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WASHINGTON - The late Cambodian American writer Anthony Veasna So once reportedly described his work as "post-khmer genocide queer stoner fiction," a narrowly defined niche blown wide open by widespread critical acclaim for his collection of short stories, Afterparties.
So's book is hailed as an exciting and highly original work that captures what it is like to grow up in contemporary American society as a child of Cambodian refugees. Enthusiasm for So's work bridges seemingly dissimilar universes – literary critics who see its universal appeal and the Cambodian American community that sees family.
Uniting the two are So's vivid descriptions – full of humor and compassion – of families grappling with the traumas of surviving the murderous Khmer Rouge while navigating the cultural dislocation and socio-economic challenges of refugee resettlement.
Until now, most depictions of Cambodians in English-language writing and film have been memoirs, nonfiction books and a few well-known movies that focus on an older generation's stories of surviving the Khmer Rouge killing fields -- the "purification" of Cambodia that resulted in the deaths of at least 1.7 million people in a quest by Pol Pot to create an agrarian Marxist utopia in the 1970s.
As The New Yorker magazine observed, "Classics of immigrant storytelling can feel sparse and solemn. The stories in So's Afterparties fill the silence, spilling over with transgressive humor and exuberant language."
"He writes the voices of our Cambodian elders in a way that just feels so accurate," Monica Sok, a poet who was a friend of So's, told a recent panel discussion at Book Passage, a Bay Area bookstore. Sok said that as she read So's work, "I was always thinking like: 'Yeah, I do know an auntie like that, I know an auntie who thinks she knows how I should live my life."
Khmer rouge survivor Image source: wikimediawikimedia
The well-known American literary house Ecco launched Afterparties in early August, printing 100,000 copies after it reportedly signed a $300,000 deal for two books with So, who died in December 2020 of an accidental drug overdose at his home in San Francisco. Another book based on segments from an unfinished novel is expected in 2023.
The New Yorker, which first published some of his early stories, described So's death at 28 as "cutting short a literary career of extraordinary achievement and immense promise."
The headline of a glowing Washington Post review called Afterparties "a bittersweet testament to the late author's talents."
Alexander Torres, the writer who was So's partner for seven years, told VOA Khmer "the humor, the lightheartedness, the jokes, but also the really beautiful descriptions" are what made So's writing unique with a style that "combines humor with high art and with low art."
So's writing captures the second generation's perspective on the effects of lingering trauma and other issues at the heart of the Cambodian American community, while touching on more universal contemporary themes such as the complexities of race, youth and sexuality.
As any Cambodian born to Khmer Rouge survivors can attest, the horror stories and traumas inflicted by the murderous 1970s regime are part of growing up.
So's sharp observations about his parents' coping mechanisms and the effects of their traumas on their children offer an unflinching look at the multigenerational impact of war and violence. Yet, he never overlooks the humor and absurdity this can create for an Americanized second generation. In one incident he describes a father shouting at a teen drinking iced water: "There were no ice cubes in the genocide!"
Afterparties contains nine short stories, including Somaly Serey, Serey Somaly, about the Buddhist belief in reincarnation set in an Alzheimer's and dementia unit. Generational Differences is about a 1989 shooting at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, a small California city that is home to one of the largest Cambodian communities in the U.S. Most of the victims were children of Southeast Asian descent. Five died. So's mother, who worked at the school, witnessed the violence.
So's book built on a reputation from work published in various outlets, including a 2018 story in n+1 magazine called Superking Son Scores Again, about a legendary badminton player turned grocery store owner who tries to relive his glory days.
Mark Krotov, the magazine's co-editor and publisher, told VOA Khmer that So's work would likely affect many young writers. "There is so much wisdom in it, there is so much adventure … so much risk-taking, so much beauty, so much intelligence, so much provocation. And all those things in combination suggest to me that this is the book that's going to be remembered," Krotov said in a recent phone interview.
N+1 magazine recently established an award called "Anthony Veasna So's Fiction Prize" in his honor. The first recipient is Trevor Shikaze, a writer for n+1 from Canada.
Cambodian celebrate genocide remembrance Image source: wikimediawikimedia
'Centering' Cambodian Americans
So's parents fled northwestern Cambodia's Battambang province and settled as refugees in Stockton, a river city in California's Central Valley. His father ran an auto repair shop and his mother worked as a civil servant. So was born in Stockton in 1992.Cambodian American intellectuals said So's fiction masterfully conveyed their experiences, family life and sense of community.
"Reading through Afterparties, it was so resonant, it was so refreshing, to see the Cambodian diaspora, which is not represented in literature – apart from the survival literature," said So's friend Sok.
"Anthony is really centering Cambodian people in America and the second generation as well, those who are born in this country and inheriting their parents' traumas, but also trying to find their own way in life," she added.
Sokunthary Svay, a Cambodian American writer and librettist from New York City, told VOA Khmer, "I think what makes his writing particularly important for our diaspora is that he would speak about experiences that a lot of us knew growing up here in the States."
So was from a large family, and all the children were high-achieving students. He graduated from Stanford University, where he enrolled for computer science and graduated with a degree in English, a switch that initially dismayed his family. He earned his MFA in fiction at Syracuse University.
According to his sister, Samantha Lamb, So loved television shows and movies and he discovered his talent while trying to write a script for a television show about a Cambodian American family based on his own life.
Lamb reacted to So's stories with recognition. "OK yes, yes, that is the story about my grandma's sister, that's the story about my aunt," Lamb told VOA Khmer. "This person represents this person in my family."
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Image source: wikimediawikimedia
Lamb said Khmer Rouge-era experiences are a recurrent theme in So's work, as "it is a big part of who we are and growing up my parents talked about it all the time."
In Duplex, a story published in The New Yorker, So wrote, "I had grown up hearing the stories of the genocide, worked to help build our new American identities, and mourned, alongside everyone else in my family, the gaps in our history that could never be recovered."
Lamb said her brother found a way to process this family history and turn it into a new, contemporary experience.
His work "tells the stories of the Cambodian genocide, but from a young person's perspective," Lamb said. "There hasn't really been any book or movie or TV show about Cambodians in the Western eyes, you know in the American eyes, that has been about just like who we are as Cambodian Americans now. So, I think that's what makes it more relatable to people."
According to Lamb, the family continues to struggle with So's death, although they are immensely proud to see his writing being so well received. His father sleeps in So's bed to console himself, while his mother is going to a therapist and their grandmother is claiming So may soon be reincarnated.
"I am pregnant right now,'' Lamb said, ''and it is a boy. … And especially my grandma has been like 'Oh! Anthony is coming back. He is being reincarnated.'" (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Cambodia, Diaspora, East Asia Pacific, Genocide, Khmer Rouge
By- Blogger Indifi
EMI is known as equated monthly installments. It is a fixed payment made by the borrower each month to repay the loan amount. The EMI is divided into two loan components. One is the principal amount, and the second is the interest amount. Whether you are applying for a personal loan, business loan, home loan, car loan, or education loan, EMIs are easy to calculate using the EMI loan calculator.
Three parameters based on which EMI calculator works:
- Loan amount.
- Repayment tenure.
- Rate of interest (offered by the lender).
Factors that affect the Loan EMIs
Above, we have discussed the main parameters on which loan EMI is based. Here are the factors that affect the EMIs.
Changes in the loan interest rate: There are three loan interest rates -- fixed, floating, and hybrid.
When an interest rate offered on a loan is fixed, in that scenario, there are no changes in the EMIs.
A floating interest rate is linked to the marginal cost of the fund-based lending rate and can change the loan EMIs. As the rate is flexible, it keeps changing per the repo rate.
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If you have taken the loan on a hybrid interest rate, the interest rate is fixed only for a particular tenure. After that, it is on MCLR to decide the interest rate, and based on the determined interest rate, the EMI changes.
Tenure: When you opt for a loan transfer from one lender to another, there may be a possibility of change in the loan tenure. It will also bring changes in the EMI calculations. If the tenure increases, it will decrease the EMI. In case the tenure is reduced, EMI will increase.
Sample loan chart of a business company Image source: wikimedia commons
The loan amount of repayment is also a reason that affects a loan's EMI. If you make a loan prepayment, it reduces the outstanding principal amount, based on which the EMI amount or tenure is changed.
Benefits of using an online EMI calculator:
- Find out exact EMIs to be paid monthly for any loan.
- Saves time.
- Get a detailed overview of loans applied using the amortization schedule.
- Plan your monthly finances well in advance.
You can set multiple schedules and loan tenures. After a detailed schedule comparison, choose the one that suits well with your financial requirements.
Significance of loan amortization schedule in EMI calculator
A loan amortization schedule data shows the EMI break-ups. It shows how much EMI you need to pay for interest and what you will pay as the principal amount. It is one of the most significant advantages of using the EMI calculator. The EMIs that you pay as principal will keep reducing the loan's principal amount. It will also result in decreasing the interest amount. You will get to know all these things when you use the EMI loan calculator frequently. The amortization schedule is one of the essential features of an EMI loan calculator that helps design the proper prepayment schedule.
The different types of EMI calculators
Home loan EMI calculator
Home loans are one of the most popular and common loans applied for in India. It has a long tenure and a sizable principal amount. Whenever you apply for a home loan, it is essential to do all the EMI calculations in advance. There are various home loan EMI calculators available online with every home loan provider. All that is required to calculate the EMI is the loan amount, tenure, and interest rate. Using a home loan EMI calculator can help you easily plan your finances.
Business loan EMI calculator
Like home loans, business loans also come with a massive principal amount and longer tenures. So, using the business loan online EMI calculator is a smart way to calculate the business loan EMIs. Requirements are the essential loan details, such as repayment tenure, interest rate, and the loan amount. Online, equated monthly installment is automatically calculated at the lender's website.
Personal loan EMI Calculator
Personal loans are multipurpose. It is the reason they are considered as the most applied loan to meet immediate financial requirements. For choosing the right loan amount, you must use the personal loan EMI calculator. It will help you to choose the best interest rate loan offer and tenure. Try to go with the shorter term to pay less interest on the principal amount.
Sample of External Loan amounts Image source: wikimedia commons
Education loan EMI calculator
Education costs increase each year and can cause financial strains on a family. If you are planning to send your child overseas for higher education by applying for an education loan, at that time, the EMI calculator proves to be the best online financial tool. It will help you to decide the right EMI amount where your daily expenses remain unaffected.
Simple interest loan EMI calculator
An EMI calculator is used to calculate the simple interest applicable on the loan amount for a specified tenure. It is one of the most accessible financial tools. All that is required is tenure, a simple interest rate, and the borrowed amount. After that, click on 'calculate' to know the exact EMI to be paid.
Loan against property EMI calculator
If you have any residential or commercial property registered in your name, you can apply for a loan against the property. It is a kind of secured loan, where the property is kept as collateral. To understand how EMI works under this loan scheme, use the loan against the property EMI calculator.
Overall, EMI loan calculators are one of the best financial tools to compare varied loan offers. It provides a clear picture of the total cost of the loan and respective EMIs to be paid monthly. Online EMI calculators are available on every lender's website; whether you are applying for a business loan online, home loan, car loan, personal loan, or any other loan, using the online EMI calculator can help. Just with a click of a mouse, you can keep control of your financial life.
The online EMI loan calculator has been programmed with the formula based on the loan applied. There is no need to worry about the accuracy of the result. All that you are required to share for the calculator to do its job accurately is the right amount, tenure, and interest rate offered by the lender.
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and include some commercial links)
The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.
The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.
Austria, France, Latvia, Spain, Germany, and Russia are amongst the many countries that have banned the display and use of the Swastika.
Moreover, last week Victoria in Australia is preparing to become the first-ever state to ban the public display of the Swastika. This is a step towards an expansion of anti-vilification laws in the state.
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Now, we must know and understand what went wrong with this symbol, which is sacred and signifies all-good things.
For a very, very long time, in India, the Swastika is the first emblem that is worshipped or even drawn before any sacred and auspicious ceremonies as this symbol in Sanskrit represents 'well-being'. But, the Swastika lost all its credibility when it was wrongfully used by Adolf Hitler.
In fact, it is believed that if this symbol is worshipped properly, then it gives positive results. But if it is abused, then it gives negative results. So, when Adolf Hitler rotated the Swastika at 45 degrees, it slowly and steadily brought misery not only to Adolf Hitler and his theory of Nazism but also to all the people who were associated with him.
Therefore, in order to give the kind of respect and credibility which the Swastika deserves, World Interfaith Harmony Week which was held in New York in February this year, interfaith groups appealed to the United Nations to recognize and acknowledge the Swastika as an important and peaceful symbol. In fact, they also differentiated it from the Hakenkreuz or "Hooked Cross" of Adolf Hitler.
Keywords: Swastika, Symbol, Nazism, Hinduism, Adolf Hitler, United Nations, Buddhism, Jainism
India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.
Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.
In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018. | Wikimedia Commons
Chopra's first international medal came in 2014, as he took home a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok. In 2015, he set a world record in the junior category of 81.04 meters in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet.
Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance, setting an Under-20 world record of 86.48m, which still stands. Gold medals in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games are among his other accomplishments, including a first-place in the 2017 Asian Championships. In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018.
Chopra has also had his share of bad events in life. In 2019, he underwent surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. However, he returned more robust than ever. In November 2019, he went to South Africa to train from Klaus Bartoneitz. He spent the following year in India training at the NIS Patiala because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was allowed to go to France with his coach after weeks of trying to get a travel visa.
Neeraj Chopra made history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. Also, it is worth mentioning that after Abhinav Bindra, Chopra is only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana