Buddhist Blessing in Siem Reap
Globalteer volunteers and staff received a very special Buddhist Blessing in Siem Reap from a monk at the towns oldest working Buddhist temple. This was part the annual Pchum Ben Festival in which Cambodians remember deceased family members and ancestors.
The group of volunteers at Globalteer’s Cambodia Community Project joined local Khmer staff in the preparation of food offerings for the monks and the spirits of the deceased. Pchum Ben is a centuries old tradition celebrated by Globalteer at the beautiful Wat Bo Pagoda.
Globalteer's Sitha organised the outing especially for volunteers during the annual holiday. Full instructions on how to behave and what to wear during the blessing were given to the volunteers. Therefore, modest dress only, with white blouses or shirts if possible. Ensuring that no one embarrassed themselves by doing the wrong thing whilst inside the Pagoda itself.
On arrival at Wat Bo, volunteers had a quick tour of the grounds with their monumental burial stupas. Followed by the group blessing from one of the elder monks. After being blessed and sprinkled with water, those who attended lit traditional incense sticks at a shrine to The Buddha. Volunteers then made their own prayers for the dead.
After the Blessing
After the blessing, volunteers attended a traditional Cambodian lunch. Our Khmer staff prepared the food consisting of Cambodian curries, rice, noodles, vegetable and bananas stewed in coconut milk.
“It was a quite a moving ritual”, commented one volunteer. “I felt very privileged to receive this small insight into traditional Cambodian Buddhist life.”
Would like to join us in Siem Reap and enjoy a taste of Cambodian community life? Then visit our Cambodia Community Project page and immerse yourself in Khmer culture. For more photographs just “like” our Facebook page. If you are already a fan go directly to our Pchum Ben photo album.