Cambodians in Long Beach, California Essay

Cambodians in Long Beach, California Essay

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Cambodians didn’t just appear in Long Beach, CA out of nowhere. Long before Long Beach, CA became the epicenter of a very large Cambodian population, Cambodians migrated from Cambodia, a country in Asia that sits next to Thailand and Vietnam. In the early 1960s Cambodians began arriving in various cities within California, Long Beach in particular witnessed mass numbers of Cambodians flooding into the area in Southern California. One year later, President John F. Kennedy established the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), which was the very first assistance/aid organization set up for a foreign country (Impact of U.S Refugee Policies on U.S Foreign Policy/Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). The USAID program sponsored students from Cambodia to several universities located all around the U.S, assisting these individuals in training for various industrial arts and agricultural practices. In fact, Long Beach State University welcomed four Cambodian students into the University, specializing in the Industrial Arts Program. Since the initial arrival of Cambodians in Long Beach, the Cambodian population has increased exponentially, allowing these Cambodian migrants to make a new home for themselves. In 1975, Cambodia was taken over by a harsh dictator, Khmer Rouge also known as “Pol Pot” by Americans, who was a radical communist regime (Khmer Rouge History/Cambodia Tribunal Monitor). Khmer Rouge was very much similar to Hitler, enslaving its country’s inhabitants into doing tedious tasks. Once again, there was another large flow of Cambodians pouring out of Cambodia. The
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Vietnamese invaded Cambodia in December of 1978, resulting in nearly 130,000 more Cambodians to migrate into California, catching the atten...

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...have become so successful that it has become sort of a tradition to open up Cambodian owned shops, illustrated by several highly successful shops not only in Long Beach but other cities as well. Cambodians have also made impacts on other places as well, proved by successful family owned restraint cuisines. Being Cambodian and experiencing the religion, I can account for all the claims. My mother and other family members were a part of the thousands of refugees who migrated into America during the Khmer Rouge and Vietnamese invasion. My families have shared their traumatic stories with me so I can relate with the research I’ve done.
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To wrap it up, Cambodians have a significant cultural impact with the city of Long Beach, CA and will truly play a role in Long Beach’s society for years to come, not only increasing its population but also enhancing Cambodia Town.

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