On Nov. 1, I accompanied my wife to view the Cambodian movie "Come Back, My Darling" at Wilson High School Auditorium. The building was filled to capacity at the 1:30 showing. I was able to grasp the message of the film because my wife served as translator. The movie traces the story of a man's love for a servant in his parents' household. However, his parents have already chosen another woman to be his bride. Reluctantly, the young man marries the parents' choice. Tragedy upon tragedy occur thereafter.
As Americans, we cannot accept the idea of arranged marriages in 1986. We struggle with advice given to us by wiser parents. Our marriages are often rocky, and divorce rates soar. Divorce rates among Cambodians are minuscule in comparison.
The movie I saw points out what can happen when an arranged marriage is a mismatch. The violence that can ensue is much more catastrophic than most divorces, American style. Younger Cambodians are now dating, probably to the chagrin of their elders. Let us hope they enjoy the freedom our country has to offer, but let us also hope that the reverence they now have for their parents doesn't disappear. We can all learn so much from each other, especially in a multicultural area such as Long Beach.
--GERALD P. LUNDERVILLE
Lunderville teaches English as a second language at Wilson High School in Long Beach .