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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tune in to secret world of the spirits

Tune in to secret world of the spirits

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

that, though.

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.

Strange

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

spirit.

"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

its peak."

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

currency.

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."

Currently, she

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.

Besides, she

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

said.

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