Being overseas Khmer, I was originally unsure of what I call my "Original Soul
Identity". I tried at first [to understand this concept] , but it didn't work.
I realized that I was trying to do the wrong thing.
Now I know that I am a real Khmer after all. No matter what clothes I wear or what
food I eat, I should learn to use my Khmer roots to care and help for the betterment
of Khmer people. I often come back to Cambodia to travel, eat, drink, breath and
taste the air and relax under sunny or cloudy skies.
I just returned from Phnom Penh during the worst flooding in the history of our motherland.
I traveled during the flooding at its peak, the Khmer celebration of "Pchum
Ben" and saw many flood victims hungry on the roadside.
I also saw many Khmer people throwing rice, "Nuom Annsoams" for ghosts,
during what they called "Kann Ben". Foreign friends asked me about this
great disparity between hunger and who we choose to give our alms to.
Of course many things people do in our country now are strange to me. There are many
new traditions our society has adopted. Few are any good, and most are leading to
a new culture that is destined for destruction.
I don't mind if the new trends are good and for prosperity, but I must say everything
must be done to stop the trends that are leading Khmer toward destruction and ruin.
I would like to talk about the new way young people are behaving at Kathen convoy
every year. I saw this for the first time on October 23, 2000.
I am talking about young boys and girls standing on roadsides with plastic bags filled
with foul sewage water or some even urine or excrement to throw at trucks carrying
groups of youngsters to Buddhist temples. Sometimes I saw thugs throwing this at
beautiful female passersby and motorists. These women were someone's sister, someone's
It is sick! Very sick! Oh Khmer! What have you become, Khmer Euy Khmer? Why doesn't
anybody see that that is wrong? How can society tolerate this? I amazed to see no
one doing anything about it. I've heard that sometimes old women get hurt by hard
objects thrown at them. Why do people do such things?
You can see these disgusting activities on all Cambodian highways leading to or from
the provinces. I even saw it on the way to Pochentong Airport. I've heard that this
kind of behavior is getting more and more ferocious each year.
And these thugs claimed to enjoy this behavior! How shameful, Khmer Euy Khmer.
We must help each other make people aware that this is wrong.
Buddhism gatherings should be joyful and not cause a single soul to be hurt by bestial
acts such as this.
I urge all Khmer people in this very sad land of ours to take action to stop this.
I urge all wats in Cambodia to teach all parents to be aware of this harmful behavior
by these ignorant youths.
Why do we have to wait? Why do Buddhist practitioners allow this to continue? If
we claim that practicing Buddhism is good for the people, then show us the way! Why
don't any authorities see this and take appropriate action to stop it to prevent
disgrace to all Khmer people?
In the name of Thvoeu Boun, Come On!
- Vuthi Seng