempts so far have been made to analyze the impact o f education on the sense o f belonging that refugees and migrants have in negotiating their transnationality, and there is almost no such research on Japan. In this thesis, voices o f transnational people are heard and an alternative notion of 1  belonging is presented. In addition, a clear picture o f Cambodian minority educational needs in Japan is delineated, which may be o f potential benefit in the development o f educational programming. The concept  o f transnationalism  is significant  because  conducting research on transnational people means "tracing pathways, crossing space, encountering borders, negotiating scales and difference, [and] forging connections," and "the divide between researcher and researched, between reflection and experience, may be blurred" (Pratt & Y e o h 2003: 164).  1.3  .  Research Questions  Education has much to do with the formation o f the sense o f belonging. Where we are partially affects what we learn: the languages and histories we acquire. M y thesis examines notions o f belonging Cambodian refugees in Japan have and the role o f education in the formation o f their sense o f belonging. Based on the knowledge above, there are three research questions: 1. What does the notion o f belonging mean to Cambodian/Khmer refugees in Japan? 2. What role does education play in the formation o f their sense o f belonging? 3. What helps us create a cartography o f Cambodians in Japan as transnational citizens, and makes us better understand the concepts o f transnationalism and citizenship?  The sense of belonging here has a broader meaning than identity; it encompasses notions of identity, home, community, and nationhood. 1  7  Through the examination o f these questions, I attempt to inform notions o f belonging in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world, and to create a cartography of belonging. There are four conceptual objectives to this: (1) to clarify transnational movements o f Cambodians, examine the concept o f transnationalism based on their experiences, and reveal their reactions to themselves as transnational citizens; (2) to determine the uniqueness of Cambodians' notion o f belonging; (3) to analyze the impact o f education on their notion o f belonging; and (4) to delineate voices o f transnational citizens and provide an alternative notion o f belonging, referring to their experiences.  1.4  Terminology  Transnational/transnationalism:  these terms  are  differentiated  from  terms  such as  global/globalization in this thesis. Schaeffer (2003) suggests that there are two distinct views on globalization. While some critics point out that globalization has "uniform consequences" and forms "a more 'homogeneous' world" (Schaeffer 2003: 11), Schaeffer himself  opposes  this  idea,  as  he • argues  that  "globalization has  had  diverse  consequences...simultaneously good for some and bad for others" (2003: 11, emphasis in the original). In this way, while tying the concept o f diversity with the discussion o f globalization, Schaeffer implies that inequality has been generated by globalization. Terms such as uniformity and homogeneity are also often associated with global/globalization, as Castles (2000) remarks: "The concept o f globalization has been used since the 1970s to refer to an acceleration o f international integration based on rapid changes in political and economic relations, technology and communications..." (164). This thesis positions itself within transnational/transnationalism in that these terms oppose uniformity, homogeneity, and inequality connected with global/globalization. The  8  concept o f transnational/transnationalism supports the need to delineate diversity among people beyond borders, as W i l l i s , Y e o h and Fakhri (2004) assert: "Individuals with different levels o f social and economic capital navigate the world in flexible ways, negotiating the borders that carve out nation-states, some with transnational ease and finesse and others with considerable hardship and distress" (12). In addition, as Yeoh, W i l l i s and Fakhri (2003) remark, transnationalism studies can possibly "reconfigure the way we think o f key concepts underpinning contemporary social life, from notions which serve to 'ground' social life such as 'identity', 'family', 'community', 'place' and 'nation', to those which 'transgress' and 'unmoor', including 'migration' and ' m o b i l i t y ' " (208). A s Mackie (2004) suggests, one o f the tasks o f transnational feminists is to "develop strategies for addressing issues of equity and diversity in transnational contexts..." (253). I position my thesis within transnational/transnationalism and pay attention to the diverse voices and issues o f social justice, seen from the case study o f Cambodians as transnational citizens. In doing so, I aim to present an alternative perspective towards Cambodians' sense o f belonging, which is far from the one assuming that Cambodians are integrated into the country o f their destination. Postcolonial:  as Welaratna (1993) discusses the French colonial era from 1864 to  1953 in Cambodia, Cambodia has had almost ninety years o f the French rule. A s suggested later on in Chapter 4, Cambodian residents in Japan carry their own histories/herstories and memories o f their homeland. I use the term "postcolonial" in this thesis since the history/herstory o f the French colonization and that o f the postcolonial Cambodia are also carried with Cambodians when relocating to Japan, the country o f their destination, contrary to what globalization arguments might suggest.  9  Diasporic:  this term is used by M c L e l l a n (2004) when referring to about "three  hundred thousand Cambodians [who] eventually resettled in several Western countries" (103) such as the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and Australia. In the same way, I use the term "diasporic" to discuss the situation o f Cambodians who resettled in Japan. Multicultural:  Watson (2000) suggests that "multiculturalism...requires from us all a  receptivity to difference, an openness to change, a passion for equality, and an ability to recognize our familiar selves in the strangeness o f others" (110). In terms o f the situation of Japan, I acknowledge the need to cultivate "attitudes o f acceptance o f a multicultural and multilinguistic society..." (21), indicated by Yamaguchi (1993). Hence, I use the term "multicultural" in this thesis, hoping that the characteristics o f multiculturalism, discussed by Watson (2000) w i l l emerge and grow in Japan where more than a thousand of Cambodians now reside. World: regarding the use o f the phrase: the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world, this " w o r l d " functions in the same way as the "third space" discussed by Trinh (1994). The "world" I refer to is the one transgressing the dichotomy o f the First/Third worlds. Borrowing Trinh's words, "[i]t is a space o f its o w n " (1994: 18). Using the phrase stated above, I suggest that a new mode o f belonging is practiced by Cambodians who are in such a world as the "third space."  1.5  Organization of the Thesis  Locating myself in the third space, I aim to create a cartography reflecting the sense o f belonging held by Cambodians in Japan through this thesis. In Chapter 2, I review three bodies o f literature dealing with notions o f belonging, roles o f education, and critical  10  cartography. I also discuss theoretical notions mainly drawn on in this thesis. Chapter 3 gives a detailed description o f methodologies—an investigation into diaspora literature, ethnographic interviews, and participant observation—applied to delineate voices o f Cambodians as transnational citizens. Chapter 4 looks closely at the history o f Cambodian migration in Japan. I examine the background o f Cambodian resettlement in Japan and the status of Cambodians residing there. I also argue the importance o f memory. In Chapter 5, because home is a notion that is taken for granted, I re-examine what/where is home and what home means to transnational people, referring to the case o f Cambodians in Japan. Topics such as the significance o f home/homeland to transnational people, new home as new space, and home in transnational space are discussed. I also interrogate the use o f food and cuisine in relation to multiculturalism/ethnicity. In particular, the roles of "ethnic" food and gender relations i n food preparation and serving are examined. Chapter 6 discusses the role o f language in transnational space i n relation to memory and change. Moreover, I investigate the role o f education, focusing both on language education in Japan, the host country o f Cambodians; and schooling i n Cambodia, the country o f origin. In doing so, the complexity o f the schooling experience o f transnational citizens is revealed. Dichotomies in the hidden curriculum are also discussed. In Chapter 7, I interrogate public/private space and gender mobility found in the case o f Cambodians in Japan. In addition, I examine the notion o f time (i.e. past, present, and future) in transnational space. I look at notions o f transgressing time beyond national borders and "future memory" (Trinh 1994). Moreover, I introduce notions o f travelling and dwelling, discuss how different and similar they are, and distinguish between tourists and travellers by drawing on the concept o f tourism and the notion o f dwelling in travel. The concept o f "global-nomadic citizenship" (Ahmed 2000: 85) is applied to the discussion. Finally, my  11  argument is concluded in Chapter 8. Belonging and citizenship are the two themes running through all the chapters.  12  CHAPTER II  LITERATURE REVIEW  In this literature review, I discuss three kinds o f literature. First, literature dealing with notions o f belonging surrounding migration is examined. Then I refer to literature investigating the roles o f education for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Finally, literature presenting critical cartography is discussed.  2.1  Notions of Belonging  Since the migratory movement o f people has increased around the globe, discussion on notions o f belonging has been popular among writers (Fortier 1999, K l i m t 2000, Carruthers 2002, Yuval-Davis, Anthias & Kofman 2005, and Yeoh, Huang & L a m 2005). Applying a feminist perspective, Fortier (1999) examines how belonging is performed by Italian immigrants in Britain. She focuses on "the relationship between the construction o f the identity o f places and the construction o f terrains o f belonging" (1999: 41-42). According to Fortier, the Little Italy established in Britain functions as a second place o f their origin. In addition, masses held weekly at a Catholic church enhance the collective identity o f Italian immigrants. A t the same time, Fortier portrays "the mysteries, duties, and obligations o f motherhood" (1999: 53) displayed and preserved through the practice o f their belief. Hence, she argues that some ethnic aspects and gender norms are maintained, and they serve as "guarantors o f cultural continuity" (1999: 59). In her article, K l i m t (2000) analyzes the notions o f belonging held by Portuguese migrants living in Germany, and she delineates how these notions o f belonging have changed over time. The transnational movement o f the Portuguese began with the migration o f male workers in the 1960s and 1970s. After that, the shift o f boundaries and borders in Europe occurred due to the fact that Portugal was fully integrated to the  13  European U n i o n in 1992. This simultaneously brought a shift o f identities o f Portuguese migrants from "Portuguese" to "European." A n d it also gave them more freedom to bring their families to Germany. Through ethnographic interviews, K l i m t portrays how the act o f living flexibly beyond national borders is interpreted differently among the migrants: the first generation who landed in Germany were referred to as less skilled workers, and the second and the third generations who received German education and occupied well-paid job were "Europeans." In her article, Ashley Carruthers (2002) examines the notion o f transnational citizenship based on interviews and participant observation with Vietnamese persons in Vietnam and those who reside in Australia, France, Japan, and the United  States.  Carruthers focuses on how Vietnamese people living overseas mobilize transnationally and negotiate  with their national belonging. Through the article, Carruthers shows "an  understanding o f a particular instance o f transnational social practice i n which mobility is not seen primarily as an escape from the demands o f national belonging" (2002: 442). She suggests that the  accumulation of national belonging is necessary  to  accelerate  transnational mobility. A p p l y i n g the lens o f feminist theory, Yuval-Davis, Anthias and Kofman (2005) examine notions o f belonging in contemporary Britain. Considering the trends in people's migration to Britain, they point out the gap between migrants as professional workers and those as less skilled workers. Describing the shift o f British national borders over time, they suggest that notions o f belonging have changed as well. They problematize the notion of belonging that currently exists in the country, arguing that it emphasizes the practice o f collectivity categorizing those who belong and who do not. Moreover, they distinguish the notion o f belonging from the concept o f citizenship, indicating that belonging cannot be  14  reduced to citizenship. According to them, citizenship represents membership with rights and duties along with the sense o f inclusion. O n the other hand, belonging is also accompanied with experiences and emotions caused by such a membership. In addition, they suggest that the notion o f belonging contains a sense o f exclusion—exclusion from "belonging to both the polity and society o f groups whose background and language and socialization and memories are tied to specific languages (or religion, or culture)" (2005: 527). Finally, i n order to critically examine the notion o f belonging, they assert the necessity o f paying attention to various differences: "[B]eing sensitive to the differences in the position o f men and women from different social classes and different religions, countries o f origin or linguistic and cultural communities is important..." (2005: 531). Yeoh, Huang and L a m (2005), also using the lens o f feminist theory, focus on the concept and practice o f transnationalism through the example o f Chinese transnational families. They imply that the notion of belonging, ascribed to Asian transnational families is often constructed based on "a 'nostalgic vision o f femininity' where decision-making is expected  to be hierarchical (read  'patriarchal')..." (2005: 309). They discuss  the  feminization o f the migratory movement o f workers through the illustration o f Asian women as less skilled workers. In addition, they reveal the dichotomy among Asian transnational families—low-income families and higher-income families. The former families move to "high-wage countries" to "pursue economic survival" (2005: 312) and the latter families move to other countries to "enhance the overall well-being or status o f the family..." (312). In the end, Yeoh, Huang and L a m suggest the necessity o f looking at transnational individuals rather than their migratory movement itself. They also indicate that focusing, on men's experiences and also "the parent-child bond" (2005: 313) is essential to examine the effects o f transnationalism on transnational families.  15  2.1.1  Contribution  While Fortier (1999), K l i m t (2000), and Carruthers (2002) have written their articles based on ethnographic interviews or/and participant observations, both the work o f Yuval-Davis, Anthias and Kofman (2005) and that o f Yeoh, Huang and L a m (2005) put emphasis on theory surrounding the notions o f belonging held by transnational citizens rather than on empirical case studies. A t the same time, unlike the articles o f K l i m t (2000) and Carruthers (2002), where age and class are taken into account, the three feminist writings by Fortier (1999), Yuval-Davis, Anthias and Kofman (2005), and Yeoh, Huang and L a m (2005) indicate the importance o f paying attention to the aspect o f gender, as well as age and class, in examining notions o f belonging. In my thesis, focusing on both theory and practice o f belonging, identity, age, class, gender, place, ethnicity and religion are all taken into consideration. To delineate voices o f Cambodians as transnational citizens, ethnographic interviews, participant observation, and the analysis o f selected diaspora literature were carried out in this study.  2.2  Roles of Education  Roles o f education for immigrants have been actively examined (Yamaguchi 1993, SmithHefner  1993, Schedler & Glastra 2000, Skilton-Sylvester 2002, Wilkinson 2002,  Stanistreet 2005). In the article "Deepening Democracy in Japan: Adult Education," Yamaguchi (1993) indicates that education enables "a person to carry out his or her responsibilities as a member o f society..." (21), and it brings a further degree o f democracy to Japanese society where what she calls, "underprivileged people" such as refugees can fully participate. While the importance o f cultivating tolerant attitudes towards  multicultural society in Japan is asserted,  16  Yamaguchi also suggests that  "opportunities to study the Japanese language and ways o f living in Japan as well as fostering respect for their culture and language" (1993: 21) encourage residents o f nonJapanese heritage to more actively join society. • Adult education for refugees, particularly Cambodian refugees, has been discussed by two writers—Smith-Hefner (1993) and Skilton-Sylvester (2002). In her article, through ethnographic interviews and participant observation, Smith-Hefner (1993) focuses on educational achievement o f Khmer women immigrants in the United States. Smith-Hefner points out that cultural and socio-historical elements cultivated in the homeland o f Cambodia have an influence on the high rate o f Khmer women dropping out o f school. A t the same time, Smith-Hefner indicates some changes happening in Cambodians' lives in the States, which help Cambodian women redefine gender and family relations. Based on her experience as an adult E S L teacher, investigates  Skilton-Sylvester (2002)  how Cambodian women's participation i n E S L programs  affects  the  construction o f their identity. Skilton-Sylvester's analysis indicates "how shifting identities of these [Khmer] women at home and as current or future workers, and the ways these identities are connected to the work of the classroom, have much to do with their investment in participating in particular adult E S L programs" (2002: 9). Skilton-Sylvester suggests that how Cambodian women newcomers in the United States position themselves influences their decisions o f whether to continue their education or not. She also points out the necessity o f incorporating aspects o f shifting identities o f immigrants in the E S L programs so that education can meet their shifting needs. Applying a broader view, Wilkinson (2002) examines some factors influencing the academic performance o f refugee children in Canada, which then leads to their successful integration to Canadian society. Combining both "the school-to-work transitions literature"  17  (175) focusing on the integration o f refugee youth into the labour market, and "the immigration and integration literature" (177) mainly examining the economic conditions o f refugees, Wilkinson (2002).points out what is essential for the discussion on the academic success o f refugee children is to pay attention to diverse factors such as "[gjrade placement on arrival, number o f months i n Canada, ethnicity, urban residence, parents' health, and...refugee camp experience" (189). Similar to Wilkinson's analysis, Stanistreet (2005) examines a citizenship program helping refugees "better integrate themselves into life in the U K " (24). Referring to refugees commenting on the success o f language education and job training done as the part o f the citizenship program, Stanistreet suggests that the program provides refugees with not only self-esteem and independence but also knowledge and skills "to be active members in this community" (2005: 25). Schedler and Glastra (2000) present a different perspective on school and language education for refugees as a means o f the integration into the host society. Drawing on Bourdieu's theoretical framework, Schedler and Glastra examine the settlement program provided for adult migrants, refugees and asylum seekers i n the Netherlands. They suggest that its policy contains "cultural assimilation and structural integration ideologies...making the newcomer either a law-abiding Dutchman or a hardworking productive employee" (2000: 64).  2.2.1  Contribution  In all o f this research discussed above, the voices o f newcomers responding to such integration policies promoted through education are almost absent. In this thesis, heavily drawing on voices o f eight Cambodian refugees living in Japan, I investigate what role  18  education plays in the formation o f their sense o f belonging. In doing so, different kinds of educational problems faced by each generation o f Khmer newcomers—adults, teenagers, and children—are revealed. In addition, based on their experience, o f language training at the resettlement center in Japan, a clear picture o f Cambodian minority educational needs in their host country is delineated, which may be o f potential benefit in the development o f educational programming.  2.3  Critical Cartographies  Cartography is not simply a map o f place; it contains significant elements beyond this. The importance o f critically looking at maps has been asserted  by so-called "critical  cartographers" (Harley 1989, W o o d 1992, Nash 1993, Thongchai 1994, and Sparke 1995). In his article: "Deconstructing the M a p " (1989), Brian  Harley pays attention  to  cartographic traditions developed in imperialism. B y examining non-European cartography created by those who were colonized, Harley deconstructs colonial cartography, and introduces the concept o f a critical cartography revealing the power o f mapping. According to Harley, power is woven into the cartographic act o f specifying boundaries and claiming land ownership. In his book The Power of Maps, the privileged act o f mapping is deconstructed by Denis Wood (1992). Focusing on the history o f maps, W o o d critically examines how certain political and social decisions have affected the creation o f maps. Instead o f offering techniques for creating typical cartography, W o o d shows an alternative perspective towards cartography. He suggests the importance o f looking at human activities inscribed in maps, and encourages us to be engaged in making maps that are empowering. In such an  19  empowering map, "[p]ast and future...come together...through the grace o f the map" (1992: 7). In his book, Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-Body  of a Nation, Thongchai  Winichakul (1994) analyzes the construction o f the history o f European mapping in Thailand. In doing so, he applies a critical perspective and reveals how the geographic aspect has been neglected by historians. He thus remaps Thailand using the technique o f critical cartography and suggests how territories were claimed and borders were delineated by the state, replacing indigenous notions o f identity. Matthew Sparke (1995) shifts from the cartographic critique o f Harley to the approach "moving between demythologization and deconstruction" (5), and examines the maps o f early Newfoundland, Canada. Using the cartographic works o f Shawnadithit, a native woman, Sparke suggests that "a whole set o f essential and Eurocentric notions o f identity, space and history" (1995: 2) is inscribed in colonial cartography. Regarding the woman cartographer, she is mainly described as a colonized indigenous person making the maps o f the O l d World, and the significance o f being a woman cartographer is barely discussed. The issue o f gender surrounding cartography is investigated by Catherine Nash (1993). Shifting the deconstruction o f cartography presented by Harley, Nash attempts to reconstruct a new map. W i t h the lens of feminist theory and postcolonial theory, Nash reveals the fixed identity and boundary given to Ireland by the colonial mapping project. Thoroughly analyzing the cartographic works o f Kathy Prendergast, the Irish woman artist, Nash recreates a new cartography embracing the issues o f identity, gender, language, and place, and "the possibility o f fluidity and openness" (1993: 54).  20  2.3.1  Contribution  In my thesis, I aim to create a cartography reflecting the sense o f belonging held by Cambodians in Japan rather than deconstructing the map, practiced by Harley (1989). A s Wood (1992) indicates that past and future are coexisting i n the map, past, present, and future are intermingled in my cartography o f Cambodians as transnational citizens. In addition, in relation to Thongchai (1994)'s analysis o f territories and borders delineated by the nation-state, I discuss how an official image o f refugees is constructed by the state o f Japan. Unlike Sparke (1995), I examine how similarly and differently Khmer women perform their transnational citizenship. A s Nash (1993) applies feminist theory and postcolonial theory in constructing a new map o f Ireland, I blend diverse theories such as feminist theory, postcolonial theory, and literary criticism to create a fluid and open critical cartography o f Cambodians as transnational agents moving beyond borders.  2.4  Conclusions: Implication for the Thesis  I have discussed three bodies o f literature dealing with notions o f belonging, roles o f education, and critical cartography. I intend to weave these three themes throughout this thesis. Through a case study of Cambodians physically living in Japan, I examine notions of belonging held by Cambodian refugees as transnational citizens. In doing so, I mainly draw on Ahmed (2000) and Trinh (1994) as follows. In discussing notions o f transnational citizen and citizenship, I use the concept o f "global-nomadic citizenship" presented by Ahmed (2000). According to her, global nomads are migratory subjects moving beyond boundaries and presenting the possibility o f creating new modes o f identity thinking. The global-nomadic citizenship is unique in that this "citizenship is not predicated on the rights and duties o f a subject within a nation-state,  21  but is produced by a subject who moves through space and across national  borders'''  (Ahmed 2000: 85, emphasis in the original). Thus only those constantly shifting beyond boundaries without staying at one place can hold this newly created citizenship. Moreover, A h m e d (2000) asserts two possibilities brought by practicing globalnomadic citizenship. First, global nomad's movement through space and across borders "leads to an expansion o f vision, an ability to see more'" (Ahmed 2000: 85, emphasis in the original). Second, the taken-for-granted  notion o f home possibly expands as space is  extended by the movement o f the global nomad: "...refusing to belong to a particular space, the world becomes the global nomad's home, giving this nomadic subject the ability to inhabit the world as a familiar and knowable terrain" (Ahmed 2000: 85). Hence, applying such a conception of citizenship, I consider transnational Cambodians as global nomads moving through space and across boundaries, and examine what forms o f belonging are newly created and practiced by them. In addition, the notion o f the "third space" discussed by Trinh is also helpful in examining the case o f Cambodians as global nomadic subjects living beyond borders and boundaries. Trinh (1994) delineates the possibility o f the "third space" transgressing the dichotomy o f the first and the second spaces: Here, Third is not merely derivative o f First and Second. It is a space o f its own. Such a space allows for the emergence o f new subjectivities that resist letting themselves be settled in the movement across First and Second. Third is thus formed by the process o f hybridization which, rather than simply adding a here to a there, gives rise to an elsewhere-within-hereMhere that appears both too recognizable and impossible to contain. (18-19) A s shown above, two distinct characteristics o f the third space are articulated by Trinh (1994). First, in the third space, simple classification can no longer be applied. Diverse elements are intricately intermingled and coexisting there. Second, it is a space that allows  22  its inhabitants to resist and transgress the binary system. In this way, Trinh (1994) suggests that new modes o f belonging can be produced by those dwelling in the third space. Drawing on the concepts presented by Trinh and Ahmed, I attempt to create a fluid and open critical cartography o f global nomads moving beyond borders. This allows us to see more o f the third space. B y doing so, I aim to delineate an alternative notion o f belonging practiced by Cambodians transgressing the dichotomy o f Cambodia and Japan. In this newly generated critical cartography, identity, age, class, gender, place, ethnicity and religion are all taken into consideration. In this thesis, ethnographic interviews, participant observation, and the integration o f Cambodian voices from Khmer diaspora literature, all reveal perspectives o f both women and men, and their positive and negative experiences  and emotions o f belonging surrounding history, home, food,  education, time, space, travelling and dwelling.  23  language,  C H A P T E R III  METHODOLOGY  B y applying the concepts o f the third space (Trinh 1994) and global-nomadic citizenship (Ahmed 2000), this thesis seeks to create a cartography including history, home, food, language, education, space, time, travelling and dwelling o f Cambodians. In terms o f the research design, I apply an ethnographic approach combining a feminist perspective and a postcolonial perspective with the essence o f literary criticism. In her book: Woman, Native, Other, Trinh (1989) blends diverse theories o f different fields and disciplines such as feminist theory, postcolonial theory and literary criticism to investigate the issues o f gender and ethnicity and to portray marginal voices. In the case o f my research, by interweaving the different perspectives, I aim to delineate voices o f Cambodians as transnational citizens from diverse angles. For this purpose, in addition to an investigation into diaspora literature, I conducted interviews and participant observations in Kanagawa and Tokyo, Japan in October 2005. Data from the interviews are drawn on throughout the findings chapters. I use the data from participant observations primarily to strengthen the argument about transnational citizens and their citizenship practices. This approach to combining literature, historical and geographical studies with ethnographic and case study traditions is an approach Clifford Geertz calls "blurred genres" (1983: 19). Focusing on the phenomenon o f academics blurring the borders between the social sciences and the humanities, Geertz suggests that "what we are seeing is not just another redrawing o f the cultural map...but an alteration o f the principles o f mapping" (1983: 20). Borrowing his concept o f "blurred genres," I aim to transgress the boundaries among these research traditions to examine the situation o f Cambodians as transnational citizens shifting beyond various borders and boundaries.  24  3.1  Interviews  I interviewed eight Cambodians (four men and four women) on their life histories and notions o f belonging in Japan, Cambodia, and as transnational citizens. In order to reflect diversity i n Cambodians, gender, class, and age were taken into consideration when recruiting participants, with the following four criteria. Participants should: (a) be Cambodian adults (women and men) who are over 20 years old (the legal age in Japan); (b) be fluent in Japanese; (c) have resided in Japan for at least five years; and (d) belong to either upper, middle, or working class. Those who were under the age o f 19 were excluded from participation. I sent an initial letter o f contact to the Cambodian family in Japan with whom I am acquainted though friendship. The family was asked to refer to me other Cambodian adults interested in participating in the study. A n initial letter o f contact was mailed only to those participants who indicated that they were interested in participating in the study (Appendix I). Once they indicated they were willing to participate in the study, I contacted them by phone. During interviews, I answered any further questions or concerns and secured their formal consent to participate in the study. I asked these study participants to refer other Cambodian adults to me as further potential study participants. Again, these potential participants contacted me only i f interested. With this snowball-recruitment method (personal referral), I recruited a total of eight study participants. The personal details of the eight participants can be found in Figure 2. Interview participants were provided with the initial letter o f recruitment, and the interview consent form in their choice o f either English or Japanese, or both. A l l the  25  interviews were conducted i n Japanese, which was preferred to English by the participants. Interview questions were provided ahead o f actual interviews i f requested by participants. Figure 2: Profile o f Research Participants A: woman; 53 years old; born in Battambang; had primary education; landed in Japan in 1983; working in factory o f processing food; and living in Hiratsuka city, Kanagawa B: man; 50 years o l d ; born in Battambang; had primary education; landed in Japan in 1985; working in factory o f metalworking; and living in Hiratsuka city, Kanagawa C: woman; 46 years old; born in Battambang; had primary education; landed in Japan in 1984; working in factory o f processing food; and living in Hiratsuka city, Kanagawa D: man; 41 years old; born in Battambang; finished primary education; landed in Japan in 1988; working in factory o f electronic equipment; and living in Hiratsuka city, Kanagawa E : man; 38 years old; born in Battambang; finished junior high school; landed in Japan in 1990; working in factory o f metalworking; and living in Hiratsuka city, Kanagawa F: woman; 37 years old; born in Battambang; had primary education; landed in Japan in 1990; working in factory o f processing plastic; and living in Hiratsuka city, Kanagawa G: woman; 36 years old; born in Battambang; had primary education; landed in Japan in 1987; working in factory o f electronic equipment; and living in Hiratsuka city, Kanagawa H: man; 30 years old; born in Battambang; finished junior high school; landed in Japan in 1982; working in factory o f metalworking; and living in Hiratsuka city, Kanagawa  A l l o f the research participants were from Battambang and living i n the same apartment complex i n Hiratsuka city, Kanagawa. They were all working class and did not have much formal education. Hence, the inability to delineate voices o f Cambodians i n upper and middle classes i n Japan is a limitation o f this thesis. The research participants were 30-53 years old; and they had landed i n Japan between 1982 and 1990. When referring to them in the following chapters, I w i l l use the letters o f the alphabet in Figure 2 in place o f their names. I am symbolized as R , the Researcher.  26  Interview questions were classified into the following four groups: 1) History o f Cambodian Migration; 2) Home/Food; 3) Language/Education; and 4) Time/Space and Travelling/Dwelling, in accordance with the chapters o f the thesis. Although the questions are divided into four themes, they are woven together beyond categories, as transnational people are interconnected to multiple spaces beyond national borders. I consider my interviews to be open-ended since during the interviews, I aimed to "understand  the  complex behavior o f members o f society without imposing any a priori categorization that may limit the field o f inquiry" (Fontana and Frey 1998: 56). Core questions I asked the research participants are found in Figure 3.  27  Figure 3: Interview Questions [History of Cambodian Migration] •  What was the reason behind your decision to come to Japan?  •  W h y do you reside in Kanagawa?  [Home/Food] •  What do you think o f as home?  •  H o w do you maintain your Cambodian cultural roots in daily life?  •  What aspects o f your life in Japan make you feel like you are Japanese?  •  What are differences and similarities among work roles you had in Cambodia and those you have in Japan?  •  Who prepares and serves food? A n d why?  [Language/Education] •  H o w do you behave when you speak Khmer and when you speak Japanese?  •  Which elements o f education you had in Cambodia make you retain your Cambodianness?  •  What sources helped you know more about Japan such as Japanese culture, history and people?  [Time/Space and Travelling/Dwelling] •  H o w do you see the past, present and future in relation to your life?  •  H o w do you see your status (refugee, immigrant to Japan, citizen o f Japan, or other)?  •  H o w do you perceive your nationality (Cambodian,  Cambodian-Japanese,  Japanese, or other)? •  H o w do you see yourself as transnational citizen?  •  H o w do you feel when you travel to places in Cambodia? H o w about traveling in Japan?  Based on the guide questions in Figure 3, I conducted interviews at a location and for a period o f time suitable to the research participants. Some o f them preferred holding  28  interviews at their homes, and others preferred cafes and fast-food shops. Interviews were audiotaped after securing each participant's permission; I did not audiotape unless the research participants approved. M s . A , M s . C , and M r . D were reluctant to be audiotaped. M s . A explained that she hesitated to be audiotaped because o f the lack o f the Japanese language skill. Most interviews lasted for 60 to 90 minutes. During the interviews, I practiced "reflexivity" as a researcher (Heyl 2001), and to make the interview collaborative rather than reinforce a hierarchy between researcher and researched. For instance, in the interviews, I shared my experience as a transnational woman with participants, and used as many Khmer words as possible so that we could better understand each other beyond language and national borders. A s Fontana and Frey (1998) remark, "[fjhe use o f language and specific terms is very important for creating a 'sharedness o f meanings'" (68). I hope that such collaboration encouraged participants to talk more openly about their transnational status and alternative notions o f belonging.  3.2  Participant Observation  I conducted several participant observations. First, I visited the homes o f M r . B and M r . E . Second, I hung out and drank coffee with M s . G and M r . H at fast-food shops such as Starbucks and M c D o n a l d ' s . Lastly, I attended an annual event for Southeast Asian refugees in Japan, held i n Shinagawa, Tokyo on October 23, 2005. A t the event, I was able to focus on observation and to collect valuable research artefacts. B y this time, I had a strong rapport and this helped to lend depth to my observations. The official name o f the event was Nihon  Teijyu Nanmin  tono Tsudoi ("Meeting with Refugees Resettling in  Japan"). Some o f my research participants had referred to this event and invited me to it. The event was sponsored by the Foundation for the Welfare and Education of the Asian  29  People ( F W E A P ) and Shinagawa Ward. It was also supported by the cabinet's liaison conference for dealing with refugees, the Ministry o f Justice, the Ministry o f Foreign Affairs, the Ministry o f Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Agency for Cultural Affairs. The event was composed o f two sections. The first part began at 1 pm, and it was a formal ceremony commemorating the 26th anniversary o f the event that has been held annually since 1980. In this part, four officials—Mr. Okuno, the Chairman o f F W E A P , M r . Takahashi, the chief o f Shinagawa Ward, M r . Shinyo from the Ministry o f Foreign Affairs, and M r . M i u r a from the Ministry o f Justice—delivered a congratulatory address. After their speeches, congratulatory telegrams from officials such as Prime Minister K o i z u m i and M r . Machimura, the Minister o f Foreign Affairs  were introduced. Letters o f  appreciation were then given to five companies actively hiring refugees, six individuals supporting refugees, and ten mohan (model) refugee residents. Each o f them made a short speech after receiving the letter o f thanks. The latter part was called "attraction" on the pamphlet given to participants. It started at 2 pm with the performance o f a brass band from a girl's high school in Shinagawa, followed by dance performance by people from Burma. After the performance, a short slide show entitled "30 Years We Have Spent with Refugees" was played on the screen. Then people from Cambodia introduced three dances. Following the Khmer dance, four speakers from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam showed up and talked about their life stories. The Cambodian speaker was Kugo Ponnaret, a woman writer living in Japan whom I draw on in this thesis. After this talk show, people from Laos preformed two dances. Then three Japanese songs were played. The first song, Koujyou no Tsuki (Moon over the Japanese O l d Castle), was performed by M r . Zhang from China, and the other two songs—Hamabe no Uta (Song o f Beach) and Nada Sou Sou (Tears Fell Fast)—were  30  played by a group o f three Japanese harpists called "Las Estoregias." Following the three songs, two dances were performed by people from Vietnam. The chief o f F W E A P , M r . Ishizaki, made a final remark, and the ceremony came to an end by participants singing the song Furusato (Home) together in Japanese. The event was concluded at 4 pm. A s a participant observer, I intended to be honest, unassuming, self-revealing, and a reflective listener. During the event, I observed how Cambodians interacted with each other and how they used language, space, and time at the event. First, in terms of language, pamphlets distributed at the event were in Japanese, Khmer, Vietnamese, Burmese, and Laotian. Only the Japanese one was made o f glossy, white paper, and it contained some pictures. Others were just printed out using rough paper with no picture. Depending on the language, paper o f different colors was used. For instance, the Khmer pamphlet was in pink, and the Vietnamese one was in yellow. I sat with one o f the Cambodian family I knew from my research. The section in which we sat was mostly occupied by Cambodians, including six o f my research participants. They were all from the same apartment complex in Hiratsuka city, and came by a bus arranged by F W E A P . One o f them told me that 59 Cambodians in the same apartment complex made reservations, but only a half o f them showed up. When they talked to me, they used Japanese. In communicating with each other, they used Khmer. A Vietnamese boy sitting behind me spoke to one o f the Cambodian audiences asking about the way of greeting in Khmer. The person told him how to say hello in Khmer. This interaction was done in Japanese. They thus spoke in different languages depending on whom they were speaking to. However, I realized that the languages used by adults and that o f children and teenagers were different; adults mainly spoke Khmer, while the youth spoke Japanese. Even though a mother spoke to her son in Khmer, he answered back in Japanese. I also noticed that the term keitai (cell phone)  31  in Japanese was often mentioned in the conversation in Khmer. Second, considering space, there were about 1,000 people in the audience inside the hall; it was almost full. People from the same country were sitting together, so there were sections o f Cambodians, Vietnamese, Burmese, and Laotians. I recognized this because o f the color o f the pamphlet they were holding. In addition, the family I knew distinguished which people were from which country even i f they did not have a pamphlet. They even told me which Cambodians were from which city. I found out that there were two separate sections o f seated Cambodians—Cambodians living in Hiratsuka city, Kanagawa and those living in Sagamihara city, Kanagawa. It suggests that people living close to each other tended to sit together. I looked around the room. Nobody was wearing traditional clothes o f their country of origin. People were in casual outfits; men wore T-shirts or long-sleeved shirts with pants, and women wore T-shirts or long-sleeved shirts with pants or skirts. I did not see elderly people in their 70s or 80s. People at the event seemed to be in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. There were three teenage boys sitting in front o f me. One o f them was the son o f one o f my research participants. The three boys were wearing T-shirts and short pants. One of them had dyed his hair blond and was wearing a gold necklace and black T-shirt with a basketball player's number on the back. The son o f the research participant was wearing a white hat with a big capital " A " . Their fashion style reminded me o f hip-hop. I also noticed the absence of food inside the hall. I had expected that the gathering would be accompanied with food. But in this event, eating and drinking inside the hall were prohibited. This suggests that this gathering is different from other gatherings o f Southeast Asians, normally having food and conversation. A t this event, there was almost no interaction o f people while the event was held. The audience sat and listened to the  32  speakers. Although i n the latter section, people laughed and clapped their hands along with the performed dance and music, there was no interaction between the performers on stage and the audience. Finally, speaking o f time, the three boys spent time differently than other people. In the middle o f the first section o f the event, they left the hall saying that they were hungry and going out to eat. A t 2 pm when the latter part o f the event began, they came back and started watching the performance. The total o f three hours at the event passed quickly. The event on the whole offered international time rather than transnational time (the notion of time is further examined in Chapter 7).  3.3  Khmer Diaspora Literature  In addition to the participant observation and interviews, I drew on two kinds of diaspora literature to examine notions o f belonging held by Cambodians. One is written by feminist pedagogues and writers in the global diaspora o f all nationalities such as Jamaica Kincaid and Dionne Brand. Their works are particularly useful since they help us better understand what transnational citizen and citizenship mean in relation to feminist theory and practice. Another is written specifically by Khmer writers in the Cambodian diaspora such as Kugo Ponnaret and U Sam Oeur. The analysis o f the Khmer diaspora literature is essential to listen to voices o f Cambodians as transnational citizens who have resettled not only in Japan but in other countries, and to learn how each o f them practices global-nomadic citizenship in the third space. Combining these two kinds o f diaspora literature in this thesis makes it possible to examine the case o f Cambodians constantly shifting in the third space from a feminist perspective.  33  3.4  Data Collection and Analysis  In collecting data, I followed four essentials discussed by Fontana and Frey (1998): "(a) take notes regularly and promptly; (b) write everything d o w n . . . ; (c) try to be as inconspicuous as possible in note taking; and (d) analyze one's notes frequently" (60). For instance, when some research participants did not want to be audiotaped, I tried to write down their comments as much as I could during the interview. After the interview, I constantly took notes o f what I observed such as "[l]ooks, body postures, long silences, [and] the way one dresses" (Fontana and Frey 1998: 68) during the interview. In terms o f participant observations, I followed the guidelines for observation suggested by Spradley (1980). For example, I observed "the physical place or places," "the people involved," "a set of related acts people do," "the physical things that are present," "single actions that people do," "a set o f related activities that people carry out," "the sequencing that fakes place over time," "the things people are trying to accomplish," and "the emotions felt and expressed" (Spradley 1980: 78). Interviews were conducted in Japanese with some Khmer words and phrases. I translated the interviews from Japanese or Khmer into English as I transcribed them. In accordance with some basics o f transcription discussed by Kvale (1996), I transcribed the interviews "verbatim and word by word" from Japanese or Khmer into English and included "pauses, emphases in intonation, and emotional expressions like laughter..." (Kvale 1996: 170) so that I could maintain the atmosphere o f the interviews in the written text. In terms o f the participant observations, I sometimes took notes in English and sometimes in Japanese, and afterwards translated all notes into English. In translations, I used words and phrases that came to my mind instantly and later reviewed these for  34  accuracy. However, I acknowledge that there might be more than one way to translate the conversation in Japanese into English, and interpret the data, as Altheide and Johnson (1998) point out that " i f a different style or genre is selected in giving an ethnographic account, we have a different view or story presented" (286). In the case o f this study, i f another researcher transcribes and translates the same data, he/she may use different wording, and what the research participants said could have different meanings. In the same way, the collected data in this study might be interpreted very differently from other perspectives that do not contain transnational feminism. Even a researcher with a transnational feminist lens could interpret the data in a different way. After translating and transcribing, I classified the comments o f the participants  into  the  following  groups:  (1)  history/memory;  (2)  research  home/food;  (3)  language/education; (4) space/time; and (5) travelling/dwelling. I then wove together all o f the data in each group into thesis findings, drawing on diasporic literature and my observation data as further threads o f color, texture and meaning. This thesis is based on the diverse voices o f Cambodians in Japan, which were transcribed, simultaneously translated, and interpreted by the researcher as a transnational feminist.  35  C H A P T E R IV  HISTORY OF CAMBODIAN MIGRATION  Illustration 1: Calligraphy of "History" in Japanese and Khmer  4.1  Introduction  Each migrant carries his/her memory and story o f the past with him/her when moving to a new land. Cambodian residents in Japan also carry their own histories and memories of their homeland, inseparable from their current lives in the host country. It is thus necessary to pay attention to their experience of forced migration since it allows us to learn what stories o f the past are chosen to be told and what memories are particularly remembered by those who were once displaced. Hence, in this chapter, focusing on two themes—history and memory, I w i l l discuss what produced transnational movements o f Cambodians in the past, how they lead their lives in the newly inhabited land in the present, and how they deal with both pleasant and unpleasant memories in Cambodia and Japan. •  4.2  History A n d this is my father's voice This is the ground my grandmother walked This is my brother's breath This is the ocean my mother crossed A n d this is the story I have to tell (From the song Second Generation; Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, 2003)  In the musical Finding Home, performed in Vancouver on M a y 6, 2006, Welly Yang sang the song above. Yang suggests that there is a story he has to tell from the perspective o f being the second generation o f immigrants. Each person has his/her own story to tell. We learn histories through his stories and her stories. Considering the history o f Cambodian migration, it is essential to listen to stories told from diverse standpoints: those with nonKhmer heritage and those from Cambodia. What can we learn from their stories? In his book, Tomiyama (1992) describes the history o f Cambodia during the civil war  from  1970 to 1991. Tomiyama focuses on the rise o f the Khmer Rouge, the  37  dictatorship o f P o l Pot and the massacre o f the people i n Cambodia. When Pol Pot's dictatorship began in 1975, people were forced to move from Phnom Penh, the capital city and other cities, to rural areas. People were deprived o f their liberty and forced into labour, doing farm work and construction from morning to night without having enough food. Tomiyama explains that those who were regarded as counter-revolutionary elements and executed were leading figures, government officials or military officers from the former regime, L o n N o l ' s . Intellectuals such as medical doctors, teachers, engineers and Buddhist priests were also considered as dangerous elements and executed. The P o l Pot regime also persecuted people for having beliefs in Buddhism and destroyed temples and statues o f Buddha. In this way, Tomiyama delineates in detail the process o f genocide by the Pol Pot regime. In his book on Cambodia's history since 1945, Chandler (1991) describes how the past and traditions o f Cambodia were lost/destroyed under the slogans o f "building the country" and "defending the country" (256) presented by the K h m e r Rouge. Referring to those who were forced to evacuate from Phnom Penh, Chandler discusses how the revolution by the P o l Pot regime reversed the life o f intellectuals in the city. In addition, Chandler indicates that a mutated notion of education was created to educate children and teenagers to become courageous soldiers. During the chaotic period portrayed by both Tomiyama and Chandler, many Cambodians struggled to survive. They chose to leave their homeland in order to be safe and free from terror, pain and death. They fled to refugee camps in Thailand and Vietnam. The camps were just temporary places to stay in until they found a place for resettlement. They chose several countries they wanted to resettle in, although there was no guarantee that they could relocate to the country o f their first choice ( F W E A P 2005a). After being  38  notified o f a host country, they left the camps for their destinations—North America, Europe and A s i a . Such a long process o f relocating to the host country is described, for example, by M r . E : "For two or three years my wife and I were at a Cambodia-Thai border camp. A n d then we moved to another camp in Thailand and spent another half month there, waiting for the day o f departing for Japan."  4.2.1  Migration  The largest population o f the Cambodian refugees relocated to North America. According to Haines (1989), between 1975 and 1985, a total o f 141,031 Cambodian refugees resettled in North America (128,800 to the United States and 12,231 to Canada). The number o f Cambodian refugees who resettled in Japan cannot be comparable with the mass o f resettlers in North America. According to the Foundation for the Welfare and Education o f the Asian People ( F W E A P 2005b), the Japanese government granted resettlements to 1,353 Cambodian individuals (1,309 persons who were at refugee camps outside Japan and 44 persons such as students who were already in Japan before the political change). Figure 4 shows the number o f Southeast Asian refugees who were granted resettlement in Japan. Figure 4: Southeast Asian Refugees in Japan Source: F W E A P 2005b  Vietnam  Cambodia  39  Laos  Indochinese refugees, who first landed in Japan in 1975, were so-called "boat people" from Vietnam. Due to the rapidly increasing number o f Vietnamese refugees coming to Japan, the Japanese official policy on refugee resettlement, which granted resettlement to people from Vietnam, was established in 1978. Consecutively, in 1979, the government o f Japan approved the resettlement of refugees, from Cambodia and Laos as well ( R H Q 2004). Thus the influx of Indochinese refugees had had a great influence on the reform o f the Japan's policy on refugee resettlement. However, Kawakami (2005) suggests that the policy formulated between 1978 and 79 had not intended to actively promote refugees' resettlement, but had functioned as "administrator controlling immigration" (2). A s Kawakami remarks, even though the refugee policy was amended again in 1990, "Indochinese refugees who have resettled in Japan have been considered not as the official members o f the state but as the group o f people having an option to go back to their homeland anytime" (2005: 2). In the situation described above, how do Indochinese refugees as newcomers start their lives in their host country? Once they arrive in Japan, some are transferred to the Himeji Center, the refugee resettlement promotion center built in 1979 in Himeji city in Hyogo prefecture. Others are sent to the Yamato Center established in 1980 in Yamato city in Kanagawa Prefecture. In 1983, the International Refugee Assistance Center was built in Shinagawa ward, Tokyo. The first two resettlement promotion centers were closed, and the center in Shinagawa now plays the central rule in assisting refugees. In the case o f Cambodian refugees, almost all o f them were transferred to the Yamato Center in Kanagawa.  2  Foundation for the Welfare and Education of the Asian People, Today's Japan and Welfare Policy, F W E A P (2005c). 2  40  In the resettlement promotion centers, those who landed in Japan as refugees spend about four months studying Japanese language and about 20 days taking lessons to adjust themselves to Japanese society. After that, the centers help those who want to work to find a job. F W E A P (2005c) estimates that it takes about six months after refugees enter the assistance center until they find a job and leave the center. Since the Yamato Center, to which most Cambodians were transferred, is located in Kanagawa prefecture, 67 % of the Cambodian resettlers continue to reside there ( F W E A P 2005b). In the case o f my research participants, all o f them resided in the same apartment complex in Hiratsuka city, Kanagawa. The reason why they decided to live in that apartment complex is thoroughly examined in the next chapter. According to participants, the reason why they chose to live in Kanagawa in particular, out o f the forty-seven prefectures o f Japan was primarily the availability o f jobs and the green suburban environment.  4.2.2  Diaspora  Based on the fact that 67 % o f Cambodian resettlers are continuously living in Kanagawa prefecture ( F W E A P 2005b), it is reasonable to say that Cambodians have not really scattered around Japan and they have established some kind o f community by living close to each other. In other words, Cambodians have locally created their communities, and as a result, Kanagawa has become the prefecture where many Cambodians currently live. However, looking at the phenomenon o f Cambodian migration globally, it is clear that Cambodians have dispersed around the world. Focusing on my research participants, they noted that they have relatives and friends living outside Japan and that some o f their  41  relatives were not granted resettlement to the same host country. The reason o f such a separation from relatives is well explained by M r . D : My relatives and friends live in Canada, the United States, Australia, and France; we were separated. We spread around the world. We really wanted to get out of the refugee camp, so we applied to as many countries as possible to seek asylum. It was impossible for me and all the family members and relatives of mine to be relocated to the same country. Although separated from relatives and friends, the research participants often contact those who reside outside Japan and try to maintain the ties o f family and friendship. A t times, they actually go to visit relatives and friends i n foreign countries. Some research participants talk about this: E: Once I went to the United States....; one of my close families living there had a funeral. I could not attend the funeral itself, but there was a gathering that commemorated the 100th day after the day of the person's death. I attended this meeting. C: Vm planning to attend two weddings of my friends next year (in 2006). One person resides in Toronto and another person lives in Japan, and both of them will hold a wedding in Cambodia. Their partners are Cambodian. They are my relatives, so I want to join and celebrate their weddings. Similar comments were made by M s . F and M r . H . M s . F went to Cambodia in 2005 to hold a wedding ceremony and her relatives and friends gathered and celebrated her wedding (this is further discussed later in this chapter). M r . H also visited Cambodia in 2000 for the first time since he had resettled in Japan. H i s elder brother, who was also living in Japan, held a wedding ceremony in Cambodia. What is common among these four research participants is that they actually travel abroad to see their relatives and friends, particularly for funerals and weddings. Attending these events is very meaningful, as suggested by O l w i g (2002) who analyzes a wedding in Central America: "Rituals such as weddings and funerals are significant for transnational family networks as events where scattered relatives meet and validate shared kinship and common origins" (205).  42  Another way o f maintaining the family ties and friendships was contacting each other by phone. M s . G , who has many relatives and friends in foreign countries, talks about how she keeps her ties with them: R: Do you often contact your relatives and friends in other nations? G: Yes. I call those who are living in the United States, Canada, and Australia. So I receive a large telephone bill every month. I usually pay 20,000 or 30,000 yen (200 or 300 CAD) a month for phone usage. Like M s . G , most o f the research participants (seven out o f eight) choose the phone as their main communication method. In fact, they preferred making phone calls to emailing and sending letters. Only M r . H indicates that he prefers sending an email by computer or cell phone. What becomes clear from the comments o f the research participants is that Cambodian diasporic communities are located around the globe, and their kinship and friendship ties are maintained by visiting and contacting each other, mainly by phone in the case o f the people I interviewed. Their broad network beyond national borders becomes visible in this way.  4.3  Memory  Memory is the past we remember. Some memories are pleasant and others are not. Considering those who had no choice but to leave their country o f origin, what memories do they remember? H o w do their minds choose which memories to remember and not to? Is there any other memory remembered besides by their minds? A h m e d (2000) elaborates the unique notion.of memory remembered by "skin": "Migration stories are skin memories: memories o f different sensations that are felt on the skin" (92, emphasis in the original). This notion is supported by my research participant's words: G: If you go to Cambodia, it's better to bring sunscreen and a hat. Compared to Cambodians, Japanese have skin weaker to the sun. You '11 get sunburned easily.  43  R: How different is summer in Cambodia than that in Japan? G: It's hot in summer in both countries. But in Japan, it's humid and hot. In Cambodia, it's dry and hot. When you are outside in summer in Cambodia, you '11 feel the heat and your skin will be getting sunburned. M s . G indicates the difference between skin o f Cambodians people and that o f Japanese people. In addition, her words suggest that her skin distinguishes the difference o f the humidity in summer in Cambodia and Japan. A s Ahmed mentions: " M e m o r y . . . works through the swelling and sweating of the skin: the memory o f another place which one lived as home involves the touching o f the body..." (2000: 92), skin remembers how it felt in the previously inhabited land, and it reacts to the newly inhabited environment. Unlike this "skin memory," there exists memory that is accompanied by some distress. In the case o f my research participants, such memory is related to the factor that made them relocate to Japan. Most o f them mentioned the terms such as "war" and " P o l Pot," but what happened in the war was hardly described in detail. Here is an example o f this: H: I was born in the woods in Battambang in August 1975. When I was born, the war by the Pol Pot regime was already taking place. When I was a baby, I was living in a run-down old house for about 3 years and 8 months. My family was poor. I came to Japan with my mom and elder brother on October 28, 1982. A s indicated above, M r . H ' s memory shifts quickly from 1975 to 82. M s . C even talks about "forgetting" the past: "The past is just past. It is to be forgotten." One reason that these research participants barely mention the past in relation to the war and even attempt to forget is explained by Ahmed (2000), who asserts: "Acts o f remembering are felt by migrant bodies in the form o f discomfort..." (92). Hence, it is reasonable to suppose that some Cambodian residents in Japan feel distress when remembering certain pasts, and this uncomfortableness leads to the act o f forgetting.  44  4.3.1  Daring to Remember  A t the same time, we have to acknowledge that there are some people who dare to remember the unpleasant past. Those who were in diaspora started to write about their memories at the time when Cambodia was in political chaos. Here I refer to two writers— Kugo Ponnaret and U Sam Oeur. What made them remember the past and start writing about it? First, regarding Kugo, the author of The Colorless Sky (2001), she delineates her terrible experience under the P o l Pot regime, while she mentions at the beginning o f her book: "What I experienced for four years since I was ten years old might be a bit hard for people to believe. For me, it is a nightmare that I still have a hard time remembering. Until recently, because o f this, I could not even sleep alone at night" (3-4). Kugo describes the rise o f the Khmer Rouge, the forced moving from Phnom Penh to a village, tasks/jobs she and her family were forced to do, her family members disappearing (being killed), her escape from the village, and the journey to refugee camps in Thailand. She finally resettled in Japan at the age o f 16. U Sam Oeur was born in Svey Rieng in 1936. After he was educated in California and Iowa, he returned to Cambodia and lived in Phnom Penh. However, when the Pol Pot regime was in power, he and his family were forced to move out o f the city. During control of the country by the Khmer Rouge, U Sam Oeur pretended to be illiterate and hid knowledge he had. After the fall o f the Khmer Rouge, he started working in the Minister o f Industry, but he was fired after his poem praising democracy was found at his office. He then requested political asylum, and he now resides in the United States. In Sacred Vows, 3  U Sam Oeur (1998). Sacred Vows: Poetry by USam Oeur (K. McCullough & U Sam Oeur, Trans.). Minneapolis: Coffee House Press.  45  a collection o f his poems, he deals with various themes such as myths, the words o f Buddha, the war, and the current situation o f Cambodia. Comparing these two writers, the difference found is that Kugo was a refugee and U Sam Oeur was a political exile. However, while having a different status, it is common that both describe the memories o f the war and the Khmer Rouge as dark. This is well illustrated by reference to the sky both of them saw during the dark period. Kugo mentions: "The sky above me i n Cambodia was no longer pure blue as it used to be; it was a colorless sky" (2001: 74). U Sam Oeur depicts his feelings i n relation to winds, skies and rains: Listen to my howl through winds, look at my sorrows through the gray skies, feel my tears through the rains,... (1998: 21) Both Kugo and U Sam Oeur portray the sky through their memories. K u g o ' s memory suggests that the sky lost the color, and the world around her became monochrome. U Sam Oeur's memory indicates that his grief and despair are synchronized with the gray sky accompanied with wind and rain. W h y did Kugo and U Sam Oeur decide to face their dark-coloured memories without averting their eyes from them? The reason for this is that they have a message they aim to disseminate through the act o f daring to remember the past and writing about it. For instance, Kugo points out that she writes about her experience as a means o f expressing the importance o f peace: / have come to believe that there is no need to feel inferior about the fact that I became a victim of the political affairs and had no choice but to escape from my inhabited country. Rather, it is ok to be proud of having survived such a horrible situation. And telling people about my experience shall advocate the importance of peace. (2001: 217-218) In the same way, U Sam Oeur creates poetry to appeal to people in Cambodia for the importance o f paying attention to the present rather than being immersed in the past, as  46  '  suggested by M c C u l l o u g h (1998): "It is Sam's hope that he w i l l begin to nudge Cambodian people out o f living in the Angkor era into a present which is tempered by traditions but not encumbered by them" (iii).  4.3.2  Memory as Nostalgia  The sense o f longing is inseparable from the discussion on memory. The comment o f M r . D below shows his longing for the  p  a  s  t  :  .  .  .  / sometimes remember the past, and miss the old days. But at the same time, I remember hard times I had before. I feel that I'm satisfied with the present because I was poor in the past. His words illustrate his nostalgic feeling towards the past in addition to his satisfaction with the present. In the case o f M r . D , nostalgia represents the act o f missing the time that already passed. In addition to this kind o f nostalgia, Wilson (1999) asserts that there are possibly two definitions o f nostalgia, which are "going 'above and beyond' the original definition that nostalgia is an emotion o f longing for a past" (303). First, nostalgia is practiced by sharing time with other people  as explained by Wilson: "Nostalgia may be  experienced  collectively, in the sense that nostalgia occurs when we are with others who shared the event(s) being recalled..." (1999: 303). M r . B ' s comment is relevant to this: R: How often do you see your Cambodian friends? And what do you do with them? B: I often see them. Many Cambodians are living in the apartment complex. We get together at someone's house and chat. Borrowing Wilson (1999)'s concept, in the case o f Cambodian residents in Japan, it is possible to say that nostalgia emerges through the acts o f assembling and sharing experiences they had in the country o f origin.  47  Second, nostalgia is closely linked with identity as W i l s o n points out: "Nostalgia may be a means o f facilitating the continuity o f identity—looking back to our past grounds us; we have a sense o f who we were, who we are, and who we are becoming" (1999: 303). This kind o f nostalgia is well represented by Cambodian residents' acts o f taking pictures and preserving them. There is a significant meaning behind that as Curtis and Pajaczkowska (1994) suggests that "...photographs are a way o f preserving memories and are powerful and pleasurable stimuli for reawakening forgotten experiences" (210)., Cambodians who resettled in Japan do take pictures and preserve them. A s discussed in detail in the next chapter, in M r . E ' s home, six pictures o f him and his family dressed in traditional Khmer clothes are hung on the wall. The act o f keeping pictures means preserving memory—memory that is pleasurable. The following comments o f M s . F about her wedding ceremony imply that pleasurable memory is embodied as photograph and is actively produced by taking photos. Moreover, such a pleasant memory is preserved as a photo album: F: My husband and I went to Cambodia in April this year (in 2005). We have been married, but we could not have a wedding ceremony because the war happened and we were living in a Cambodia-Thai border camp. Timing it for the Cambodian New Year, we wanted to hold a wedding ceremony there. We made a photo album of our wedding for our memory. My family members and relatives came to celebrate us. After mentioning this, she brought out the photo album and showed it to me. While looking at the photographs inside, I took some notes regarding what I saw and what she explained about the photos. They are illustrated in Figure 5.  48  Figure 5: Notes on the Wedding Photo A l b u m (Field notes, October 19, 2005) She and her spouse held the wedding ceremony in Phnom Penh. Somewhere close to the airport. The photo album had two sections. First, I saw photographs taken by a professional photographer at a photo studio. The bride and groom wore colourful dress. They were traditional Khmer wedding costumes. There was a costume rental shop, and they rented many dresses o f different colors such as white, yellow and pink for two days. In almost all o f the pictures, the bride and groom were standing close to each other. Pictures i n the latter section of the photo album were taken by their relatives and friends. The bride and groom were sitting in the front and facing people. Various kinds of fruits were on golden plates on the table. Their relatives and families were in the photos. They were laughing and smiling; they looked happy and cheerful. Two or three monks were in some pictures. The wedding ceremony was based on Khmer Buddhism. The monks were reciting a sutra in front o f the bride and groom. The bride and groom chose to hold a wedding ceremony in Cambodia because it would cost a lot in Japan. They spent 500,000 yen (5,000 C A D ) for the wedding. Renting dress for two days was 50,000 yen (500 C A D ) .  After explaining to me what was on the pictures, M s . F then said: "It is such a good memory to make the photo album." It is clear from her words that taking photographs means producing pleasurable memory. While Cambodian residents take pictures o f subjects related to the country of origin, they also take photos o f subjects in the country o f their destination. For instance, some o f the research participants told me that they took pictures o f places they visited in Japan; for example, Tokyo Tower and M t . Fuji. In addition, at Indochinese refugees event, held in Shinagawa, the audience was actively taking photographs o f the performers. Cambodian  49  audience members sitting around me used various electronic devices such as digital video recorders, digital cameras, and cell phones accompanied by a digital camera function. Borrowing the notion o f nostalgia presented by W i l s o n (1999), it is reasonable to say that the acts o f taking photos and conserving them are closely linked with the preservation and the transformation o f identity. In the case o f Cambodian residents in Japan, their selves in the past are preserved and serve as a foundation o f the selves in the present. In the same way, the selves in the present become the foundation o f the selves in the future. A s time goes by, identity shifts in the way that the present self becomes past, and then the future self becomes ongoing.  4.4  Conclusion  This chapter has covered the two themes—history and memory. First, I have interrogated what happened in Cambodia in 1970s, what produced a large number o f Cambodian refugees, and which countries accepted them. I have also examined Japan's policy o f granting resettlement to Indochinese refugees, and the role o f the resettlement promotion centers  in Japan. In addition, the examination o f Cambodian migration reveals a  transnational network o f Cambodians i n the diaspora. Finally, I have discussed how Cambodians who relocated to Japan deal with unpleasant memory in relation to war and pleasurable memory in the country o f origin and the host country. The next chapter reexamines notions o f "home" and "food" by closely looking at Cambodians' daily lives in Japan.  50  CHAPTER V  HOME/FOOD  Illustration 2: Calligraphy of "Home" and "Food" in Japanese and Khmer  Tfifoolffin  51  5.1  Introduction  Home is closely linked with our daily lives. We use these phrases: "coming home" and "making oneself at home." Food is also an ordinary substance consumed everyday. Since home and food are thus deeply rooted in our lives, it is often believed that it is natural to have a home to live in and something to eat. However, this thinking overlooks the situation of the displaced who once faced difficulty i n maintaining a food supply and had no choice but to leave their homes in their native land. It is important to notice that only those who have the stable "home" and food that are the foundation o f living are allowed to think in this way. In other words, it is essential to recognize that home and food might mean differently to those who have experienced forced migration. Therefore, in this chapter, I will re-examine the taken-for-granted notions o f home and food. Drawing on theirexperience in Cambodia and Japan, I w i l l discuss how significant both home and food are to Cambodians as displaced.  5.2  Home  Unlike those who have the stable "home" that is the foundation o f living, what does home mean to the migrant, the exile, and the refugee? What/Where is home anyway? Pratt (2004) attempts to re-imagine/re-envision a home in the globalized world. Referring to social and cultural theorists who consider a multicultural city as home, Pratt analyzes such a perspective and delineates some o f the problems. Theorists believe that people can find a home in a multicultural city, where difference is acknowledged and respected. However, Pratt argues that current multiculturalism does not really help people find their home in the •multicultural city. "The rhetoric o f multiculturalism," remarks Pratt, "is a kind o f alibi for liberal ideology; it allows the pretension o f egalitarianism across differently racialised  52  groups without addressing the fundamental material inequalities that persist between them" (2004: 132). In this way, Pratt points out that multiculturalism overlooks inequalities between racialised groups. Instead o f such a limited multiculturalism, Pratt uses the concept o f "critical multiculturalism" (2004: 133). Then what does home represent when examining it in the context of critical multiculturalism? Pratt (2004) pays close attention to Canadian-born Asians in Vancouver, and offers two different paths to the accomplishment o f critical multiculturalism by illustrating with the examples o f Chinese-Canadian youth and Filipino-Canadian youth. Pratt reveals the boundary between "Canadian-born, middle-class Chinese-Canadian and Filipino-Canadian youth" (2004: 133) and "white Canadians" (2004: 140), and uses the term "transnational" in order to minimize this boundary/gap between them. In the case o f the Chinese-Canadian youth, they claim the importance o f revisiting the history o f Canada where their ancestors immigrated and worked hard. The case o f the Filipino-Canadian youth articulates the importance o f developing connections to . the Philippines and acknowledging the untold histories o f people such as their immigrant parents. In this way, in order to gain a home in the multicultural city, these elements are necessary for people o f colour in Canada. A t the same time, from the perspective o f critical multiculturalism, Pratt (2004) criticizes the cultural hegemony o f "white Canadians" (140): "To be  fully  multicultural, Canadians must appreciate the specificity o f connections and the complexity of identifications and attachments held by many Canadian citizens" (144). Pratt's article thus illustrates the difficulties and complexities o f establishing a stable home in the multicultural city, particularly when people o f colour attempt to do so. What about a home for the exile? Jamaica Kincaid is a writer in exile. Although she left her homeland for the United States when she was 17 years old, Kincaid describes  53  Antigua through her memory and experience. So where/what is home o f Kincaid? Is her 4  home in N e w York, Antigua, or anywhere else? In A Small Place, Kincaid (1988) tells us how huge the influence o f colonization on the Antiguans was/is. A Small Place shows what colonization has brought people in Antigua and how hard it is for them to "get over the past,...forgive and...forget" (1988: 26). Therefore, in A Small Place, Kincaid describes cynically a huge after effect o f colonization from the perspective o f the ..colonized. In addition to the description o f the cruelty o f the colonization, Kincaid (1988) depicts Antigua's beauty: the blue sky and the blue ocean. Trinh (1994) argues about a home for the exile and the migrant. This can explain why Kincaid writes about Antigua after she left the place and does not physically live there anymore. "Home for the exile and the migrant," as Trinh describes it, "can hardly be more than a transnational or circumstantial place, since the 'original' home cannot be recaptured, nor can its presence/absence be entirely banished in the 'remade' home" (1994: 14-15). Kincaid's "original home" is in Antigua where she was born and spent her time until the age 17. N o w she does not live there anymore, so the original home cannot be regained. A t the same time, the presence o f the original home does not disappear since she writes about Antigua—the place where she used to live. Then where/what is home for Kincaid, the writer in exile? Trinh's words help us find an answer: "For a number o f writers in exile, the true home is to be found not in houses, but in writing" (1994: 16). Applying this to the case o f Kincaid, we can say that her true home is not in houses in N e w Y o r k or Antigua; it exists in her writing. When we write, language and identity are usually part of it. A Small Place is written in English, her native  Department of English, University of Minnesota, "Voices from the gaps: Jamaica Kincaid," http://voices.cla.umn.edu/newsite/authors/KINCAIDiamaica.htm ("2003V 4  54  tongue, and the writing is influenced by an aspect o f identity o f a person who directly experienced British colonization. Kincaid (1988) maintains such an aspect o f her identity even though she now lives in the United States. In short, what is clear from her writing is that Kincaid herself, as the transnational subject and the writer in exile, preserves her true home i n writing; by writing she crosses the boundaries o f the nation-state, and reaches her true home. It is obvious from the discussion above that the notion o f home is complex when people are positioned as migrants and exiles. Considering the case o f refugees, some similarities and differences can be seen. We have to acknowledge that there is a slight difference in terms o f the degree o f having free choice. While a certain degree of the free choice is given to the exile, it is limited to the migrant classified as the refugee, as Ahmed (2000) notes, "you can consider the refugee as the one who is forced to move due to situations o f extreme persecution" (187). Refugees are thus forced to leave their own homes and other resources behind. Therefore, when examining what home means to refugees who experienced such a forced migration, it is crucial to consider home not only as imaginary but as material.  5.2.1  Cambodians' Home as Imaginary as well as Material  In the case o f Cambodian refugees in Japan, many o f them are currently living in apartments operated by either prefectures or municipalities. Prefectural housing is named kenei jyutaku, and municipal housing is called shiei jyutaku. The group o f Cambodians I interviewed all reside in the kenei housing complex. This apartment complex consists o f 50 buildings and about 1,360 houses. I w i l l call it the X apartment complex from now on. According to M r . E , besides Japanese residents, there are people from Vietnam and Laos  55  living there. He indicates that about 30 households from Cambodia are living in the X apartment complex. One o f the primary reasons to choose to live in this kind o f house is low rent. A s M s . G notes, "The apartment itself is tiny, but the rent is cheap, so my family and I are living here." Prefectures and municipalities offer lower-priced housing compared to housing operated by private enterprises. However, Inaba (2003) delineates a negative fact that leaves little choice to those who landed in Japan as refugees: "When Indochinese refugees look for housing run by private business, their tenancy is rejected by real estate agent and landlord, and they face a problem o f being unable to find a guarantor..." (152). Thus it comes to be clear that people who resettled in Japan as refugees face these restrictions in choosing housing. Therefore, it is clear that the l o w cost o f rent as well as the restrictions suggested by Inaba (2003) have a great influence on Cambodians' decision-making o f housing. So what does home mean to those who reside in the X apartment complex? To investigate this, we cannot neglect the "physical" existence o f home. M r . B and M r . E , residents o f the X apartment complex, mention their ideas o f home: R: How do you perceive your home? B: Home..., I want to own a house, but it's too expensive to buy one. If it's cheap, I'll buy it later. E: My younger brother bought a house. And I want my home, too. It is reasonable to suppose from M r . B and M r . E ' s responses above that "home" is related to the desire o f possession. In other words, materiality represented by home is considered to be important. This notion o f materiality is closely linked with four values o f home, presented by Young (1997). Those are: 1) safety; 2) individuation; 3) privacy; and 4)  56  preservation. First, in terms o f safety, Young argues the importance o f having a home where people can feel "physically safe and secure" (1997: 161). Second, regarding individuation, Young (1997) suggests that "home is an extension o f the person's body, the space that he or she takes up, and performs the basic activities o f l i f e . . . " (162). Third, "privacy," remarks Young, "refers to the autonomy and control a person has to allow or not allow access to her person, information about her, and the things that are meaningfully associated with her person" (1997: 163). Finally, Young (1997) argues that a home has a role o f preservation that protects "the meaningful things i n which one sees the stories o f one's self embodied, and rituals o f remembrance that reiterate those stories" (163-4). Young suggests that these four values should be accessible to everyone. These values o f home, however, are difficult to gain for refugees who have no choice but to move to another place leaving their properties behind. Regarding Cambodian residents in Japan, they have a place to live in. B y living in the apartment complex, the four values o f home suggested by Young are much more accessible to Cambodian resettlers compared to the times they spent in refugee camps and the  resettlement  promotion center. First, by living in a rented property they gain a sense o f security. Second, they can lead a daily life inside the property. Third, they can maintain private information and things from other people. Lastly, they can practice preservation o f their rituals. In this way, rented property as home makes it possible for Cambodian residents to gain "safety," "individuation," "privacy," and "preservation" in contrast to the life in refugee camps. However, it is important to remember that the property is rented under some contract. The residents can stay as long as they pay the rent every month, but the property is owned not by them but by Kanagawa prefecture. In short, unlike home as fully owned by its resident, a rented home offers a slightly limited access to the four values o f  57  home. This is supported by the comments by M r . B and M r . E on the previous page, describing their dream to possess their own homes in the future. Their responses suggest that by possessing their own home, Cambodian residents are entitled to fully practice safety, individuation, privacy, and preservation without any contract or monthly payment. In this way, home as material plays a significant role in delineating the three different phases in the lives o f the research participants: 1) property is left behind in the previously inhabited country,, and safety, individuation, priVacy and preservation are all unavailable; 2) property is rented currently in the country o f their destination, and safety, individuation, privacy and preservation are practiced with some restrictions; and 3) property is to be fully possessed in the future, and safety, individuation, privacy and preservation w i l l be all fully accomplished. While Cambodian resettlers gain these four essential values o f home by living in the X apartment complex to some extent, there is some element that is impossible to be fully regained/recovered. A s I suggested elsewhere, the original home for the exile cannot be regained nor does the presence o f the original home disappear. The same can be said about the home for the refugee. Cambodians who resettled in Japan do not physically live in Cambodia anymore. Therefore, their "original" home cannot be recovered. A t the same time, in their "re-made" home in the host country Japan, the presence o f their "original" home cannot be precluded. In interrogating this complex relationship between the original home and the remade home, a close look at the interior o f M r . E ' s house is helpful. M r . E showed me the inside of his apartment on the first floor (see Illustration 3, p. 59). The apartment is composed o f 3 D K meaning that there are three bedrooms plus a kitchen room. Details o f the interior can be found in Illustration 3. There is a dining kitchen next to the entrance. The kitchen (six-  58  mat room) is connected to two rooms: a bedroom (four-and-a-half-mat room) and living room (four-and-a-half-mat room). The living room is connected to another bedroom (sixmat room). Hence the apartment consists of a total o f twenty-one mats. Illustration 3: House Layout  bedroom 4/<-> r parents  bedroom -f-or  pxftredi sliding doort (Shoji)  Curtain  entrance  ®  I| lowy-dfnlnj. @  kf+c/ien  ®  • Shelf  *  TV  (!) ^  S?nK  Shel-f win  .  Key: CD: Small board with Japanese documents (2) : Calendar in Khmer (3) : Picture o f husband and wife in Khmer dress (4) : Picture o f children i n Khmer dress (5) : Picture o f children i n Khmer dress © : Picture o f family in Khmer dress © : Picture o f family in Khmer dress (8): Picture o f family i n Khmer dress © : Shelf full o f Khmer music C D s ® : B i g watercolour painting o f Angkor Wat  59  •floor)  oven  toilet ^  It appears as i f his apartment is like any other, but when closely looking at what is inside, we notice that some Khmer elements are alive inside his house in Japan. A s depicted in Illustration 3, the apartment has some Japanese features such as the living room with tatami and the bedroom with a pair o f shoji (papered sliding) doors. In addition, near the entrance, there is a small board hung up with several documents in Japanese (depicted as ® ) . A t the same time, as portrayed as keys in Illustration 3, many objects related to Cambodia are used as decorations. For instance, there is a calendar in Khmer in the kitchen ((D). A big watercolour painting o f Angkor Wat ( © ) is hung on the wall o f the living room. Many pictures o f his family members dressed in traditional Khmer clothes are also hung on the wall ((3)-(8)). A large number o f Khmer music video C D s are placed on the fourstory shelf ((D). The X apartment complex looks like a typical apartment building found in Japan. However, once we step inside the house, we see this Cambodianness come alive. Seen from the outside, the "original" home seems to be lost, but in fact, its essence remains inside the "re-made" home in Kanagawa, Japan. In terms o f this remade house where Cambodianness and Japaneseness are intermingled with one another, it is also necessary to examine how Cambodian residents lead their private lives. This is further discussed in relation to food, language, and space later in this chapter and subsequent chapters. Here we pay attention to another Khmer element alive inside the house. It is about clothing worn at home. Some research participants indicate that at home, they wear traditional Khmer clothes called sarong, a long skirt for both women and men. M s . F talks about sarong: R: How often do you wear sarong?  60  F: I often wear it at home because it's relaxing. My husband does that, too. But it's difficult to tie and keep the shape. It gets loose and comes off. So he and I wear the one with an elastic string attached so that it won't come off. In this way, M s . F and her spouse frequently wear sarong at home because it gives them comfort. It is obvious that traditions developed in Cambodia are preserved in Japan. A t the same time, however, the act o f altering sarong represents one, o f the changes that have occurred in their lives in Japan. The cases o f M r . E and M s . F suggest that fragments o f Cambodianness cultivated in their original homes find their expression in the acts o f decorating the home with things closely related to Cambodia, and o f wearing traditional clothes in their remade home i n Japan. Their homes symbolize the space  where  Cambodianness meets and coexists with Japaneseness.  5.3  Food  Virginia W o o l f once stated: ...they [novelists] seldom spare a word for what was eaten. It is part o f the novelist's convention not to mention soup and salmon and ducklings, as i f soup and salmon and ducklings were o f no importance whatsoever.... Here, however, I shall take the liberty to defy that convention and to tell you that the lunch on this occasion began with soles, sunk in a deep dish.... (1928/2000: 12) A s W o o l f points out, writing about what we eat is very important. Food is a reflection o f us. A t a basic level, food is necessary for survival. W e absorb essential nutrition by eating and digesting. Nowadays, organic food is popular not only here i n Canada but also in Japan. People eat organically grown food to maintain or improve their health. But what i f we are prohibited to eat what we want or even worse, to eat? W e w i l l surely face hunger and starvation. In Cambodia, under the P o l Pot regime, a large number o f people suffered from hunger. Welaratna (1993) points out the hunger o f Cambodians by referring to his interviewee saying, " W e worked all day, under the sun and in the rain, with no medicine  61  and hardly any food. I was so hungry that I caught every snail, lizard, frog, and fish I saw..." (53).  5.3.1  Hunger and Power  First o f all, it is essential to examine the role of food under the political chaos in Cambodia before Cambodian refugees left the country. Kugo (2001) indicates the destruction o f the monetary system referring to the fact that the Khmer currency had no value under the Pol Pot regime, and markets were closed. Regarding the market, Visser suggests that it has "modes and fashions o f food, standing for and encouraging the feeling o f freedom o f choice" (1999: 123). The market is the place where people can make their decisions about what to buy. However, in the case o f Cambodia, there was a time when markets were closed. Cambodian citizens did not have "the feeling o f freedom o f choice." In being divested o f the freedom to consume by the Khmer Rouge, people had little choice of what to eat. Here the dichotomy becomes clear between those who control the food supply and those who do not have the right to eat what they want. Considering Counihan and V a n Esterik (1997) indicating that "...access to food has become a key measure o f power and powerlessness..." (3), it is reasonable to say that this dichotomy between the Khmer Rouge and the people represents the power structure between the group o f people holding power and those who are powerless. Kugo (2001) suggests that a similar power structure existed among the people persecuted by the Khmer Rouge. According to Kugo, the people were divided into two different groups. One group was composed o f people who were originally living in rural villages. They were called " o l d " residents. Another group consists o f people who were residing in Phnom Penh and were forced to move out. They were called "new" residents,  62  and this group o f people including herself had a more severe treatment. Kugo describes the newly built dichotomy among the people: "There was a distinct discrimination against the so-called new residents in terms o f work and rationing" (2001: 68). Harder farm work was assigned to the new residents, and they received less rationed rice compared to the old residents. Kugo describes the poor food with little nutrition she had and also the lack o f meat. She mentions the taste o f pork she had after the fall o f the Khmer Rouge in 1979: "There were pork dishes I hadn't eaten for four years. Everybody was happy and ate with great gusto..." (2001: 121-122). A s Counihan and V a n Esterik (1997) point out: "Culturally and economically marginal people often suffer from hunger and malnutrition and rarely eat meat..." (3), the so-called new residents who were leading "a wealthier life in the urbanized city compared to villagers" (Kugo 2001: 69) could hardly eat meat and suffered from hunger under the P o l Pot regime. This indicates a position reversal between city people and villagers. Those who were living in Phnom Penh turned out to be marginalized people in the new political structure. In this way, it is obvious that food is closely "linked to overall social hierarchies and power relations" (Counihan and V a n Esterik 1997: 3). Having full access to food and controlling the food supply means having power. Having limited access to food leads to hunger and marginalization. A s the new social hierarchy between the old residents with food and the new residents with little food was created under the new administration, food shifted the previously existing power structure.  63  5.3.2  Encountering Food in the New Land  Those who fled to the outside o f Cambodia became refugees. They were free from the unequal distribution o f food and regained the right to eat what they wanted. They were relocated to their host countries around the globe. Each country has its own food culture. After they resettled in recipient countries, how did they feel about the food in the host country? D i d they accept the new food o f their destination? Or do they maintain the food of their homeland? First, looking at the case o f North America, some refugees had severe experiences regarding food. Based on interviews he conducted, Welaratna (1993) suggests that some Cambodian refugees who resettled in the United States had difficulty with eating American food. According to Welaratna, one o f his interviewees said, "When I arrived in San Francisco I was very tired. I hadn't eaten for two days because I didn't know how to eat the American food the people gave us on the airplane..." (1993: 112). Welaratna also refers to another interviewee talking about hamburgers: "...they tasted so funny, I couldn't eat them. I had eaten only Cambodian food all my life, and I couldn't eat the new food" (1993: 130). Thus these responses show that there was a physical rejection of food consumed in the new environment. In the same way, some refugees who resettled in Japan had similar experiences. In the case o f Japan, once refugees arrive, they start living in the aid center. There Japanese, food is served. Some o f my research participants had similar opinions o f Japanese food: R: How do you feel about Japanese food? G: I couldn't eat it at all at first, but now I've gotten used to it; I can finish it all. [laughsJ  64  It is clear that Cambodian refugees who relocated to Japan had a physical rejection o f Japanese food at first, like those who resettled in the United States did. A t the same time, however, it suggests that there was a shift in food consumption. In this case, M s . G has shifted from the stage o f rejecting Japanese food to that o f accepting it. Other research participants even mentioned their favourite Japanese dishes: E: Besides eating Cambodian food, I often buy take-out. dishes from supermarkets. Those are Japanese foods such as sashimi and sushi. Sashimi especially tastes good. F: I like eating natto. Sashimi is sliced raw fish, and some people who are not originated in Japan physically reject raw seafood. Regarding natto (fermented soybeans), traditionally consumed by Japanese people, people usually mix it with soy sauce and mustard, put it on steamed rice, and eat it. There are some people who grew up in Japan, but cannot eat natto because o f its peculiar smell and stickiness. However, the comments above show that some research participants enjoy eating Japanese dishes that are sometimes avoided even by Japanese people. This case suggests that some Cambodian resettlers have shifted their attitudes towards traditionally consumed food in Japan not only from rejection to acceptance, but from acceptance to liking. Accepting or even liking new foods, however, does not necessarily mean that Cambodian resettlers can easily grow accustomed to new flavours. Some ongoing discords with Japanese food are described by research participants: C: Regarding natto, ...I do not like that sticky feeling when eating it. It's like a spider web in my mouth, [laughs] In terms of smell, Cambodian cuisine usually has a strong smell. So natto's smell is ok for me. D: Speaking of food, I know that Japanese people eat osechi ryouri (festive food) for the New Year.  65  R: Have you tried it before? D: No. I know that nowadays people can order a delivery of already-made osechi, but it's expensive. Although it is a small portion, it costs about 10,000 yen (100 CDN) for a serving for one person. In addition, food included in osechi is mainly cooked sweet, and I'm not really good at eating sweet dishes. I'd prefer something spicy and salty. The responses above suggest that it takes some time for Cambodian resettlers to be acclimatized to the flavours that did not exist in the culture o f their country o f origin. While experiencing some discomfort in the taste o f the new foods and somehow accepting Japanese food in their lifestyles, it is also true that Cambodian residents in Japan maintain a habit o f cooking and eating Cambodian food: R: Do you often eat Cambodian food in your daily life? B: Yes. I do eat Cambodian food for breakfast and dinner. I have Japanese lunch at my workplace. A: Yes. I cook Cambodian food at home. H: I eat the (Cambodian) dishes my mom cooks. In this way, Cambodian cuisine is cooked and eaten by Cambodian residents in Japan. I argued in the section o f "Home" above that some fragments o f the culture o f the country o f origin remain alive inside the home o f Cambodian resettlers. In the same way, the flavours of food enriched in the culture of their homeland are actively preserved through the act o f cooking and consuming Cambodian food. In addition, Cambodian resettlers maintain the tradition o f eating together with friends as well as family members: F: Otosan (Father) sometimes does yakin (night shift) for a week. Except for that time, I have breakfast and dinner with him and the kids. E: Cambodians have a broad network. We call each other to arrange our gatherings. When it's sunny, we go shopping together. When it's rainy, we gather at someone's house, cook together, eat together, and chat. We do this every week.  66  Cambodians live here and there in Kanagawa, so we play together here and there. At 10 or 11 at night, when I'm already sleeping, I sometimes receive phone calls from friends saying, "Why don't you join us?" I get up and drive to their home even if it's 30 or 40 kilometers away! The latest I received a phone call and left for the gathering was 1 a.m. in the morning. I often go to Sagamihara to see friends. We try to see each other once a week—on weekends, in particular. But sometimes we gather only once or twice a month because everyone is busy. What does the act o f eating together mean? The question is taken up by Meigs (1997): "Eating, the sharing o f food, is a means by which to establish physical commingling, interdependence, and oneness" (103). B y eating and sharing food with family members, Cambodian residents establish and preserve unity. W e can say the same thing in terms o f their act o f eating and sharing food with friends.  5.3.3  Food Preparation  When discussing food, it is important to examine who cooks and serves food. Such an examination reveals gender relations seen in food preparation and serving. Four women out of four answered " Y e s " to the question: '.'Do you cook?" One o f them talked about her double tasks in detail: F: At 8:30 am, I get to my workplace and finish working at 8 pm. It's a bit far from my house, so when I come home, it's already 9:00 pm. After that I start cooking dinner. Another research participant mentioned the Japanese dishes she learned to cook in Japan: G: I can cook Japanese curry and rice, stew, and than those dishes, I do not know how to cook; I seasoning. Since I came to Japan, I learned how because those are easy to cook: just use roux and  other east-to-cook dishes. Other do not know the ingredients for to cook curry and rice and stew combine it with vegetables.  Unlike the four women who regularly cook and serve food, only one out o f four men answered " Y e s , I cook, but only sometimes." In terms o f food preparation, M r . E mentioned:  67  I'm not good at cooking; I do not know proper seasoning. If I prepare dishes, I have to finish all of them, [laughs] My wife makes delicious dishes. Even though I think that my dish was well done today, my family members won't eat it. They are like: "Who cooked today? Otosan (Dad) did? Then I don't think I'll eat it." [laughs] We cannot simply generalize that women cook and men do not since a male participant sometimes does cook and serve dishes. However, we can say that these women regularly cook and serve food at home even though they work outside. This tendency is discussed by Devault (1997) who notes: "In two-paycheck families, women continue to do more household work than m e n . . . " (180). Devault points out the reason is that "...the 'production o f gender'—of a sense that husband and wife are acting as 'adequate' man and woman—takes precedence over the most economically efficient production o f household 'commodities'" (1997: 180, emphasis in the original). In the case o f Cambodian residents, it is reasonable to suppose that they have a sense that the wife who cooks and serves food acts as sufficient woman. The words o f M r . E suggesting that wife cooks "delicious" food he cannot cook implies that there exists a sense that wife preparing tasty food acts as competent woman. Because o f such a "production o f gender," the female participants cook at home, while they also work outside as the male participants do.  5.3.4  "Ethnic" Food  Nowadays, so-called "ethnic" food is popular in Tokyo as well as Vancouver. Considering the case o f Japan, when we type "ethnic cuisine" in Japanese and search for websites through Google, we'get 3,470,000 hits. In addition, a total o f 835 websites including the words "ethnic cuisine" and "Cambodian" exist. It is obvious that Cambodian cuisine is known as ethnic cuisine in Japan. What does ethnic cuisine's "ethnic" mean? Ahmed (2000)  suggests that  ethnicity is exoticized through  68  food:  "...ethnicity  becomes  constructed as 'the exotic' through an analogy with food..." (117). In the case o f Japan, ethnicity different from that o f the mainstream in Japan is categorized as "the exotic." There are a few restaurants serving Cambodian cuisine in Japan. One o f them is run by M r . G o who relocated to Japan as a refugee from Cambodia. A magazine article named J? (Ai or Love), which was published by the F W E A P (2004), contains an interview with M r . G o . According to this article, M r . G o came to Japan in 1980, and then opened a Cambodian restaurant in Tokyo in 1982. The interview continues as follows: Interviewer: ...when you opened a restaurant in Tokyo, Cambodian restaurants were rare, so your restaurant was reported on newspapers and TV programs, right? Did you have a lot of customers then? Go: Yes, but the number of customers gradually decreased. Interviewer: Do you think Cambodian cuisine did not suit Japanese people? Go: I didn't know that at first, so I was very distressed. ...After I observed customers and asked them for feedback, I noticed that Cambodian cuisine had a strong smell and contained spices, which were new to them. Then, I stayed at my restaurant every night and studied the tastes favoured by Japanese people. ( F W E A P 2004: 22) The example o f M r . G o implies that Cambodian cuisine is altered to fit the taste o f Japanese people, but it is still considered as a rare, unique, exotic food. In relation to the discussion on ethnic food as exotic, it is essential to focus on the issue o f authenticity. First, here in Vancouver where multinational cuisines are available, people can try various kinds o f cuisines around the globe. One o f the most popular cuisines in Vancouver is Japanese sushi. We see hundreds o f Japanese restaurants in a telephone directory in Vancouver. Here, various kinds o f maki (rolls) invented outside Japan are popularly consumed. Japanese sushi is thus modified in Vancouver. In the same way, Cambodian cuisine is also modulated in Japan.  69  When entering these restaurants serving modified foods, we notice that some o f them hang the sign "authentic food," which suggests that they serve "real" food. However, a question emerges here: Who decides the food is authentic? Speaking o f sushi, based on what standard, who claims which sushi is authentic? Is a California roll authentic i f seen from a perspective o f a sushi chef in Japan? Trinh (1989) reveals the relationship between authenticity and hegemony: "Today, planned authenticity is rife; as a product o f hegemony and a remarkable counterpart o f universal standardization, it constitutes an efficacious means o f silencing the cry o f racial oppression" (89). Trinh's words suggest that there is a double standard o f authenticity. One is planned and newly created by groups holding hegemonic sway. This authenticity overlooks another authenticity asserted b y those who deserve to claim their own authenticity. Trinh then continues: " W e no longer wish to erase your difference, We demand, on the contrary, that you remember and assert it" (1989: 89). This difference discussed by Trinh is embodied in "ethnic" cuisine considered as "the exotic." In terms o f Cambodian cuisine in Japan, although it is modified to suit Japanese people, its difference from Japaneseness is accented and expressed as "ethnic" food. The cuisine is transformed from that of the country o f origin. Thus it seems as i f the original cuisine assimilates into the host country. However, this is a mere seeming. Actually, difference is produced and emphasized through the consumption o f "ethnic" food.  5.4  Conclusion  The taken-for-granted notions o f home and food have been re-visited and re-examined in this chapter. To the displaced, living in a place they possess means fully obtaining the four essential values o f home—"safety," "individuation," "privacy," and "preservation." In the  70  Japanese-style apartment, some Khmer elements are actively brought in. Regarding food, I have argued that food reflects power structures. In addition, it becomes clear that Cambodians in Japan have shifted from rejection to acceptance o f food in the newly inhabited land. Food preparation at home implies that some gender roles are maintained. Finally, I have suggested that difference is produced and circulated by the consumption o f Cambodian food classified as "ethnic food." The next chapter focuses on "language" and "education" which are both inseparable from the discussion o f belonging.  71  C H A P T E R VI  LANGUAGE/EDUCATION  Illustration 4: Calligraphy o f "Language" and "Education" in Japanese and Khmer  J:  <  ft  72  6.1  Introduction  Language is a vital means to communicate with one another and express ourselves. It is also an essential tool used in education. In addition, certain knowledge, resulted from history and culture o f a place where we are located, is produced though education. Thus language and education are inseparable from the discussion o f belonging since these contribute to how and where we situate ourselves. This chapter w i l l closely look at language and education i n relation to the lives o f Cambodian residents in Japan. Through the examination o f the use o f the mother tongue and the newly acquired language, and o f the practice o f faith, I w i l l discuss how language affects Cambodians' sense o f belonging. Moreover, focusing on their experience o f schooling in Cambodia arid the educational program offered at the resettlement center in Japan, I w i l l investigate what role education plays in the formation o f their sense o f belonging.  6.2  Language  Language is inseparable from the discussion on our sense o f belonging. A s Gunew (2004) suggests, "...language itself, spoken, written and heard, is one o f those elements which fundamentally structures our sense o f belonging, to the extent that it becomes invisible or transparent as a medium o f interaction" (96). Language is the part o f who we were, who we are, and who we w i l l be. Each person has a native tongue/native tongues that is/are immersed i n their native land. But what happens i f a person i s displaced from his/her native land? What i f his/her native language is disturbed? A n d how does that affect the formation o f our sense o f belonging? The following examples o f two writers show that the formation o f one's sense o f belonging is hindered in the way that language is disturbed and lost by colonization and  73  war. First, K i n c a i d (1988) refers to the relationship between English, the language used in Antigua and the sense o f belonging o f the Antiguans. Kincaid describes the condition o f the Antiguans who have no choice but to speak English, the colonizers' language, as their native tongue. Kincaid says, "[FJsn't it odd that the only language I have in which to speak of this crime is the language o f the criminal who committed the crime?" (1988: 31) Her words imply a dilemma; when she criticizes what the colonizers did to Antigua and the people, she has no choice but to use the language o f the colonizers, not the language o f the colonized. The ancestors o f the Antiguans were taken from Africa to Antigua; they are displaced people. K i n c a i d refers to the ancestors: "Once they are no longer slaves, once they are free, they are no longer noble and exalted; they are just human beings" (1988: 81). What Kincaid suggests here is that the ancestors who were slaves were dehumanized; their ordinary humanity was lost through slavery. They once had their own language that was closely connected to their sense of belonging. However, through dehumanization by slavery and colonization, their traditions, custom, life, and culture were mutated, and now the Antiguans have lost the language of their ancestors. Hence, Kincaid shows her dilemma since she does not have the language o f the colonized and dehumanized ancestors when she accuses the colonizers o f their behaviour. Second, in her writing on the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, Kugo (2001) discusses her disturbed sense o f belonging through the depiction o f the disturbed language and the loss of cultural customs. In terms o f language, Kugo indicates that many new terms were created and diffused under the new administration. Based on her own experience, Kugo portrays how those new words were taught to children: "There were about ten children gathering not in a classroom in school but in a coarse building that used to be a cow shed. There was neither notebook nor pencil for children; there was a blackboard and a chalk for  74  teachers" (2001: 36-37). According to Kugo, what was taught there was so-called "revolutionary education" or "brainwashing education" (2001: 37). In such an education, Kugo mentions: "There were many technical terms that did not make any sense to me" (2001: 37). A s an example, she refers to the term angka: "The word angka that became frequently used later used to be a normal word meaning organization. But here it was used as a very special word meaning someone upper and leader" (2001: 37). In this way, Kugo delineates the mutation o f the language and the loss o f its original meaning. In addition, Kugo mentions other loss—the loss o f belief and tradition. According to Kugo, having faith was prohibited under the P o l Pot regime. Storytelling was bamied as well; people lost the opportunity to tell folktales that were full o f wisdom, rooted in their inhabited place and passed down from generation to generation. K u g o describes the situation under the Khmer Rouge: "It was a society with no kindness, consideration or warmth, to say nothing o f human dignity" (2001: 109). In this way, under the P o l Pot regime, not only language but also beliefs and customs were taken from people and they were dehumanized.  6.2.1  Khmer as Native Language/Japanese as Second Language  Then what does a language, specifically, a mother tongue mean to those who went through such dehumanization and were displaced from their native land? In the case o f Cambodians who resettled  in Japan, their mother tongue, Khmer, functions as a  communication tool in their daily lives. Most o f the research participants except M r . H said that they often use Khmer to talk to their families and friends living in Japan as well as those in other countries. Here is an example o f M s . C ' s network o f Khmer friends: R: Do you go out with your Cambodian friends living here?  75  C: Yes. I see them often and keep in touch with them. I know most of the Cambodian people living in Kanagawa prefecture. I can tell this person lives here and that person lives there. During the gathering o f Indochinese refugees in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Khmer was the primary language for the Cambodian audience. Except when talking to me, all o f the participants i n this study spoke to each other in Khmer before, during, and after the event. Hence, it is clear that Khmer is actually used as a medium o f interaction among Cambodians in Japan. In addition, as Trinh (1994) remarks: "Language is the site o f return, the warm fabric o f a memory..." (10), it is reasonable to say that the act o f sharing the language with other people represents an attempt to share warm memories back in their homeland with others. A t the same time, the constant use o f Khmer is considered an attempt to preserve the mother tongue. The opinion o f Khmer as mother tongue is expressed by M s . A : R: How do you feel about your mother tongue Khmer? A: It's important to me. R: Some people, the youth in particular, tends to lose their mother tongue. What is your opinion about that? A: That's no good. People should not forget their mother tongue. Her comments indicate the necessity of maintaining the mother tongue. A s described previously by Kugo, people o f Cambodia once experienced the loss o f a language full o f customs and traditions. Therefore, the act o f preserving the language practiced in Japan represents their struggle not to have the same experience again. A t the same time, the difficulty in learning Japanese, the language of the host country, is pointed out by many o f the research participants. A s I mentioned before, some referred to their insufficient ability in Japanese and were reluctant to be audiotaped. Other  76  participants also indicate their struggle with the Japanese language. Here is an example o f Mr. D: R: Do you feel different when you speak Khmer and when you speak Japanese? D: Yes, it's very different. Japanese language is very difficult. People sometimes do not understand what I really want to say in Japanese. Another research participant has difficulty in learning and using Japanese as well: R: How hard is it for you to learn Japanese? E: I sometimes struggle with words phonetically similar to each other with totally different meanings. I can recognize the difference when I see those terms written in kanji. But in conversation, I sometimes misunderstand words. ' R: You mean words such as hdshi (chopstick) (hospital) / biyouin (hair salon) ?  / hashi (bridge) and  E: Yes. Exactly!- Meanings change depending on pronunciation. especially difficult to learn and distinguish.  byouin  These words are  In this way, it is obvious that the research participants struggle to learn and use the language o f the country o f their destination.  6.2.2  Language and Belief in the Third Space  In relation to language, faith is inseparable from mother tongue. Religion practiced by the language o f the country o f origin is also a medium that forms the sense of belonging. Buddhism is deeply rooted in Cambodia and people's minds. For instance, U Sam Oeur (1998) writes: May the souls o f the slaughtered low together Plead that G o d assign us a Boddhisattva To incarnate as the master architect Who w i l l rebuild justice in our cursed land (193)  77  What becomes clear from the poetry above is that U Sam Oeur is in the belief that Buddha w i l l bring justice to Cambodia that was in the chaos o f the war. In the same way, Kugo (2001) writes her close relation with Buddhism: I learned a short sutra as a good-luck charm from my mother at night. She told me that something good would happen i f I keep reciting it. ...I like reciting sutras like my mother, so I listened to and memorized them while I was sitting on my mother's lap.... (89-90) In this way, the cases o f U Sam Oeur and Kugo suggest that a belief in Buddhism is thus inseparable from a discussion o f the life in Cambodia. Such a belief is closely connected with the lives o f the research participants as well. A n example o f this is M s . F ' s wedding ceremony held i n Phnom Penh in 2005 (see Chapter 4). It was conducted under the strong influence o f Buddhism as it is clear from the fact that a few Buddhist monks were invited to the wedding ceremony. Although it has been 23 years since M s . F started her life in Japan, she wore traditional Khmer wedding dress, and the monks recited a sutra in Khmer i n the wedding ceremony. This is a good example illustrating tradition, language and religion interweaving with each other. O n the other hand, another research participant points out the distance from his religion in living in Japan. M r . B explains the issue as follows: R: Is there Cambodianness you acquired such as culture and tradition by living in Cambodia? B: Yes, but I hardly use what I acquired there. In Cambodia, people gather for Obon in September and the New Year between April 13th and 15th. But here in Japan, there is no Cambodian temple that celebrates those days. R: So you hardly go to temples in Japan. B: I used to go to temples in Cambodia often, but I hardly go to temples here. I think Japanese Buddhism is similar to Cambodian Buddhism, but I can barely understand what monks are saying in Japanese. In addition, it sometimes costs money to go to temples. When you ask a monk to recite a sutra for a funeral or other events, you have to pay money.  78  The example o f M r . B above suggests that there emerges a distance from belief once practiced in the native land by living in the newly inhabited place. While some research participants feel the distance from the religion practiced in the country o f origin, others gradually shift their belief system developed in Cambodia to the new one adapted through life in Japan. A good example illustrating this phenomenon is M r . H . M r . H talks enthusiastically about the importance o f having a faith. He has a deep understanding o f both Buddhism and Christianity as shown in his words: In leading a life, there are various sufferings—sufferings of bullying, money, human relations, illness, injury, mishap, natural disaster, old age, food, death, work and love. The world is full of suffering. People are distressed, I presume. I am distressed, too. There is a solution to remove these sufferings. It is shinri (truth) that cleanses our hearts. It means studying and trusting words of God and Buddha, believing in salvation by faith, being kind and considerate toward other people, loving people, and doing good deeds. Later on, he explained why he became a devout believer: When I was a high school student, I lost my way and withdrew from the school. After that, I spent days and months of being lost. However, one day I participated in a morning service at a church in Kanagawa. At that time, I felt a ray of hope. By encountering Christianity, I was saved. I found the way. Since then, I have gone to church every Sunday. His words indicate the discovery and acceptance o f the new religion in the newly inhabited place. M r . H also answers the following question: R: In your life in Japan, where do you feel at ease? H: Ifeel at ease at the church I visit on Sundays as well as my home. R: How about Cambodia? H: In Cambodia, Ifeel at ease at the temple.  79  In this case, home, church and temple are the sanctuaries giving M r . H the feeling o f safety. At the same time, his response suggests the inclusion/integration o f both Christianity and Buddhism in his life. The practice o f both religions is also well described in the writing M r . H does for his friends. A t the gathering o f Indochinese refugees held in Shinagawa in 2005, he was distributing a leaflet to the participants. It was about the importance o f having a faith. Here is an excerpt from M r . H ' s leaflet: We are living in this world and do not know when we become sick or die. Therefore, I've thought the matter over. As a result, I've decided to solve these kurushimi (sufferings) while I am healthy. In other words, I've decided to work, act, struggle, speak, teach, do good deeds, write, and help on behalf of people with good behaviour, people suffering, "peace, " "love, " parents, peace of mind, the heavens, the world, God, and Buddha. I want you to lead a life like I do. Human society represents agony, joy, happiness, encounter, parting, and sadness. There is no eien (eternity) in this world. The world is mujyo (transient and empty); it always undergoes a transformation. The land of God and Buddha, the invisible world, has the notion of "forever ". Appearance may be important, but substance in a person is more important. I'm speaking to Japanese people and all the other people: it is no good to think and speak too strictly and seriously. Do not stick to appearance much. Consider the words of ^ (God) and {A (Buddha),. Ss^M(truth), "Kings," "Angel," CJrA/ (self), "love, " J: t h (people with good deeds), MJj (salvation by faith) as your light, believe in those, and rely on them. It is clear from his writing that M r . H has both a Buddhist belief cultivated in his homeland Cambodia and a Christian belief discovered and absorbed into his life in the newly inhabited land Japan. What is also distinctive about his writing is that three languages—Khmer, Japanese and English—are used. Khmer is used to cite his name while it is also written in katakana and kanji. In addition, M r . H uses some English words: "peace," "love," "forever," "Kings," and " A n g e l . " Other than that, Japanese (hiragana, katakana, and kanji) is used  80  throughout his writing. The use o f the three different languages implies that not only belief but also language itself shifts in conjunction with the transnational movement of a person who uses it. A s Trinh (1994) suggests, "language is a site o f change, an evershifting ground" (10). Considering the case o f M r . H , it is reasonable to suppose that language as the foundation o f belief shifts and is continuously shifting along with the act o f living beyond the dichotomy o f the homeland and the newly inhabited land.  6.3  Education  How did Cambodian refugees who relocated to Japan learn the Japanese language? Once they enter the resettlement aid centers assisting their daily lives in Japan, language education begins. The aid centers put great emphasis on language education, claiming: "Mastering o f the Japanese language is the most important factor for foreign nationals in order to adapt themselves to...Japanese society" ( F W E A P 2005c: 15). Each class has about 10 students based on placement levels, depending on their competence in Japanese and their age (ages range from 6 to 65) (Yamagishi 2004). In addition to language training in the classroom, outdoor activities also take place so that students can learn basic survival Japanese, such as how to use the transportation system ( F W E A P 2005c). These references above give us an overview o f the educational program provided for newcomers in Japan. However, we can see little o f what is actually happening inside the classrooms and how learners feel about education offered at the centers. To understand this, it is necessary to examine the educational program from the perspective o f learners who actually experienced it. A l l o f my research participants participated in the resettlement program, comprised o f language and cultural orientation  81  classes and job training at the Yamato Center in Kanagawa prefecture. M r . B ' s comments, based on his experience, give us an introduction o f the resettlement program: B: Once I was accepted to Japan, I moved to teijvu (resettlement) center in Yamato city, and spent three months learning Japanese language and learning Japanese culture for another three months. After the total six-month learning period, I started looking for a job, got a job, and got out of the aid center. During the first year after I started working, they took care of me. They actually took good care of me. They contacted each person and made sure that we were ready for a new phase of life. In this way, M r . B describes what happens to newcomers inside the resettlement center until they find a job and withdraw from the place. His words also suggest the helpfulness of the resettlement center on the whole. In the language classes offered at the center for the first three months, what exactly was taught in class and how helpful was it? The following comments o f the research participants answer this question. The forming o f classes is described by M r . E : R: Could you tell me how people were placed in class? E: Once people arrived at the aid center, they were given a status like ikkisei (the . first class) or nikisei (the second class) according to which year you entered the center. Dozens of people from other nations besides Cambodia usually arrive at the center at the same time. In my case, upon my arrival, I was in a group of thirty people. After a placement exam mainly checking conversation skill, we were separated into three classes: Level 1, 2 and 3. Those who were already able to speak Japanese quite well were placed in the Level 3 class. Unless students are placed according to the level of handling Japanese, advanced learners are hindered by beginners. In my case, I was placed in Level I class and it happened to be comprised of all Cambodians. M s . G , who was placed in the beginner class, talks about activities inside the classroom: R: Could you please describe the Japanese language training you had at the aid center? G: It took place in a classroom inside the center. There was one teacher per 10 students in a class. We used textbooks and read passages loud. We also combined words and made sentences. In addition, we wrote words and sentences on the blackboard. We were sometimes separated into smaller groups and practiced dialogues.  82  The comments o f M s . A and M r . B add more details o f the language training: R: How many hours a day did you learn Japanese? A: I learned Japanese for six hours a day; from 9 am to noon and after an hour long lunch break till 4 pm. I did this for three months. R: Which language did the teacher use in a classroom? A: Only Japanese was used in the classroom. R: Were there any exams in the class? B: Yes. R: What kind of exams? B: I had written exams. Some questions asked me to write kanji (Chinese characters) equivalent to some hirasana (the Japanese cursive syllabary). Likewise, I was asked to write hiramna equivalent to kanji. For instance, I put the kanji ill for hiramna - ^ j f and the hiramna for kanji J11. Although it was Japanese-only oral instruction, a textbook written in Khmer was also used as a medium to learn Japanese: R: Wasn 't it hard for you to learn in the Japanese-only  class?  D: No, not really because I had two textbooks—one in Japanese and another in Khmer; they had exactly same contents. When I did not understand, I took a look at the one written in Khmer. But most of the time, I tried to use only the one in Japanese without relying on the Khmer version. By doing that, I felt it was easier to learn Japanese. E: I often took a look at the textbook in Khmer at first since there were things I didn't understand. But gradually my Japanese got better and better, and I came to use only the textbook in Japanese. The responses above imply participants' efforts to improve language skills essential for living in the host country. In addition, it becomes clear that bilingual teaching materials are actively used in the classrooms. According to a list o f textbooks used at the resettlement centers ( F W E A P 2005d), there are six kinds o f textbooks bilingual in Japanese.and any  83  one o f the following languages—Khmer, Vietnamese, Laotian, and Burmese. These are all published by the Refugee Assistance Headquarters ( R H Q ) o f the F W E A P . Hence, Cambodians learn the new language through the medium o f their native tongue. Regarding  the  cultural  orientation classes  provided  for  newcomers  at  the  resettlement center for the latter three months, M r . E and M s . C talk about subjects taught in class and what they learned: R: Could you talk about the class on Japanese culture you took for the latter three months? E: It included various subjects in relation to Japanese culture and society. For instance, we watched TV programs popular in Japan. We also learned what institutions such as city hall, the hospital, and post office would do for us. In terms of the post office, we went there and bought stamps. In addition, we learned how to use the transportation system such as the train and bus. We learned where the bus stops and train stations were, and also how to purchase a ticket. R: What did you learn in the educational program at the resettlement center? C: I learned that it's important to be punctual in Japan. People should be on time. These responses suggest that newcomers learn basics and rules necessary for living in Japan. After spending six months of learning Japanese language and culture, how did the participants come to feel? The following comments imply their impressions o f the language and cultural orientation courses given for the six months: R: How did you feel during the six months? D: Ifelt that I learned a lot for the six months. R: Do you think that what you learned for acclimatized to the life in Japan?  the three months help you be  A: Yes. For instance, in terms of shopping, as a class activity, we actually went to stores. It helped me learn how to use Japanese coins and bills.  84  R: Have your ideas about Japanese culture and society changed compared to when you just started Japanese education? E: Yes. They have changed a lot. Through the education program at the center, I even learned some minute points regarding Japanese culture and society. For instance, I learned I have to study hard and follow the rules. In addition, I learned what I should and shouldn't do. I also learned I should not be violent but polite. In Cambodia, people tend to use violence easily when they quarrel. They taught us that violence was unacceptable in Japan and people should use only words for a fight. The responses o f the research participants above mention some advantages o f the educational program at the resettlement center. In addition, M r . E ' s words above imply the shift of his ideas o f society and culture o f the newly inhabited country, caused by the educational program at the resettlement center.  6.3.1  Issues of Education for Newcomers  While the content and advantages o f the educational program have been described from the perspectives o f the insiders, some issues can be observed when critically examining it. These are power relations and gender relations. They are illustrated in some research participants' responses to my questions, as follows: R: How do you describe power relations in the language and cultural classes at the resettlement center?  orientation  D: The teacher was in the higher position compared to students. I always believe that teachers hold a high status; they are even in a higher position than parents. In Japan, medical doctors are in the high position, but in my mind, they are not in that high position. But school teachers are distinguished because they teach what is good and what is bad. R: In Japan, some schools use a list of names indicating boys' names first and girls' names after, and they do some activities according to this order—boys first and girls after. Did you find the notion of boys/men first and girls/women after in the educational program at the resettlement center? E: No, I didn't see such a notion there. Maybe it's because our class members were all Cambodian. The teachers didn't treat us as "men first and women after. " But speaking of our classroom, the teachers were in a higher position than us. 85  They were not equal with us. Even if they were the same age, they were not equal with us. Even if they were younger than us, they were in the higher position. In M r . D ' s account o f the power relation in class, the structure is the teacher as the authority offering knowledge and students as those who receive it. In the same way, the response o f M r . E above implies the ideas o f teacher as authority regardless o f his/her age. Focusing on M r . E ' s comment on gender relation i n class, it seems as i f there is no imbalance between women and men found in classroom. However, some invisible aspects including gender bias can be seen by analyzing teaching materials with a gender lens, specifically based on U N E S C O ' s training manual in gender sensitivity discussed by Fiona Leach in Practising Gender Analysis in Education (2003: 105-123). A p p l y i n g this gender sensitive framework, we find that some textbooks used in class reinforce gender bias. Unlike textbooks with no illustration inside, some learning materials with illustrations sometimes contain hidden gender notions. For instance, looking at the textbook used for teaching Business Japanese to adult newcomers (Figure 6), we see four male figures wearing business suits, while there is no female figure in the scene. This reinforces the idea that men work in the business scene and women are absent from that sphere.  86  Figure 6: Textbook with Illustration Source: A J A L T 2006 «u 1 »  »• 1 »  'IV  r^i>ji  3)  7>  «7>  ViC5><rf»-.  : 3 9 «'.'  -tV-sTlt-i,  >Ut:.  20  6.3.2  81 m  Issues of Education among Generations  Despite the advantages o f the educational program at the resettlement center previously discussed, some research participants also talked about its disadvantages and problems they faced. These problems varied depending on when newcomers landed in Japan and started their educational programs. In other words, newcomers o f different generations faced their own problems in education. For adult newcomers, disadvantages and problems were mainly about obstacles to learning Japanese as a second language: R: So after the three months passed, did you think your Japanese B: Some people improved their Japanese skills and others didn't.  87  improved?  R: What is your opinion about education you had for the first three months? A: I didn 't learn that much for the three months. F: We used two kinds of textbooks to learn Japanese for the first three months. And it wasn't enough. With the two textbooks, it's still difficult to use Japanese. So I wish I had had more time to learn. Anyways, it is difficult to acquire a language after three months. Japanese is very difficult to learn. M r . B ' s response suggests that the three-month language training at the resettlement center does not always help learners improve their Japanese. This is reinforced by the comments of M s . A and M s . F above. In this way, acquiring a new language in the three months is a large problem for adult newcomers. Regarding the entire six months o f having the language and cultural orientation classes, some participants mention the distress o f some learners during the six months and also an insufficiency o f the number of sessions: E: The six months was short for me, but there were some people thinking it was very long. B: Vd hope that the number of classes would increase. For those who successfully acquire Japanese, it would be enough. However, for those who do not succeed, it is hard. In addition, the difficulty in continuing their learning after withdrawing from the resettlement center is described by M s . G as follows: R: What was helpful in learning more about Japanese culture, society and history once you got out of the resettlement center? G: Well... I barely have spare time to learn those subjects. I think it would be wonderful if I knew more about culture and history of Japan. Hence, it becomes obvious from the commentaries o f the research participants that adult newcomers experience difficulty both in learning Japanese as a second language in a short period o f time, and in learning after they withdraw from the resettlement center and start working.  88  Other kinds o f problems are faced by teenage newcomers. Once they finish the language and cultural orientation courses at the resettlement center, they have a choice o f going to public school. Some choose to continue schooling in Japan, and others do not. In the case o f M s . G who landed in Japan at the age o f 18, she did not go to public school since she got a job at factory. She explains her situation: " I f I had time to spare, I would have gone to school. But I have to work. It can't be helped." Other teenage newcomers who were in the same situation as M s . G ' s decided to go to school i n Japan. A n example o f this group is the Khmer writer Kugo Ponnaret. She was relocated to Japan at the age of 16. A t the gathering with Indochinese refugees in Shinagawa, Kugo, as one o f the four speakers, gave a speech. She talked about her experience as follows: Well, when I was 10 years old, the war happened, and I stopped schooling at Grade 4. Until I came to Japan at the age of sixteen, there was a six-year blank of being unschooled. In order to fill in the blank, I studied Japanese very hard at the aid center in Yamato for three months. After that, I spent three years in elementary school. And then I spent three more years in a night middle school, while I was working part-time during the daytime. In addition, I have some spare time nowadays, so I spent four years taking correspondence courses from high school. During these periods, I gained a firm knowledge of Japanese language. So based on my experience, I wrote a book. (Field notes from the refugee meeting, October 23, 2005) Kugo's commentary above suggests that she has devoted time to learn Japanese and also other subjects in elementary, middle, and high schools. However, it is clear that the case similar to hers is rare when looking at her comments: As I talked about education before, the Japanese educational system is very orderly. To tell the truth, when I started taking correspondence courses from high school, I was 35 years old. I graduated 4 years later. If you are eager to learn, any institution will accept you. If mothers cannot step forward for themselves, then I'd like to speak to children. The Japanese education system welcomes you if you are willing to learn without giving up. It would be good to consult with adults and teachers around you without worrying alone. I mentioned education here  89  again because I want you to believe that your dream will come true. (Field notes from the refugee meeting, October 23, 2005) In her words, Kugo appeals to mothers and children hesitating to have schooling in Japan. She talks about the advantage o f Japanese schooling and encourages them to advance. Others, such as M s . G above, are unable to decide whether to go to school. Finally, considering child newcomers, they face a problem quite different from those experienced by adult and teenage newcomers. This is regression or loss o f their mother tongue. Children going to public schools in Japan tend to lack the opportunity to develop their competence in Khmer. After the initial period o f six months o f Japanese language training, children who came to Japan very early in life and those who were born in Japan start going to public school. Those who are from age 6 to 12 go to elementary school, and those who are age 13 to 15 go to middle school. The Ministry o f Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology ( M E X T ) established teaching guidelines in December 1998, providing how many hours should be spent in teaching and what should be taught in school. According to the guidelines, in elementary school where students from Grade 1 to 6 study, Japanese is the most studied subject. Figure 7 shows how many sessions are held for teaching nine subjects at elementary school. M E X T . d e s i g n a t e s the roles o f teaching materials for learning Japanese. Some o f the roles should be: cultivating understanding and love for culture and tradition o f the country, encouraging students to have ideas o f loving the nation as citizens o f Japan and o f hoping for the progress o f the nation and the society, and helping students have understanding o f cultures around the globe and developing the mentality for practicing international cooperation ( M E X T 1998a). It is clear from this statement that patriotic concepts are embodied in Japanese language education, while the importance o f international cooperation is acknowledged. In addition to Japanese teaching,  90  eight other subjects (i.e. social studies, mathematics, science, livelihood, music, art, home economics, and physical education) are taught in Japanese. This means that students are immersed in Japanese language at school on weekdays for six years. Through this education, children gradually acquire Japaneseness, leaving their mother tongue behind. Figure 7: Elementary Education i n Japan Source: M E X T 1998a (Note: one session is 45 minutes.) 1,500 1,400 1,300 1,200 1,100 1,000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0  The number of sessions  n  II  Foreign language education starts in middle school for students from Grade 7 to 9. However, English is the primary foreign language taught in public schools throughout Japan. The guidelines by M E X T (1998b) suggests that students spend the longest time (350 session for three years) for learning Japanese, followed by English and mathematics  91  (315 sessions each). Hence, great emphasis is placed on acquiring and cultivating 5  language skills, not o f Khmer, but of Japanese and English. In this way, through the total of nine-year compulsory education in school, children absorb and develop the knowledge of Japanese and English, while their mother tongue is in the process o f retrogression.  6.3.3  Issues of Education between Generations  I have discussed the problems faced by learners o f different generations. It is also necessary to examine a distinctive issue emerging between generations. This is a generation gap between newcomers. It is a gap between adults who hope to preserve language and knowledge o f the country o f origin and their children who have grown up absorbing language and knowledge o f the country o f their destination. The following commentaries o f the research participants suggest that the generation gap is a severe problem they are facing: R: When you raise your children, what kind of culture do you use? Do you use Cambodian language and culture? E: I do not use Khmer language or culture. Kids think in the Japanese way, and parents can hardly understand them. Their physical appearance is gaijin (foreigner/non-Japanese), but the inside of their minds is nihonjin (Japanese). F: My kids started having pure Japanese education at kindergarten. They cannot understand Cambodia and Cambodian culture that much. Maybe it's the parents' fault. I only see my kids at 8 or 9 at night after coming back from work. As they get bigger, I feel that they are getting away from me. We do not talk much; the times we talk are getting less and less. After they finish eating dinner, they go to their room. M r . E ' s response suggests that his children have Cambodianness or non-Japanese characteristics in terms o f their appearance, but inside their minds, Japaneseness takes the  5  One session held at middle school is 50 minutes.  92  initiative. M s . F indicates a communication gap with her children who are immersed in Japanese education and leaving behind the language and knowledge o f the homeland. In addition, M r . E continues to talk about his desire to communicate fully with his children: R: Do you want your children to be able to speak Khmer? E: Yes. I wish I had one or two hours educating my children, but I don't. R: But there is no school teaching Khmer in Japan, right? E: Right. Maybe there might be a Khmer teaching institution somewhere far away. We parents don't have time to teach them Khmer. I wish there were a nearby school teaching Khmer to Cambodian kids. To fill in the gap between adults and kids, some people make a contribution to education for Khmer children. Kugo is one of them. In her speech at the event in Shinagawa, she described her contribution as follows: Well, for the first four years, every Sunday at a community center near my house, I held free Khmer language class open to Khmer children living nearby. Recently, I started having Khmer language class at my house, and some Khmer kids are learning there. I'd like to show that there exists a place where people can learn Khmer whenever they want. I want to keep my culture, so I teach Khmer dance and cuisine, too. In addition, at educational institutions such as university, high school and middle school, I give lectures based on my experience during the civil war, telling how valuable peace, life, and family ties are. (Field notes from the refugee meeting, October 23, 2005) Kugo's words above imply that her desire to preserve Cambodianness motivates her to teach not only Khmer language but also Khmer dance and cooking to Cambodian kids.  6.3.4  Schooling in Cambodia  The experience o f research participants' schooling in Cambodia was limited. Most had only four years o f primary education. However, it is important to pay attention to the situation o f education practiced in Cambodia in order to avoid simply  93  classifying  Cambodians as newcomers receiving education in Japan. It is necessary to acknowledge that there was a time when they, as inhabitants o f the country o f origin, had education in Cambodia. The reason that their schooling was interrupted is discussed by some research participants: F: I finished elementary schooling in Battambang. I couldn't continue since it wasn't peaceful in the country.  schooling  D: Because of the war, people in my generation and elderly people didn 7 have a chance to learn a lot in school. In this way, both M s . F and M r . D point out that the war is the primary factor that deprived Cambodian citizens o f the opportunity to continuously have education. Some research participants talk about their memories o f schooling for the limited amount o f time in Cambodia: R: What subjects were taught in school in Cambodia? D: Subjects like Khmer language, mathematics, history, etc.  natural science, social science,  R: How many students were in Cambodia? F: There was a teacher per so many students in a classroom. The classroom was jam-packed. The teaching hours were short; we had classes from the morning till noon and after the lunch break, we started class for a short time, and that's the end of the day. The school was 2 or 3 kilometers away from my home; I walked. R: Do you think that you've obtained Cambodianness, element unique to Cambodia through education there?  in other words, some  E: Yes, I think so. Probably I absorbed some kind of Cambodian culture by learning Cambodian history, although it is very hard to fully understand it. In this way, some details o f education in Cambodia become clear from the memories o f those who were actually students in school in Cambodia. In addition, the response o f M r . E suggests that education practiced in Cambodia functions in constructing Cambodianness.  94  Although the period o f schooling in Cambodia is limited, some research participants give us an inside view o f the classroom based on their observation. M y questions related to power and gender relations in Cambodian schools were answered as follows: R: Can you describe power relation between teacher and students in class? E: The teacher had the power and the children followed the teacher. Teachers used to use force such as hitting ill-behaved students- in their faces, though this doesn't happen any more. This behaviour made kids sit straight. Some of my questions about gender relations in school were answered in the following: R: In Japan, teachers in elementary school tend to be female. How about the situation of Cambodia? C: In Cambodia, there are both female teachers and male teachers. R: In Japan, some schools use a list of names indicating boys' names first and girls' names after, and do some activities according to this order—boys first and girls after. How about a list of names used in school in Cambodia? F: In Cambodia, boys' names and girls' names were all mixed in the list of names. There is no such thing listing boys first and girls after. The first response o f M s . C suggests that the ratio o f female and male teachers is not unbalanced compared to the trend o f primary school in Japan. The second commentary o f M s . F implies that the notion o f "boys first and girls after" can hardly be seen in the class scene in Cambodia, unlike some schools in Japan. In relation to this, the following question about gender relation in class reveals some interesting aspect o f Cambodians. I asked all the research participants the same question: " H o w do you describe relations between girls and boys in school?" Most o f them told me that they do not know about that, or that girls and boys were good friends and played together. While nothing particular about gender inequality can be heard from the female participants, one male participant comments on gender relations, which needs to be elaborated:  95  E: There was a notion of "Ladies first" in school in Cambodia. Girls took the lead in class. Girls, elder women, and pregnant women were first. In Japan, people do not practice "Ladies first. " R: So boys didn't really behave thinking that they were strong? E: It's not like boys and men are in the higher position. Girls are first, and the weak are first. People give way to the weak. There is no notion that boys and men are first. Looking at M r . E ' s comments carefully, it is clear that the term, "Ladies first" has two contradicting meanings here. "Ladies first" discussed in the first comment represents respect towards girls/women. However, in the second comment, while the male-centered concept is denied, girls are considered as equivalent to "the weak." Hence, the words o f the research participant may imply a hidden "gender hierarchy" discussed by Smith-Hefner (1993): "...[Khmer] refugees often comment that women are 'soft and weak'..., whereas men are 'strong and powerful'..." (142). In addition, considering the female research participants saying that they do not know about the relation between girls and boys in school, it is reasonable to suppose that knowing nothing is one o f the features found in gender norms in Cambodia. Smith-Hefner, based on her ethnographic interviews, suggests that " . . . i n women's accounts o f life in Cambodia good girls were described as 'not knowing anything'" (1993: 147).  6.3.5  Illiteracy and Poverty  The details o f schooling interrupted by the war were discussed by the research participants. The conflict was resolved, but this tendency for Cambodian individuals to have limited access to education still continues in Cambodia today. It finds its expression in the low literacy rate. A t a conference on the international tribunal on the Khmer Rouge, held at the University o f British Columbia in February 2006, M r . Ok Serei Sopheak, staff o f the  96  Cambodia Development Resource Institute in Phnom Penh, referred to the issue o f illiteracy—a gap between the high literacy rate in urbanized cities and the low literacy rate in rural areas i n particular: "Political magazines are printed and frequently read by individuals living i n Phnom Penh, but they are not popular i n villages." One o f the reasons for this is that an after effect o f the war tenaciously remains i n society. In addition, there is another reason severely affecting the improvement o f literacy, which is "poverty." The current situation o f Cambodian citizens suffering from poverty is portrayed by the research participants who actually saw it with their own eyes: D: Here in Japan, when you work, you get paid on the appointed time and earn money. However, in Cambodia, even if you work, you earn little. Worse, after you work hard, your employer won't pay you. The employer extends the payday to the next week and then to the next month. There are many employers who don't pay salary. When I went to Battambang, I was surprised to see many poor people. B: There are many poor people there. There are many homeless people. moved to tears when I see homeless kids.  I'm  G: I know there are homeless people here in Japan. But homeless people in Cambodia are not only adults but also children. When people are shopping at stores, the homeless approach shoppers and beg for money saying, "Please give me money. " The homeless children lost either their mother or father or both. If you don't give them money, they follow you, saying, "I haven't eaten anything today. Give me some money, please. " Some people, who were disabled because of the war or land mines, became homeless. They beg for money, holding a cap. E: Cambodia is supposed to have the rainy season and the dry season. But nowadays many trees are cut down, and the land has become dry. When typhoons hit the area of China, Cambodia faces a flood because the Mekong River flows from Tibet, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Even though it doesn't rain in Cambodia, the Mekong River gets swollen. Cambodia faces poverty and there are many poor households, you know. So once a flood destroys houses, everything is over. People don't have enough money to rebuild the house. In this way, poor people become poorer. The households i n danger o f suffering damage from a flood, mentioned by M r . E can be found in Figure 8. In the picture, we can see that houses are densely built up, facing toward the Mekong River.  97  Figure 8: Houses Looking toward the River Photograph by Korine U n g  A s suggested by M r . B , M r . D , M r . E , and M s . G above, poverty thus prevents adults from getting paid to lead decent lives, and also hinders children from going to school. In this way, poverty severely damages the lives o f not only adults but also children in Cambodia. Regarding this issue, international and multilateral aid organizations give assistance to Cambodia. According to Bray and Bunly (2005), major donors contributing to the education sector are the Asian Development Bank, the W o r l d Bank, U N I C E F , and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. In terms o f assistance offered by these aid organizations to Cambodia, most o f my research participants had a good impression. It is represented in M s . C ' s words: It's good that some organizations are giving help to people in Cambodia. Here in Japan, you can buy almost nothing with 100 yen ($1 CDN), but in Cambodia, 100 yen is a great deal to the poor. O n the contrary, however, M r . H has a slightly different opinion about that: R: You know international aid organizations such as UNICEF working in Cambodia. What do you think about that?  98  and UNESCO  are  H: What those aid organizations are doing in Cambodia is basically good, but it is not only money or material that should be given to people there. The following two examples suggest what people can offer other than money and materials in assisting Cambodia and the people. First, one o f the research participants talks about how she deals with those living in poverty, children in particular: F: I feel sorry for them because they are like 10 years old, and they don't even have clothes to wear. So whenever I go to Cambodia, I take used clothes I no longer wear with me and give them to kids. Also, I sometimes buy rice and give it to them. These are small things I do. It may seem that M s . F gives materials to the poor. However, it is important to examine what makes her say the last sentence: "These are small things I do." Behind her behaviours described above, there are feelings towards Cambodia and its people. These feelings are well described in K u g o ' s words. A t the gathering o f Indochinese refugees in Shinagawa, Kugo said: ...regarding my homeland Cambodia, it has fostered me as a human being. Therefore, both countries are important to me. Here, in this place, I'd like to say that those to whom I'm deeply indebted for their assistance are not only in Japan but also in Cambodia. I'd also like to mention that I've been living happily because of them. (Field notes from the refugee meeting, October 23, 2005) It is these feelings—gratitude and devotion—towards the country o f origin that motivate them. Therefore, i n the case o f M s . F , she offers not only clothes and rice but also her feelings of gratitude and devotion to Cambodia and its people. Kugo, through her book and lectures, advocates not only the importance o f peace but also the significance o f mutual understanding among people. In her book, as her request to Japanese citizens, Kugo asserts: "I believe that 'people can see the best in each other, i f they know one another w e l l ' " (2001: 239). B y narrating her experiences and the situation o f Cambodia, Kugo offers people in Japan the chance to apply an alternative perspective towards Cambodia. Kugo thus offers not money or material but the feelings o f gratitude and devotion in assisting her  99  homeland. In this way, the examples o f M s . F and Kugo suggest some alternatives people can offer to Cambodia and the people.  6.4  Conclusion  In the first half o f the chapter, I have investigated how language affects Cambodians' sense of belonging. It is clear that language disturbed by war leads to the hindered sense o f belonging. N o t only Cambodians' struggles with the language o f the host country but purposes behind the constant use o f the mother tongue have been revealed. In addition, I have paid attention to belief in relation to language and the sense o f belonging. While discontinuance o f faith practiced in the homeland is reported by some Cambodians in Japan, it is obvious from some research participants that belief in Cambodia and that in Japan are intermingled. In the latter half o f the chapter, the educational program at the resettlement center has been described in detail from the perspective o f learners. Power relations between the teacher and the learners have been revealed, and hidden gender norms have been observed in some teaching materials. It becomes clear that each generation o f newcomers—adults, teenagers, and children—face different problems in learning Japanese. I have argued that the generation gap is also a severe problem. The situation o f schooling in Cambodia has been examined based on experiences o f the. research participants." Moreover, the distinct issue in education in Cambodia, which is illiteracy, has been discussed in relation to poverty. Drawing on the voices o f Cambodians, I have proposed a hint, about what can replace money and material used for eradicating poverty. The next chapter thoroughly examines notions o f "space," "time" and "travelling/dwelling" by focusing on the transnational movement o f Cambodians.  100  C H A P T E R VII  SPACE/TIME AND T R A V E L L I N G / D W E L L I N G  Illustration 5: Calligraphy of "Space," "Time," "Travelling" and " D w e l l i n g " in Japanese and Khmer  101  7.1  Introduction  A s I pointed out the necessity o f re-examining the taken-for-granted notions o f home and food in Chapter 5, it is also important to re-visit the concepts o f space, time, travelling, and dwelling in relation to the transnational movement o f Cambodians. B y paying attention to their experience o f being transnational citizens, we can see how space and time are formed in the third space, and what mode of travelling/dwelling is practiced by those inhabiting such a space. Hence, in this chapter, I w i l l analyze how global-nomadic citizenship is performed by Cambodians in Japan, in both public and private spheres in social space as well as geometrical space. I w i l l also discuss what "time" means to Cambodians as global nomads. Finally, I w i l l examine what form o f belonging in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world is practiced by Cambodians as travellers dwelling in-between.  7.2  Space  I have delineated a critical cartography o f transnational Cambodians in the third space. A s discussed in Chapter 2, the third space exists beyond the binary oppositions. Besides this feature, what can be seen in such a space? Here it is necessary to focus on "space" itself in order to resolve this question. Bourdieu suggests that space has two distinct features: "...social space is to the practical space of everyday life..., what geometrical space is to the 'travelling space' (espace hodologique)  of ordinary experience, with its gaps and  discontinuities" (1979/1984: 169). These characteristics presented by Bourdieu are useful in examining the notion o f space for transnational Cambodians. The social space is found in their daily lives in Japan, and the "travelling" space is observed through their transnational movement across borders and boundaries.  102  7.2.1  Social Space of Cambodians  It is necessary to examine the social space o f Cambodians in Japan by including a discussion o f the public/private spheres to delineate the complexity o f space. B y adding those two spheres in the analysis o f space, we can see the dynamics o f the social space o f transnational citizens. First, focusing on the public sphere in the social space, some important aspects o f the lives o f transnational Cambodians in relation to Japaneseness and nationalism can be found. Analysis o f the gathering o f Indochinese refugees held in Shinagawa is useful for this. This event held in the public sphere in Japan implies the official construction o f refugees. This becomes clear through the thorough examination o f the event regarding the performances, the language use, and the setting. Dances performed by Cambodians were photographed by the researcher (Figures 9-14). The first dance is called "Hanuman's first love" (Figures 9, 10 & 11) from the Buddhist Ramayana, as interpreted in Cambodia. According to the program presenter, the dance depicts Hanuman, the monkey general, falling in love with the golden mermaid. The second performance was comprised o f traditional Khmer singing and dancing (Figure 12). A woman and a man sang in Khmer and other performers danced using hands and legs. Performers joined their hands in prayer in a song and dance cerebrating peace and prosperity. In the last performance, women and men who were planting and harvesting rice were depicted (Figures 13 and 14). What is common among the three performances is that all the performers were wearing traditional Khmer costumes and traditional musical instruments were used in music pieces. In this way, traditions o f Cambodia are well presented by the performers. However, it is necessary to look at the photographs carefully. A s seen in Figures 12 and 14, in  103  addition to a sign saying "Gathering with Refugees Resettling in Japan" in Japanese, the national flag o f Japan and a sign i £ (ai) meaning "love" are hung on the stage. According to F W E A P (2004), this sign " L o v e " is their basic principle and the word S  is placed  inside the circle symbolizing "globe," "universe," and "harmony." The national flag and the sign are in contradiction to each other. While the importance o f love in the globe, universe, and harmony is asserted, there is no national flag o f any o f the nations from which Indochinese resettlers originally came. Only the Japanese national flag is fluttering above. In addition, as described in Chapter 3, the gathering was held from 1 to 4 pm. During the three hours, Japanese was used as the official language. A program host and speakers on the stage all spoke Japanese. Indochinese people who were awarded a prize for being model resettlers made a speech asserting gratitude in Japanese, too. Their native tongues were barely used on the stage except when traditional dance and songs in their mother tongues were performed. What becomes clear from here is that an official image o f refugees is constructed by the event. It deludes the audience into the belief that refugees are successfully merging into Japaneseness and Japan's nationalism, while cultures and traditions o f their homelands are respected as well.  104  Figure 9: Hanuman's First Love I Photograph by Hiroko Hara  Figure 10: Hanuman's First Love II Photograph by Hiroko Hara  Figure 11: Hanuman's First Love III Photograph by Hiroko Hara  105  Figure 12: Dance o f Praying and Celebrating Peace and Prosperity Photograph by Hiroko Hara  106  Figure 13: Rice Planting and Harvesting Dance I Photograph by Hiroko Hara  Ngoey skat aon dak kroap. The immature rice stalk stands erect, while the mature stalk, heavy with grain, bends over. (Khmer proverb translated by Fisher-Nguyen 1994: 93)  Figure 14: Rice Planting and Harvesting Dance II Photograph by Hiroko Hara  107  O n the contrary, the following commentaries o f some research participants suggest their struggle in the public sphere. First, the issue o f citizenship is discussed by M s . G : / haven't received a citizenship of Japan, yet. I do not have Cambodian citizenship, either. On my identification card, it says that I'm from Cambodia. Japan does not approve me as citizen. At the same time, if I go to Cambodia, they do not approve me as citizen. In the same way as M s . G , many research participants—Mr. D , M r . E , M s . F, and M r . H — have not yet received Japanese citizenship. They are legally in-between in terms o f nationality. Other participants talk about citizenship as follows: R: Is it hard to obtain the citizenship? F: Yes. You '11 be examined for one or two years. They examine if you violate the law or not during that period. For example, if you have a traffic offense, you are unlikely to gain citizenship. So you have to be very careful not to when you drive. R: Was there an interview for that? F: Yes. I was asked questions. D: I guess I'll obtain the citizenship in a year. If I had the citizenship, it would be easier to travel to foreign countries. But currently, if I want to go abroad, I have to apply for a visa. It takes two or three months to get it. M s . F ' s response points out the difficulty in acquiring the citizenship o f Japan. The words of M r . D suggest that having no citizenship is a disadvantage when travelling abroad. '  Second, the issue surrounding voting rights is mentioned by M r . E : Well, although I live in Japan and pay taxes, I cannot participate in elections; I don't have the right to vote because I don't have citizenship. Ifeel sad about that. I want to express who/which is good and who/which is bad by election, but I cannot. It's been fifteen years since I landed in Japan, but I haven't received the citizenship yet. Ifeel that it's essential to gain the citizenship:  In M r . E ' s commentary, his desire to obtain Japanese citizenship and participate in Japanese society as a full citizen is depicted. In this way, the comments o f the research  108  participants above imply some obstacles to their struggle to fully participate in society in the country o f their destination. Unlike such a public sphere, different features can be seen in the private spheres o f the  social  space  o f Cambodians in Japan.  A s discussed in Chapters  4 and  5,  Cambodianness remains alive and is practiced in the private sphere. A desire to preserve Cambodianness is delineated by M s . C as follows: R: How do you perceive your own culture, that is, your Cambodianness are living in Japan? C: I consider that my Cambodianness  while you  is to be maintained. I want to maintain it.  Even though M s . C already gained Japanese citizenship, she talks about her desire to preserve her Cambodianness. In the same way, Cambodianness is kept and practiced in the private spheres. For instance, inside the home, pictures o f family dressed in traditional Khmer clothes and o f Cambodia, a calendar in Khmer, and music C D s in Khmer enclose the rooms. Cambodian food is often cooked and consumed. Traditional Khmer clothes— the sarong—are  worn. Language and belief are also maintained. A s suggested by some  research participants, they intend to preserve language and hope that the younger generation can succeed in the language and the knowledge o f their homeland. In this way, some aspects o f the private sphere very different from the public sphere are well depicted by Cambodian resettlers in Japan.  7.2.2  Geometrical Space  Since Cambodians in Japan are transnational agents moving/travelling across borders, it is necessary to focus on gender relations and mobility in the context o f geometrical space rather than that o f social space. This makes it possible to see which features o f gender relations are travelling/shifting and which are perpetuated  109  across boundaries. First,  considering the public sphere in Japan, we can see an expansion o f Cambodian women's mobility. This is caused by the shift o f gender norms cultivated in the land o f origin. Some gender norms are described by M r . D : R: Is there any custom that married people should follow? D: Yes. There are customs suggesting what should be done and what shouldn't by certain people. Mother should cook and look after children. Father should be strong and work hard so that he can protect his family. M r . D ' s words imply that there is a clear distinction between women's role of taking care of the household and men's role o f working as breadwinners. Gender relations found in Cambodia are discussed in detail by Fiske (1995). In his book, Fiske mentions, "Women in Cambodia have lower status than men...they are subordinate. It is important that women not appear to be 'bigger' than men or occupy positions where they have control over men" (1995: 22). In addition, Fiske suggests that Khmer society is "strongly hierarchical and men have greater status than women. A t the same time, ...women carry primary responsibility for its [the family's] welfare. Thus women work at home, raising the children...while men work outside the home to earn money" (1995: 8). Hence, it is obvious from Fiske's observation that the patriarchal gender system exists both in the public and the private domains in Cambodia. Yuval-Davis (1997) refers to this public/private division as a primary factor in women's exclusion saying, "Women...are located in the private domain, which is not seen as politically relevant. ... A s nationalism and nations have usually been discussed as part o f the public political sphere, the exclusion o f women from that arena has affected their exclusion from that discourse as w e l l " (2). Applying this theory o f women's exclusion from the public arena to Cambodia's case, we see prevalent adherence to "the social contract" (Yuval-Davis 1997: 2). It relegates women to the private sphere, socially  110  removed from the public political sphere. Nationalism and nations are the domain of the public sphere, so women who are excluded from the public are thus excluded from the discourse around nationalism and nations as well. In short, women have been "hidden," as Yuval-Davis (1997) puts it. The following response o f M r . D , however, suggests that there is a possibility that such gender norms developed in Cambodia change after resettling in Japan: R: Have those roles of women and men changed since you came to Japan? D: Yes. I came to believe that regardless of who we are—mother have to try as hard as we can.  or father, we  This change in gender norms can be explained by the shift o f tasks o f which women have charge. A l l the women research participants work outside the private sphere. This indicates the increased responsibility o f women in the public sphere. In addition, they have bicycles and cars; they can go anywhere they want. They also have mobile phones giving them mobility; they can call their family, friends and relatives anytime and anywhere. Hence, technology such as cell phones, bicycles, and cars also encourages women to more actively participate in the public sphere. Based on Yeoh, Huang and W i l l i s (2000), who examine the effects o f migration on women and suggest that women as migrants "may build for themselves new roles and new political spheres..." (156), it is reasonable to suppose that Cambodian women have gained a higher degree o f agency since they started their life in Japan. On the other hand, there are some features o f traditional gender norms being perpetuated in the private sphere. A s Yeoh, Huang and W i l l i s (2000) point out, migrant women "may renew patriarchal structures in their new homelands" by maintaining "connections with homelands, with kinship networks, and with religious and cultural  111  traditions..." (156). For instance, this can be seen in food preparation previously discussed (see Chapter 5). Even though Khmer women and men have their jobs outside the house, women tend to prepare and serve food after they come home. One research participant mentions that working women take charge in harder tasks: E: Okasan (Mother) has harder tasks. My wife gets up early at 5:30 in the morning and starts cooking breakfast and also lunch boxes for the family members. She does nikkin (day shift). . Hence, what becomes clear from the discussion above is that living i n the new land allows women to develop their autonomy to some extent, but at the same time, some customs and rituals practiced in the country o f origin, which could contain patriarchal ideas, are embodied in their daily lives in the country o f their destination. In this way, the complex status o f Cambodian women in the third space is revealed.  7.3  Time  What does time mean to those who are in the third space? The absence o f the division o f time is discussed by Kincaid (1988) referring to the Antiguans who were once displaced from their homeland in Africa. Kincaid mentions, "To the people in a small place, the division o f Time into the Past, the Present, and the Future does not exist" (1988: 54). What she means here is that the after effect o f the colonization still remains. Although Kincaid indicates that the identity o f the Antiguans and events happening in Antigua are always shifting—that they never become static, the memory o f the dehumanization is still fresh. A s Kincaid says, " A n event that occurred one hundred years ago might be as vivid to them as i f it were happening at this very moment" (1988: 54). Here K i n c a i d implies that the pain and suffering caused by slavery and colonization cannot be classified as the products o f the past; they are still perpetuated in the Antiguans' minds and handed down to the younger  112  generation. Time in Antigua thus cannot be simply divided into the past, the present, and the future. A concept o f time similar to Kincaid's is presented by Trinh (1994). It is the notion of "future memory." Trinh suggests that "the return is also a journey into the layer o f 'future memory'" (1994: 15, original emphasis). Here as expressed in the term "future memory," future and memory (past) are combined with one another. Hence, Trinh does not intend to divide time into the past, the present, and the future. Rather, using the notion o f "future memory," she loosens the boundary o f time, and attempts to weave it beyond the simple classification o f time into past, present and future. A s Trinh remarks, "Nothing remains unmoved..." (1994: 16), everything—history/herstory, memory, home, food, language, education—shifts in conjunction with the transnational movement o f a person. In the same way, time also constantly shifts beyond the boundaries o f past, present and future, as "the self loses its fixed boundaries" (Trinh 1994: 23). This concept o f shifting time where past, present and future are combined and affecting one another is valuable in examining the case o f Cambodians living in Japan. Here commentaries o f four research participants in relation to the notion o f time are introduced: R: How do you perceive past, present and future? B: I often think about the past, the present and the future. I think about what I should do in the future. R: How do you feel about time passing in Cambodia and Japan? C: I sometimes travel to Cambodia. When I am in Cambodia, I feel that it's calm and time passes slowly. But in Japan, I feel that I am always pressed by time; I don't have time to feel at ease. I have little spare time for myself in Japan. I get up in the morning, have breakfast, and go to work on time. At least, I have a little bit of spare time at night after I come home from work.  113  R: Do you feel at ease when you go to Cambodia? E: Well, I cannot feel at ease that much there. There is a moment when I feel irritated because everything is too slow in Cambodia. People are not in a hurry; they do not have the idea that: "I have to finish this by this time. " It's rare that people are punctual. For instance, I talked with my Cambodian friend by phone and I was told that the person would come to my place by noon. I was waiting for my friend or at least a phone call, while this person kept shopping and time just went by without him noticing. It turned out that the friend showed up at 3 in the afternoon, [laughs] I am punctual, though. When I say I'll go to this place by this time, I do. When I'm about to get to that place, I call and tell a person that I'm almost there. R: How do you perceive past, present, and future? H: People should not stick to the past. The present means living with an aim. Regarding the future, I hope that people will have a rich heart and a feeling of satisfaction rather than focus on the material wealth, and that the world will be free from hatred and conflict. The first commentary suggests that the past, present and future are all constantly emerging in M r . B ' s mind. It also implies that he looks ahead to the future. M s . C ' s words in the second example indicate the different speeds o f time going by in Cambodia and Japan. The movement across boundaries without staying at one spot makes people recognize different passages o f time. Considering the third commentary, M r . E ' s words point out the shift o f consciousness regarding time through a transnational life. In addition, it is clear that two different notions o f time are described here. First, the example o f his friend suggests that the concept o f time, which was cultivated in the homeland, has been used until the present day. Second, from the story o f M r . E himself being on time, the notion o f time, which was acquired in the new land, has been used. Lastly, the fourth comments o f M r . H indicate the necessity o f paying attention to not only past but also present and future. Unlike the first three examples suggesting that the notion o f time shifts along with the act o f shifting across boundaries, the example o f M r . H illustrates his attempt to transform time with his own w i l l . In this way, as found in these responses, by living in the  114  country o f their destination, Cambodians depart from the past and memory—memory o f their original home, face the present, and look ahead to the future. Through the experiences of "[t]he departure, the cross-over, the fall, the wandering, [and] the discovery" (Trinh 1994: 21), transnational citizens themselves undergo a transformation. A s transnational subjects change, everything accompanying them is transformed as well. A t the same time, as seen in the case o f M r . H , they have the agency to transform substance such as time with their own w i l l . If we attempt to visually portray time shifting beyond boundaries, what kind o f illustration is possibly created? There are two kinds o f illustrations. The first description o f time is generated by Pratt (2004). In her book Working Feminism,  Pratt refers to a  damaged clock with no hands discovered by Agnes Varda, the woman film maker, as a symbol o f the figure o f the middle-class transnational nomad. Pratt suggests that the clock "aid[s] her in her attempts to evade time" (2004: 121). The clock without hands signifies the rejection o f the division o f time into the hour and the minute. It also means that there is no division o f time into the past, the present, and the future. In addition, the clock represents no boundary. The surface o f the clock does not have two hands that point to certain numbers (1-12). But why is this related to the middle-class transnational nomad? A s Pratt points out, the middle-class transnational nomad has a stable home, and the clock itself functions as a stable foundation. Hence, the clock that retains a foundation, but does not have hands represents the middle-class transnational nomad who has a stable home, yet shifts beyond the boundaries o f nation-states. I also present a unique watch symbolizing the movement o f the global nomad. The watch is called " M a g i c o f Time" (Figures 15 & 16). It possesses no hands, but has one sphere to tell us what time it is. Unlike the clock discussed by Pratt, the watch does not  115  have numbers 1-12. Instead o f the numbers, twelve circles are evenly set up. The shape o f the watch changes occasionally; the watch twines around his/her wrist when s/he wears a watch, and it comes loose after s/he takes it off. In short, the watch, in this case, does not represent a stable home. In addition to the watch itself changing the shape with the movement of the subject wearing it, the sphere also changes as time shifts. Hence, this ever-changing watch and sphere represent the global nomad shifting physically and mentally across boundaries. The nomadic movement o f Cambodians beyond boundaries o f language, time and place is likened to this watch. Figure 15: "Magic o f T i m e " I Source: Beyes Edit Store 2005  Figure 16: "Magic o f T i m e " II Source: Beyes Edit Store 2005  116  7.4  Travelling and Dwelling  What does it mean to live as transnational citizens in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world? A s each transnational agent leads his/her own life, there are various notions o f belonging possible. But here two kinds o f dwelling in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world are closely examined. First, focusing on the relationship between travelling and dwelling, Pratt (2004) proposes a notion o f "dwelling in travel." Pratt indicates that it is possible for certain people to dwell in travel since "the ability to find a home in travel is dependent on being well situated, particularly in terms o f gender, race and class" (2004: 126). Therefore, in her article, Pratt focuses mainly on class and its impact on travel by illustrating examples o f the two women: a Filipino-American writer and a domestic worker coming to Vancouver from the Philippines. Pratt suggests that "dwelling in travel" is a privileged act; those who have a stable home are allowed to do so. In other words, "dwelling-in-travel" can be practiced by a middle-class woman, while a working-class woman experiences loss o f her home and the familial security through travel. Second, Trinh (1994) challenging "the home and abroad/dwelling and travelling dichotomy" (22) indicates that "travelling back and forth between home and abroad becomes a mode o f dwelling" (15). In an attempt to withdraw from such a dichotomy, transnational citizens moving across boundaries play a crucial role. They can potentially break this dichotomy. In other words, transnational agents have a possibility o f creating a new type o f dwelling. Their movements—border-crossing  and constantly shifting in-  between without staying at one point—make them free from the binary system. In this way, transnational subjects (the migrant, the refugee, the exile, and the nomad) offer a n e w way of dwelling.  117  Comparing the notions o f travelling and dwelling presented by Pratt and Trinh, we see some differences between them. Unlike Pratt's notion o f "dwelling in travel" suitable for privileged people, Trinh's concept of dwelling beyond the binary system fits for displaced people. Through dwelling in travel, the privileged physically shift, but materials accompanied with their movement hardly change since they have a stable home as their foundation. B y contrast, the displaced, by travelling back and forth across borders and boundaries, not only shift physically, but substances such as home, food, language, space, and time change in conjunction with their transnational movement. Opposite to stability as the foundation o f the privileged, fluidity plays a central role in the movement o f transnational agents. A good example illustrating the privileged act o f dwelling in travel is found in Kincaid's writing. In A Small Place, those who can dwell in travel are tourists particularly from the West (Europe and America). Kincaid implies that they are privileged. Local people in Antigua, on the other hand, cannot be tourists because o f poverty as Kincaid suggests that "some natives—most natives in the world—cannot go anywhere. They are too poor. They are too poor to go anywhere. They are too poor to escape the reality o f their lives; and they are too poor to live properly in the place where they live, which is the very place you, the tourist, want to g o . . . " (1988: 18-19). W h i l e the Antiguans face "banality and boredom" .(Kincaid 1988: 18), those who are privileged become tourists and go on a tour to take a rest. The tourists have the ability to escape from their "banality and boredom" and change the natives' "banality and boredom" into "a source o f pleasure" for themselves (Kincaid 1988: 19). Kincaid thus articulates the power structure between the tourists and the Antiguans. B y revealing the inequality whereby the Antiguans are not allowed to enter the beaches where the tourists with money enjoy swimming and bathing  118  in the sun, Kincaid implies that an exploitative relationship still exists between the tourists and the locals as it did between the colonizers and the colonized. Here a question emerges: What are the differences between tourists and travellers? According to Trinh (1994), tourists have "voracity in consuming cultures as commodities" (22). They are immersed in exoticism; they enjoy "pre-packaged tours" (Trinh 1994: 22) and make use o f the place and the people in order to make their vacation worthwhile. Applying this to A Small Place, the tourists consume Antigua and the Antiguan culture as commodities; they pay for the tour and enjoy swimming and sunbathing on the beach where the Antiguans are not allowed. On the other hand, the "traditional" traveller has to "imitate the Other, to hide and disguise himself in an attempt to inscribe himself in a counter-exoticism that w i l l allow him to be a non-tourist..." (Trinh 1994: 22-23, emphasis in the original). The travellers do not rely on "pre-packaged tours" and they imitate the natives to avoid indulging themselves in exoticism. In short, the differences between tourists and travellers are their perspectives and positions. For example, i f a person sees a place and a culture i n which s/he does not belong, and makes use o f the differences and uniqueness in order to make his/her holiday different and unique without adjusting his/her lens and position, s/he is a tourist. However, i f that person adjusts and alters his/her perspective and position, s/he is a traveller. Based on this distinction between tourists and travellers, we can say that Cambodian resettlers in Japan are not tourists but travellers. They are travelling agents. Trinh (1994) refers to three supplementary identities accompanying travelling: "Travelling allows one to see things differently from what they are, differently from how one has seen them, and differently from what one is" (23). She continues, "Travelling can thus turn out to be a process whereby the  self loses its  fixed  119  boundaries—a  disturbing yet potentially  empowering practice o f difference" (23). What Trinh suggests here is that travelling affects identity; identity shifts and changes when one travels. Tourism, on the other hand, does not function in the same way. Tourists tend to maintain their identity since they see things from their own perspective rather than see them differently. A s Kincaid (1988) suggests, the tourists are just "pausing here and there to gaze at this and taste that, and it w i l l never occur to you [tourist] that people who inhabit the place in which you have just paused cannot stand y o u . . . " (17). Hence, applying such a distinction, it is reasonable to say that Cambodian resettlers in Japan play a role not as tourists but as travellers. They mentally travel across fixed boundaries o f home, language, space, and time. This in-betweeness makes it possible for them to see things differently from those who stay in one place.  7.4.1  Furusato (Home) for Cambodians as Travellers  A t the closing o f the event in Shinagawa, all the participants sang the Japanese song Furusato (Home) together. The original in Japanese is displayed in Illustration 6. The Japanese lyrics are translated into English as follows: Furusato  (Home)  Lyrics by Tatsuyuki Takano, Music by Teiichi Okano Translated by Hiroko Hara 1. That mountain where I chased rabbits That river where I angled for fish Those memories still come back to me M y unforgettable furusato (home) 2. H o w have you been, Dad and M o m Have you been all right, my friends Whenever it is rainy or windy What I recall is my furusato 3. After attaining my aim I shall return there someday M y furusato where mountains are green . M y furusato where rivers are pure  120  Illustration 6: Lyrics of Furusato  (Home)  Calligraphy by Hiroko Hara  *rv^f£  3* l I2l  it  The lyrics above generate some questions about "home." What does it mean for Cambodians to sing about feelings towards home in Japanese? Is it possible to return to this "home"? To approach these questions, the notion o f "the door o f no return" presented by Brand (2001) is useful. Brand suggests that Africans, enslaved by Euro-Americans, were taken to the new land (Central America) without knowing where they were heading. They were forced to pass the door that is not open on their way home. This door represents the impossibility o f returning home; in other words, o f regaining the original home. Considering the case o f Cambodians, they had little choice but to leave their homeland because o f war and political chaos. In a similar way to the Africans discussed by Brand, Cambodians fled to refugee camps and went through this door o f no return without knowing which country they would relocate to. In short, Cambodian resettlers in Japan, who were once displaced from their homeland, passed this door o f no return to their original home. The original home cannot be regained since the notion o f home continuously shifts in conjunction with their transnational movement. Despite the  inability to return to their original home, their experiences o f  travelling/shifting as transnational citizens are positively interpreted by Cambodian resettlers themselves, as illustrated in the following quotes: R: How do you perceive your nationality? D: I'm not sure which nationality is more pronounced in my mind. What is clear now is that I have neither Cambodian citizenship nor Japanese citizenship. Later on, I have to choose either Cambodian or Japanese nationality. And I've decided to choose Japanese citizenship. R: How about other Cambodian people? D: Some already have citizenship and others don't. R: Do you think other Cambodian people feel the same?  122  D: I think that they hope to gain Japanese citizenship since they have been living in Japan. M r . D ' s response above points out the legal in-betweeness in terms o f his nationality. In addition, it suggests that he and other Cambodian resettlers are eager to accept Japanese citizenship. A similar reaction can be found in M s . G ' s words: R: How do you feel about the fact that your name will be in Japanese when you obtain a Japanese citizenship? G: I have no problem with that. Because it's the rule, I just accept that. Plus, I have some options for my Japanese name. If I change my family name to Japanese name in kanji; for instance, Suzuki, I can still maintain my given name in katakana. M s . G ' s comments approving o f the name change imply tolerance towards some Japaneseness being added to her Cambodianness. Moreover, some research participants expressed their opinions from the perspective of living as transnational citizens: R: Since you are living beyond national borders between Cambodia and Japan, what do you think about yourself? E: I think living in such a situation is wonderful. It's better to live like this than to stay in one country. Honestly, I hope that people from various nations can come and go freely, as Euro notes and coins do. It would be good if the world were free from barriers or borders. In addition, I hope that the world is free from wars. I don't want to see some country saying, "I want this territory and that territory. " I hope that people in Asia could live free from national borders as represented in the EU in Europe. It '11 be great if the similar system as EU is developed in the whole of Asia. Europe is Europe, and Asia can have something similar but suitable to Asia. F: I hope that there will be no barriers in Asia, and people will be looking at the present rather than sticking to the past. The past already passed. I believe that some kind of Asianess exists in Asia. In M r . E ' s response, living as transnational citizen is affirmed. M s . F ' s words indicate the importance o f paying attention to another dimension o f time. In addition, both M r . E and  123  M s . F refer to borders and barriers existing among nation-states, and express their hope that people in A s i a can travel/shift back and forth beyond national borders. Another account o f living as a transnational citizen is described by M r . H : / see myself as a person, in other words, a human being. I do not really care about ethnicity or nationality. And being transnational is good because it helps people have a broad view rather than having a narrow mind. Here M r . H starts drawing a picture on a piece o f paper (Illustration 7). After he finished portraying what it means to be transnational, he then explained his drawing: A black dot means a narrow mind. And this circle represents a broad view. If people stay within the dot, they only see this black spot. A narrow mind makes people possessed. People cannot see other things except what they are focusing on. Illustration 7: Picture o f Transnationality  In his commentary, M r . H considers himself as a human being beyond the categorizations of ethnicity and nationality. His acceptance of being a transnational citizen is mentioned as well. Moreover, M r . H points out the possibility that the act o f being transnational, in other words, transgressing borders and boundaries allows people to "have a broad view." This is exactly what Ahmed (2000) delineates as the advantage o f global-nomadic citizenship. Ahmed suggests that the movement o f global nomads across borders "leads to an expansion o f vision, an ability to see more'" (2000: 85, emphasis in the original).  124  7.5  Conclusion  This chapter has examined the notions o f "space," "time," and "travelling/dwelling" in relation to the transnational movement o f Cambodians. Both public and private spheres in social space as well as geometrical space have been analyzed based on experiences o f Cambodians living in Japan. In terms o f time, the ever-changing movement o f Cambodians beyond boundaries implies that time cannot simply be categorized into past, present, and future. In the examination o f travelling and dwelling, I have closely looked at a few types of dwelling in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world. The distinction between tourists and travellers has been discussed as well. Moreover, in relation to the Japanese song Furusato (Home), I have investigated what is home where Cambodians as travellers can dwell. Finally, I have examined how Cambodians perceive themselves as transnational citizens dwelling in-between.  125  C H A P T E R VIII  CONCLUSION AND R E C O M M E N D A T I O N S  A new critical cartography o f Cambodians as global nomads has been created by the researcher  and the research participants. It is a collaborative work o f us sharing  experiences as transnational citizens with each other. What becomes clear is that notions o f belonging in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world have diversity but also shift/travel in conjunction with the transnational movement o f those who hold the globalnomadic citizenship discussed by Ahmed (2000).  ' .  The examination o f the history o f Cambodian migration has revealed the Cambodian diaspora. While Cambodians are locally living close to each other in certain areas in Japan, Cambodian communities are scattered about areas and nations globally. Cambodians have a broad network both locally and globally, and they maintain their family ties and friendships by visiting and contacting each other. Rituals such as weddings and funerals play a significant role in Cambodians' lives since these events make it possible for people who have scattered around the world to get together, share the same heritage, and strengthen personal ties. Cambodian resettlers actively create, preserve, and increase pleasurable memories not only in Cambodia but in Japan. Such an act symbolizes the preservation and transformation o f identity. The desire to possess a house, mentioned by some research participants, represents a desire to have full access to the four values o f home—"safety," "individuation," "privacy," and "preservation." While the research participants live in Japanese-style apartments in Hiratsuka city, they actively create and take in Cambodianness in their rooms. Their apartments are thus a space where Cambodianness and Japaneseness are coexisting. The knowledge o f Khmer cuisine is also preserved by Cambodians who constantly cook food  126  of the homeland in their houses in Japan. A t the same time, as time passes, Cambodians' attitudes towards food o f the new land have shifted from rejection to acceptance. In food preparation in their apartments in Japan, though some changes can be observed, certain gender roles developed in Cambodia are maintained. While Cambodians learn the language o f the host country, their mother tongue is also actively used and preserved in their lives. Some mention discontinuance o f faith practiced in the homeland by living in the new land. Others suggest that beliefs in Cambodia and in Japan are coexisting and intermingled. In terms o f education, both schooling in the country o f origin and that in the host country have been discussed. The problems faced by each generation o f newcomers, from Cambodia as well as the generation gap have been revealed. In the public sphere in the social space o f Cambodians in Japan, the official construction o f refugees by the state and their legal in-betweeness have been presented. While Cambodians hope to gain Japanese citizenship, they articulate the desire to preserve Cambodianness in the private sphere in social space through food, clothes, language, and belief. Looking at the public sphere in geometrical space, it is clear that Cambodian women's mobility has been extended by living in the country o f their destination. O n the other hand, some gender norms cultivated in the homeland are still perpetuated in the private sphere in geometrical space in the newly inhabited place. Regarding time, the ever-changing movement o f Cambodians beyond boundaries has suggested the concept o f shifting time where past, present, and future are intermingled. In terms o f travelling and dwelling, as Cambodians as travellers shift through space and across boundaries, history/herstory, memory, the sense o f home, food, language, education, space, and time all travel as well, and they undergo a transformation. Their selves in the  127  past are preserved and serve as a foundation o f their selves in the present. In the same way, their selves in the present become the foundation o f their selves i n the future. A s time goes by, identity shifts in the way that the present self becomes past, and then the future self becomes ongoing.  8.1  Belonging and Citizenship—Theoretical  Terms  The transnational movement o f Cambodians presents some possibilities in theoretical terms. Considering the concept o f "global-nomadic citizenship," Ahmed suggests that such a citizenship is "produced by a subject who moves through space and across  national  borders'" (2000: 85, emphasis in the original). This new type o f citizenship has been practiced by transnational Cambodians who move through the public/private spheres in social and geometrical spaces and across national borders. A s Ahmed points out, this transnational movement "leads to an expansion o f vision, an ability to see more" (2000: 85, emphasis in the original). B y gaining global-nomadic citizenship, Cambodians have obtained the ability to see more to live in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world. A t the same time, what is also presented from their stories is the possibility that we can see more as well by paying attention to and understanding their global nomadic movement. This citizenship is equal to transnational citizenship, but differentiated from global citizenship. According to Dower and Williams (2002), global citizenship has various definitions, and i n fact there is no straight answer to what global citizenship is. However, as Dower and Williams remark, "[djespite all these variations, it seems clear...that the more people accepted the global citizenship perspective, the more they would be reinforced in that perspective by a sense o f solidarity" (2002: 255). Thus, as I have stated  128  elsewhere,  terms such as  solidarity, uniformity, and integration often  accompany  global/globalization. In this case, these words are tied with global citizenship. Unlike global citizenship discussed above, transnational citizenship has the potential to delineate diversity—diverse voices o f transnational citizens beyond borders. In her work, Goldring (2001) aims to "'transnationalize' feminist work on citizenship" (63) and suggests that discussing the concept o f citizenship in the context o f transnationalism can offer "information about the kinds o f citizen(s) and citizenship practices being constructed and negotiated by states and transmigrants, and how these are gendered and differentiated across space and level o f political authority and analysis" (63-64). I consider that acknowledging diversity and paying attention to issues o f (in)equality and social justice surrounding transnational citizens as a matter o f great importance. B y looking at citizenship as global-nomadic/transnational, this thesis has presented diverse citizenship practices by Cambodians in Japan. It has also suggested the need to reconsider the monolithic idea that those who have Japanese citizenship are Japanese. In terms o f the "third space" discussed by Trinh (1994), we can say that transnational Cambodians moving here and there, back and forth are in this space transgressing all sorts o f binary systems. A s Trinh indicates, "[s]uch a space allows for the emergence o f new subjectivities that resist letting themselves be settled i n the movement across First and Second" (1994: 18-19). Hence, Cambodians in the third space introduce a new way o f living free from various borders and boundaries. In this way, their movements—border-crossing and constantly shifting in-between without staying at one point—make them free from the binary system. Cambodians in the third space, who have global-nomadic citizenship and resist dwelling in one place, present an alternative that is  129  necessary to see more o f the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world and to live free from borders and boundaries. It is suggested from the musical Finding Home, performed by Welly Yang and Dina Morishita in M a y 2006, that home not only represents a place where we are physically dwelling, but also can be someplace or someone, we are emotionally attached to. Upon immigrating to the new land, there may be some accompanying uncomfortable memories and experiences. However, being able to find more than one home is fortunate. Having more than one element called "home" is allowed only to those who dare to take a risk to transgress national, cultural, and ethnic boundaries. Some argue that having a stable home is a privileged act. Based on this type o f viewpoint, not-having a stable home is considered for the unprivileged. It is clear that the new hierarchy between those who have a stable home and those who do not is created by this discussion. Cambodians as travellers in the third space appeal to us to shift our thinking and take an alternative perspective beyond the binary system. In other words, they articulate the importance o f changing our ideas o f home for the displaced, from not-having a stable home to having more than one home/multiple homes. Transnational Cambodians thus have practiced the act o f growing out o f such a hierarchy. Cambodians as travellers are likened to a dandelion. What can be seen from the surface such as the flower and leaves symbolize nationality and ethnicity. When we shift our viewpoint and focus on what is inside without sticking to the appearance, we can see deep roots forking, entwining with one another, and supporting the flower. It suggests that complex elements that cannot be simply adhered to nationality and ethnicity exist. Hence, the presence o f Cambodians in the third space implies the importance, o f paying attention to what is invisible rather than sticking to the appearance.  130  The dandelion flower currently growing represents present. Its deep roots symbolize past and memory that support the flower—the present. Its leaves growing towards the sky represent future. A s time passes, the petals are transformed into cotton seeds, and they fly in all directions. A n d they sprout up in various environments such as a field and a crack in the asphalt. They grow and grow basking in the sun. A n d again, they transform themselves from petals to cotton seeds, and they scatter around. In this way, an alternative sense o f belonging is presented by transnational Cambodians who transgress various borders and boundaries and dwell in here and there in the third space.  8.2  Belonging and Citizenship—Empirical Terms  In empirical terms, it is clear that Cambodian resettlers in Japan have practiced the act o f transgressing not only national, but cultural and ethnic boundaries. While they preserve Cambodianness, we see their attempt to understand  and adopt  certain aspects o f  Japaneseness in their lives in the country o f their destination without rejecting it. Some research participants invited me to their houses in Hiratsuka city and also to the gathering with Indochinese refugees in Shinagawa. They welcomed me not as Japanese but as human being. Cambodian people I met talked to me in Japanese as much as possible. I communicated with them in Khmer to the best o f my ability. Therefore, my interviews with Cambodians were not a simple investigation o f Cambodians living in Japan, done by the Japanese researcher, but a dialogue between human beings who live transnationally beyond national, cultural, and ethnic boundaries. In the middle o f the gathering in Shinagawa, Okasan (mom) o f the family I knew grasped my hand without saying a word. It is in this silence that we learn what is necessary to live in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world. A s it gets easier to go abroad,  131  the movement o f transgressing borders w i l l be accelerated. M o m ' s behaviour indicates what is essential to communicate with and understand people from various backgrounds. Going beyond only national borders makes transnational interaction possible, but it does not promote the perfect mutual understanding of people. Such a mutual understanding is possible only when we aim to transgress cultural and ethnic boundaries, and finally place ourselves in the third space. In this space, we become human beings without being categorized based on nationality and ethnicity. Thus the silent exchange between me and her, beyond national, cultural, ethnic, and even language boundaries, suggests the possibility that such a space for mutual understanding can be created. This critical cartography o f Cambodians shows diverse ways o f transgressing national, cultural, and ethnic boundaries, practiced by them, while it delineates some obstacles to the movement across those boundaries as well as their struggle in the third space. However, it is this movement of Cambodians that it is essential for fully participating in the postcolonial, diasporic, and multicultural world in the twenty-first century. The case o f transnational Cambodians provides a model o f living in the third space for us. It suggests that the transnational movement does not simply mean moving beyond national borders. Their act o f transgressing not only national but also cultural and ethnic boundaries thus indicates what is necessary to j o i n i n the third space, interact with other global nomads, and accelerate a mutual understanding.  8.3  Implications for Transnational Education  What can we learn from the case o f Cambodians as newcomers learning Japanese language and culture? Some research participants pointed out elsewhere that they had difficulty in learning Japanese as a second language and that their Japanese did not improve much  132  through the educational program offered at the resettlement center. According to bell hooks (1994), this results from "the absence o f a feeling o f safety that often promotes prolonged silence or lack o f student engagement" (39). Without feeling safe, it is difficult for learners to actively learn and fully participate in the class. To remove the feeling o f insecurity, hooks asserts the importance o f practicing "transformative pedagogy" (1994: 40) taking gender, ethnicity, and class into consideration. Borrowing hooks's concept o f "transformative pedagogy" allows us to recognize what is missing i n the educational program offered to newcomers in Japan, and what needs to be done to fill in the gap. There are two major points that should.be taken into account. First, it is necessary to critically examine teaching materials used in the classroom with a gender-sensitive lens. A s discussed in Chapter 6, some textbooks contain illustrations that might reinforce or even newly produce gender bias. I suggest that the gender-sensitive perspective can transform the classroom into an environment where learners can actively and fully learn, regardless o f sex. Second, it is important to avoid forcing teachers' opinions and perceptions on learners coming from various backgrounds. A s I mentioned elsewhere, the research participants learned basics and rules necessary for living in Japan. Learning what they should and should not do in Japanese society is helpful in some extent in leading their lives in Japan. However, it is essential for teachers to be aware that each individual carries history, culture, tradition, and custom cultivated in his/her homeland with him/her while learning at the resettlement center i n Japan. In addition to the necessity o f practicing "transformative pedagogy," hooks points out another important concept that helps the transformation of the classroom. A s she notes, "a feeling o f community" in the classroom setting is essential to encourage students to actively learn and "live more fully in the world" (1994: 40). T o do so, teachers need to  133  "recognize the value o f each individual voice" (1994: 40). Therefore, in the case o f the educational program at the resettlement center in Japan, there is a need that teachers listen to each learner coming from different background, in terms o f gender, ethnicity, class, age, and religion, and make an effort to treat each individual not as foreigner coming to Japan but as transnational citizen. In doing so, the classroom w i l l be transformed into the third space where teachers and learners can interact with each other and gain a mutual understanding. A s hooks (1994) remarks, in such a space, "[s]tudents are eager to break through barriers to knowing. They are willing to surrender to the wonder o f re-learning and learning ways o f knowing that go against the grain" (44). In the case o f Japan, the creation o f the third space where diversity is respected starts from paying attention to the voices o f transnational citizens living there. Yamanaka (2004) looks critically at Japan's immigration policy which has functioned as the primary tool dividing those who "belong" and those who do not, and maintaining the ideal o f the homogeneous nation-state. Referring to the emerging phenomenon o f grassroots activism by immigrants and citizens inside Japan, Yamanaka remarks: "Their [Immigrants'] voices are now emerging as a new and increasingly prominent popular discourse that challenges the rigid notions and practices o f the nation-state..." (2004: 86). A s diverse voices o f Cambodian residents i n Japan are heard in this thesis, it is essential to create a space that allows more diverse voices to emerge in Japan. 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