Audio Diary: How This Long Beach Woman Survived the Khmer Rouge

Jan. 15, 2019 / By

Audio Story by Preshous Jordan. Above, Lean Taing (third from left) poses with her family at a refugee camp in Thailand. She is now in her 50’s living in Long Beach and attends dance classes at the Homeland Cultural Center.


Lean Taing is unsure about her exact birthdate. She is one of the many Khmer Rouge refugees living in Long Beach, many of whom lost ties to their past en route to safety.

She had to endure family loss and violence to make her way out, even if it meant crossing mountains and avoiding bombs to escape the bloodshed.

Today, Taing finds comfort in the local Khmer dance classes at Long Beach’s Homeland Cultural Center.

“Now, I’m so happy,” Taing says.

In this audio diary, Taing shares her incredible journey of survival and finding happiness in Cambodia Town, Long Beach.

Music via Purple Planet.

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