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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Grand master of Taoism visits

Grand master of Taoism visits

Grand master of Taoism visits

090209_05.jpg
090209_05.jpg

His Holiness Wang Tzu Kuang, leader of the little-known Maitreya Tao

sect, visited Kingdom's Taoists for three days last week before

continuing on his spiritual tour to Myanmar

CAMBODIA'S small but devout Taoist community was elated last week when His Holiness Grand Master Wang Tzu Kuang, leader of the Maitreya Tao, paid a three-day visit to the Thean Inn Tao holy temple on Pochentong Road.

The Maitreya Tao has more than 20 holy houses or temples throughout Cambodia, but could not provide information on the total number of followers.

The grand master, who is usually based in Taiwan, arrived Thursday for a three-day visit before continuing his spiritual tour to Myanmar on Saturday.

After a vegetarian lunch Saturday, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Cults and Religion made a brief speech, reminding the Taoists that Buddhism is the official state religion in Cambodia and that it is against the law to actively convert Cambodian Buddhists. He added that Wang Tzu Kuang's visit was an honour.

The grand master told the Post that he hoped the visit to Cambodia would help the Kingdom's small community of Taoists to grow, adding that  Taoism was not, in fact, a proselytizing movement.  

"My mission and purpose for this visit is to make a harmonious world to bring happiness and fortune to everybody," he  said Friday. "This includes the fish in the sea, the animals in the forest and the plants on the earth. We are all one big family."

A local dance group, formed by the Thean Inn Tao holy temple, welcomed the grand master with an energetic dance performance Thursday night.

"We developed this [dance] program to honour the grand holy master," said 21-year-old dance group member Theav Chantry. "Our dance is a mix of every style that makes people happy."

The dance team of 30 had been practising for three months prior to the grand master's visit. Their performance incorporated moves from hip-hop, modern dance, aerobics and traditional Chinese and Khmer dances - all accompanied by beaming smiles.

"The joy in their hearts was reflected in their dancing," said Wang Tzu Kuang.

In August, the dance team will compete against 35 groups from more than 20 countries in an annual dance contest organized by the NGO International Nature Loving Association. "Last time, we competed in Indonesia," said 19-year-old dancer Nov Sarvuth. "Out of 17 countries, we were number one ... this year, I think we can win again." 

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