The monks from the various wats (pagodas) walk the streets of their neighborhoods each day seeking alms of food or money. Click here to see some of the faithful making offerings.
This is a doctor’s waiting room. Note the heavy wooden furniture! This furniture is the goal of every business operation. Acquiring the 100-pound chairs on the left means you have arrived. You are the real thing, whatever your business is, be it a dentist office, a car wash, a bank, a metal fabrication shop, whatever. The Cambodian culture is obsessed with luxury woods that bestow respect and esteem upon their owners.
The incredible events in our nation’s Capitol Building are more than politics. They are also indicative of our theology. Here is a link to an article by Jim Wallis in Sojourners magazine. Read the full article and reflect on how to respond, but for me these were the ideas that struck me the most.
In addition to the political ramifications for our democracy of the attempted coup, there are also theological questions Wallis raised:
1. Truth is a central tenet of Christianity. “Does the truth matter to Christians and Christian leaders who supported Donald Trump?”
2. “[T]he biblical abomination of racism and its ideology of white nationalism…stands at the core of the Trump base…. This is no longer just politics, it is theological heresy, and one that needs to be exorcised from white Christianity in America.”
I encourage you to read the article.
Cambodian monks make rounds every morning, going through a neighborhood to beg for rice and alms for the poor and for themselves. They are very low-key, just standing silently in front of a home or shop to invite the owner to donate. Click here to see some monks on the street.
One of the permanent features of Cambodia life and society is the presence of the Buddhist monks on the street, on the ferry boats, wherever. Every morning they make their rounds begging food and money for the people they care for and for their own meals. Click here to see some of the monks of the streets….
Bird’s nest soup is a Cambodian export and because it is so valuable, special buildings are erected here as nesting places for the swiftlets that produce the nests used in the soup making. Click here to see some of the buildings.
I find it interesting to see the different ways different cultures do things. Click here to see some cultural practices that would vary quite a bit from what one might find in a western hotel.
You often don’t notice them as your ride by on modern Phnom Penh’s busy streets, but there are still quite a few old traditional wooden houses around. Often a shopfront has been added to turn what used to be just a family house into a family business so that from the street only a concrete facade is visible. As the city develops, though, these house are doomed.
Cambodia is awash in holidays. The United States has 11. Cambodia has more than 23. The number has changed some in the past year or two as the government recognized there are too many such days and removed one or two, but there are still too many. Today this roundabout is decorated for the anniversary of the king’s coronation. And then tomorrow we have the first day of a three-day holiday for the Water Festival!