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New laymen ready for service

Prime Minister Hun Sen attended a ceremony yesterday in Koh Pich to mark the end of training for more than 3,000 white-clad laymen and laywomen destined to help oversee traditional events including weddings, funerals and ceremonies at pagodas.

Vay Vibol, official layman for wedding ceremonies at the Ministry of Cults and Religion, said that while the training was concluded for the current batch of recruits, there’s still work to be done.

The ministry “will open more courses next time, because there are more laymen and laywomen who have not been trained yet,” he said.

“The Ministry of Cults and Religions created the Layman Association this year. That is very good for all the laymen who have a chance to meet each other and share ideas.”

Hun Sen said yesterday that Cambodia had experienced a shortage of laymen and laywomen in 2008, and that’s why the ministry had opened the training courses in 2010.

He also said that laymen need not get involved when the couple adopts Western-style traditions like cutting the cake at their wedding.

“It is not our ceremony, and the laymen cannot order the groom and bride,” he said.

There are more than 30 professional laymen from the Ministry of Cults and Religion, Culture and Fine Arts and Ministry of Information involved in this year’s training.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at kunthear.mom@phnompenhpost.com

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