Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Visak Bochea monks faint

Visak Bochea monks faint

Visak Bochea monks faint

The rigours of training coupled with oppressively hot weather caused dozens of adolescent monks to faint in Siem Reap on Saturday during the holiest ceremony on the Buddhist calendar.

All under 15 years of age, the “novice” monks were listening to a religious recitation on the grounds of the Angkor Wat temple when six dinnerless nights and the stifling heat finally overwhelmed them.

They were among thousands of monks, priests and nuns amassed at Angkor Wat to mark Visak Bochea, when the faithful commemorate the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha.

At least 30 of the novices buckled under the conditions and many were rushed to the main provincial hospital in Siem Reap, according to an official there.

Van Bunna, provincial director of the religion department in Siem Reap, told the Post yesterday that eight had recovered after being in critical condition.

“We decided to return them to their family and allow them to leave the monkhood,” he said.

Dr Kros Sarath, director of the health department in Siem Reap, said yesterday that the monks were tired, hungry and overheated.

But he played down the risks faced by the novice monks, saying they were never in any grave danger.

“It is not a big deal,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Khouth Sophak Chakrya at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • EU timber deal in firing line

    A committee of more than 20 national and international organisations filed a petition to the EU on October 10 to prevent it from signing a timber trade agreement with Vietnam, noting that the deal would be disastrous to the Kingdom’s forests. The petition claims Vietnamese timber

  • PM: Programme to recover Vietnam War missing back on

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced the resumption of the MIA programme to recover the remains of American service personnel missing after action on Cambodian soil during the Vietnam War. The programme was suspended for more than a year after the US government imposed visa

  • Kim Sok to keep up fight ‘for change’ from Finland

    Kim Sok, wanted by the Kingdom’s authorities for defaming the government, reiterated on Sunday his determination to continue helping to make “a real change” to Cambodian politics after receiving asylum in Finland, even as a government spokesman mocked the political analyst over the development.