Nou Hach, the Author of “Phka Sropoun”
Nou Hach was born on June 26th, 1916 in Kampong Preah Commune, Sangke District, Battambang Province. His parents were farmers and he had many siblings, three of whom were women.
According to researchers, Nou Hach studied with a monk in Wat Kampong Preah pagoda where he was able to learn how to read well. Later, in 1932, he entered Preah Sisowath High School and continued to pursue his education until he received his degree.
His name has been used to name a Literary Association, Nou Hach Literary Association. This association indicated that they used his name because they want to further encourage the younger generation to study to preserve our language. They hope to improve and keep our literacy up-to-date. Nou Hach had moved away from ancient Khmer literature that wrote tragic stories according to Buddhist theories to modern stories with descriptions and emotional narratives.
According to 20th Century Khmer Literature by Dr. King Hoody, Nou Hach became a judge in 1939 after he finished school and continued to stay in Phnom Penh after he got married to Tan Ream and had 8 kids. Today, some of them are in the U.S. and Australia.
However, according to the Journal of Sociology-Anthropology, Nou Hach became a lawyer after he finished his secondary education. He remained in Siem Reap until he got married and moved to Phnom Penh.
Based on the Nou Hach Literary Association, Nou Hach worked for the Ministry of Communication, delivering news in 1947. He later became the secretary of His highness Yuttivong and then went back to become the head of the department at the ministry of communication after His Highness passed away.
In 1952, he worked at the Foreign Ministry as an ambassador. The Journal of Sociology-Anthropology and a book by Dr. King Hoody were not in agreement as to what Nou Hach did after this. Both agreed that he disappeared during the Khmer Rouge in 1975.
Despite his death, he is very well remembered. He was most well-known for his book, “Pka Sropoun”. This book has been incorporated into the educational system since 1958.
By: Moeun Kimyan