Amid a weekend of mad partying and New Year's jubilation, the Year of the Dog was
succeeded by the Year of the Pig, which squealed into the lives of Cambodians at
around 12:48 pm on April 14.
The pig is believed to be modest, clever and patient - a character who refrains from
creating problems. But the Kingdom's top astrological expert believes the coming
year, ruled by heavenly Goddess Mohorterak Devi, who arrives astride the pig, will
be one Cambodians may choose to forget.
In fact, the twelfth animal in the Khmer lunar cycle brought with it dire predictions
of a year full of uncertainty, catastrophe and caution, astrologers told the Post.
In his recently published book of predictions "Maha Sangkran, Year of the Pig,"
Im Porint, chief astrologer at the protocol department of the Royal Palace, predicted
many devastating events for the Khmer year of 2551.
"According to my predictions, the situation this year will be worse than last
year," said Porint.
He spoke of war, drought, torrential rains and flooding. He also predicted a huge
disaster in the "middle of the city and the middle of the country" that
would leave thousands of people and animals sick, dying or dead. Bandits would cause
serious trouble, and disease would sweep the country, Porint told the Post April
According to the Royal Astrologer, rice crops would be destroyed by rats, insects,
and terrible weather conditions and "crocodiles" would kill hundreds of
people. He said King Norodom Sihamoni would become angry this year over an influx
of foreigners into the country. He said sadness would continue until the end of the
Porint's only positive prediction for the Year of the Pig was that the wives of high-ranking
officials would be generally content, and women serving the King would bring him
Porint, who has worked as Royal Palace Astrologer since 2003, said that astrological
predictions had become increasingly important to Cambodian culture.
"I think that people have a very strong belief in astrology. When I started
in 1998, I printed 2,000 copies of my book. In 2006 I printed 15,000, and this year
20,000," he said.
Porint admitted that his predictions were not always 100 percent correct. But he
maintains strong faith in his ability and said his prediction skills were passed
down from his father.