Post #4 Background Information



Bangladesh is country surrounded by India in Asia that has a population of about 160 million people, making it the 8th most populated country in the world. Most of the people live in urban areas, with the most amount of people living in the city of Dhaka. There are few people living in rural areas because of how thickly settled it is. Dhaka is also Bangladesh’s capital, housing around 8.9 million people. The second biggest city in Bangladesh is Chittagong, it is the main port for the country, and their second most important city. Many fun things to do there are visit the busy sea beach and lake, visit the ethnological museum, or visit the Chittagong war cemetery. The national language that almost everyone speaks is Bengali, however there are some minority groups who speak Tibeto-Burman languages. Bangladesh has a big reliance on agriculture, which has lead to a lot of unemployment and bad standards of living, however they are slowly starting to implement more industrialization to help with this. For religion, Hinduism used to be the main religion of Bangladesh, but now it is the second main religion with Islam being the biggest,and the country’s official religion. How this overturn happened was Muslims starting coming into the country during the 13th century, and started to rapidly increase in the population, and becoming slightly bigger than the practicing Hindus. Moving on to important dates for the country, all the way back from the 3rd century, there were three different dynasties of Buddhism Hindu and Muslim, until around 1700. During this period the whole countries empire was weakened and the British saw an opportunity to take over, and they did so until 1947. During this year there were major elections and the Muslims got back into control, however thirty years later Pakistanis took control and it has been to them ever since.


Response 3

Overall I have to say I really enjoyed the novel, and was surprised by how good it was. Things that made me love the book was how I actually cared about the main character and what will happen to her and her family. How the book made me interested in non fiction books, and how it even tells about her life after the events of the war. Things that made me hate the book however was the slow start, how roughly paced events in the beginning were, like how sometimes events would be far into the future, or super close without really saying. That it made me sad constantly, and I didn’t like how some of the sentences sounded weird even if you read them over a couple of times. I got really sad when she started losing family members, especially when she lost her Mother and little Sister, but basically from the second her Older sister dies I am sad for the rest of the time. It got me real angry how the Khmer rouge would just go around killing people for no reason and there was nothing they could do to stop them, so people just lost a bunch of family members. It also angered me how the Khmer Rouge would starve them and people like Loung’s baby sister would be so hungry and not grow. In summary, I really enjoyed the book, and was not expecting it to be this good, however there were still a lot of problems like the rough start, and weird sentences. I recommend this book to teenagers and older because there were some explicit scenes, and not to mention it is really sad, and I don’t know if younger people want to read about something like this.


Book Club Response 2

I have just finished the story, so I saw Loung, her older brother Khouy, and his wife get to America. Earlier in the story however, Loung’s Family got enough food to travel back to her Aunt’s and Uncle’s place safely. They were living a decent life there, however Khouy wanted to go to America with his wife for more opportunities, and they brought Loung along with them because she was young enough to still get an education. They rode by boat for a while until they got into a refugee camp in Vietnam, and after a little bit of waiting got a sponsor to bring them to America. The big theme towards the end is about moving on from the bad past, and trying to get a better future. That is what Loung’s whole family is trying to do.

The scenes our group shared were about Loung losing her her family members, Loung living by herself, Loung reuniting with her family, and her leaving her home. We chose these scenes because they had a big influence on Loung’s character, how she acts, and how she would act later on.

Our book highlights the Cambodia genocide, where many Cambodians were killed during the rule of the Khmer Rouge regime. The regime was lead by Pol Pot, a marxist dictator who was trying to create a master race. The Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia by invading their capital Phnom Penh, and ruled the country. The Khmer Rouge ended up executing, or starving between 1.7 mil to 2.2 mil Cambodians. Luckily later the Vietnamese removed Pol Pot from power and got things better.

Links: https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/the-khmer-rouge



Book Club Response 1

I am reading the book First They Killed my FatherĀ by Loung Ung. To recap what I have read, it starts off with Loung and her family living a fairly good life in Phnom Penh Cambodia. Things are going well until war starts out and soldiers kick out everyone from the city, and they have to move. They walk to their Uncles house, live there for a bit, and then move to the mountains. They then run out of food there and have to move down to a terrible place called Ro Leap. They have to work hard daily, and have very little food and are hungry all of the time. One of Loung’s Sisters Keav gets moved to a labor camp, gets sick and dies. While back at Ro Leap Loung’s Father gets taken away and killed leaving the family short of people with two of her older brothers moving away. Overall, Loung and her family are miserable, hungry, and just tired of living this lifestyle.

Loung Ung wrote this book about herself and her experiences, so it is about Loung living during the Cambodian genocide and trying to survive with her family afterwards. They have much experiences about the locations written about because she had to live in the locations with her family. Loung wrote this book to reclaim the voice she lost during the events, and to not only tell people about what happened, but also what a family had to do to survive then. Writing this book also helped her feel better afterwards, and lucky for coming out alive.

I predict that in the rest of the book they will eventually move soon, with the village they are living in going downhill fast. However, I am not sure how they are going to do this with them super hungry, and exhausted having no energy, and not knowing where to go. Also they will not have enough food for the trip and will not survive, but they just really need to get out of this place. I am hoping the rest of the family survives but I have no idea if any of them will die or not.

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