M ORE mysterious than a UFO, stronger than a computer, a spirit-possessed fortune
teller can give one every detail of one's life process.
If you don't
believe it just try the ladykru [fortune teller] called Phan near Wat
Nirotrangsei, a stone's throw east of the Monivong bridge.
Thekru , while
being controlled by your guardian spirit, will tell you about your business,
love life, the past or the future and so on depending on what you ask her, just
like a computer comes up with answers. A spirit-possessed kru can do more than
A computer needs power to run it. A spirit-possessed kru
needs just a candle and three incense sticks to worship the unseen soul-like
spirit master assigned from birth to be your care taker. A key element to help
the kru summon the spirit is knowing which year one was born.
enough, no sooner does the worship ends than an alien voice inhabits thekru, who
appears as if in a coma. You choose the questions you want to ask the
"Do this and don't do that," thekru would recommend in answer to
your questions about the future. Or "when this month ends, your luck will reach
Fun has traditionally been made of kru with sarcastic jokes
such as "after March it will be April, and after April it will be May" common
Describing how the spirit goes into her body, thirty-six year
old Phan says she begins to feel streams of wind blowing into the head until she
totally loses control of herself.
She said she began to master the
skills without realizing herself just after she recovered from a coma-like
illness when she was 13 years of age. She grew up in the Kampuchea Krom before
moving to Kandal in 1989.
In both areas country folk hold strong beliefs
in the powers of kru.
Phan said in Kampuchea Krom there are at least two
kru for one district. Additionally, most kru can also cure many kinds of
illness, including those untreatable by modern physicians.
Phan said she
could do this too, but had stopped recently.
"I leave this for physicians
to do it," she said. "We must not know everything alone."
said she has around ten customers daily, but only a few who have visited the
place three or four times are accepted. She has also received about ten
Westerners, including two Untac personnel.
The way she treats her
clients is as nice as the Untac hospital its patients.
Moa Vanna, office
manager at the Post, says she has gone to many kru . She says she visits kru
when caught in a dilemma to find a way to solve the problem.
said she goes to see a kru once a year to check if there are any bad things
which may happen during the year. "I believe 90 per cent of it," she