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Rediscovering Cambodia: Buddhism: Cambodian way of life

10-08-2012 18:22 BJT

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By CCTV reporter Feng Jinchao

Cambodia is a nation of Buddhism. 95 per cent of its population are followers, and the monks hold a important place in society. As our reporter Feng Jinchao found out, for Cambodians, Buddhism is more than just a religion.

In Cambodia, temples and monks can be seen everywhere. Buddhism is the dominant religion. One tradition is to send a boy to a temple to be a monk at the age of 13. From ancient times to the present day, temples have been the most important institutions of education.

Sao Chanthol, LT. Governor Monk of Phnom Penh said, "Monks learn from the Buddhist doctrine. We need to know what the Buddha wants us to do, and we can help common people in their daily lives, such as funerals."

Unlike Buddhists in China, Cambodians follow the Hynayana school, which allows monks to return to secular world if they want.

Som Chea is a monk in Phnom Penh. Besides his routine duties in the temple, he belongs to an N-G-O called Salvation Center Cambodia. Every two weeks, he meets a group of patients with AIDS and mental illness, to speak on Buddhism and help them pursue inner peace and confidence.

Som Chea has been a monk for over 20 years. He comes from a remote and devastated village 60 kilometers from Phnom Penh. Like many others in Cambodia, he was raised and educated in the temples. For these people, temples are where their spirit can rest forever, even after returning to the secular world.

That is why temples are everywhere in Cambodia. And now as the country faces fast economic development, there’s little dramatic social unrest. For hundreds of years, Buddhism has taught people to both do good and be good.

Editor:Wang Shuo |Source: CCTV.com

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