Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Monks lead peace prayers during talks

Monks lead peace prayers during talks

Monks lead peace prayers during talks

M

ONKS, nuns, and lay people with saffron ribbons pinned to their blouses and

shirts gathered to participate in a three-day ceremony for peace at the Preah

Sakya temple in front of the Phnom Penh railway station.

The Ceremony of

Prayer and Meditation for peace and reconciliation, held from 27-30 May, was

organized by the Dhammayietra Committee to coincide with the Pyongyang talks. It

was intended to encourage public participation in promoting peace.

On

entering the temple grounds monks sat at a large table with a shiny silver pot

on it for conscientious people to make charitable contributions for religion.

The monks were waiting to praise whomever contributes.

The participants

then thronged inside the temple rushing to light incense sticks and offer water

lily flowers to God. They sat down on the floor eagerly waiting to listen to the

monks preach to them.

Spiritual leader, Youshout Kemadaro, who led the

ceremony, briefly addressed the crowd of over 200 people. He said: "To have

peace in the country, every individual must have peace of mind first. This is

the efficient way to bring peace. We have no choice, but prayer."

When

the speech finished monks chanted for five intense minutes and then Kemadaro,

through his calming words, drew the people into a 15 minute meditation.

In soft voice he said: "Sit freely and relax but keep stable and quiet.

Put your arms on your laps and press your two thumbs gently against each

other.

"Close your eyes and lips and do not glance at each other, sit

wide apart to avoid touching which may stir memories. Center your mind on

religion and peace."

After the meditation people prayed, chanted and lit

candles and then proceeded outside to hang saffron banners on roads and houses.

The banners said: "Our leaders love peace and we respect them" and "The

peace talks will lead to a sustainable peace."

A 21-year-old monk, Lim

Tim, told the Post the saffron color symbolizes purity of mind, peace and

religion.

Tim said: "I hope the talks bring peace because we have a King

who is a powerful ruler. I think the leaders from both sides will follow his

ideas."

A member of the crowd, Khun Sareuon, said: "I came here to pray

for an end to the country's suffering. I wish for a country with no war, murder

and robbery."

One of the most prominent members of the public taking part

in the peace ceremony was Ken Nan who sports a half meter cone of fuzzy hair

which he has been growing for seven years and six months.

Why did he

decide to grow his hair into the impressive spire?

"Because I could", he

replies, "I will never cut my hair again."

Nan, a 49 year old cashier at

a Toyota service garage, says he is a devout Budhist who also observes Brahman

rituals and speaks fluent Khmer and French.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished