At upwards of US$500, the cost of slaughtering a buffalo to revive a relative condemned to ill-health by the spirits has pushed the Jarai indigenous minority residents of Somkul village in Ratanakkiri to a more affordable religious option: Christianity.
In the village in O’Yadav district’s Som Thom commune, about 80 per cent of the community have given up on spirits and ghosts in favour of Sunday sermons and modern medicine.
Sev Chel, 38, said she made the switch because when she used to get sick, it could cost her hundreds of dollars to appease the gods with a sacrificial package that might include a cow or buffalo, a chicken, bananas, incense and rice wine.
“So if I sold that buffalo and took the money to pay for medicine, it is about 30,000 riel to 40,000 riel [for them to] get better, so we are strong believers in Jesus,” she said. “If I did not believe in Jesus, maybe at this time I would still be poor and not know anything besides my community.”
Tag Archives: Cambodia
…they just have to work at it a whole lot harder.
Troops are withdrawing as tensions have eased between Thailand and Cambodia over the disputed ancient hill top temple, Preah Vihear. But a new irritant has emerged that is stirring nationalist sentiment in both countries: ownership of a graceful hand position that is part of traditional dance and shadow plays.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is likely to consider the origins of the jeeb – a hand position where the thumb touches the index finger and the three other fingers are fanned out.
Thailand’s new cultural minister, Sukumol Kunplome, has made ownership of the jeeb a priority….
Thai officials have advised Ms Sukumol that Thailand can also register the jeeb, and other shadow plays, with UNESCO. ”This is the first mission and we will proceed urgently because people are interested,” Ms Sukumol told reporters in Bangkok.
So hand gestures can be copyrighted? Who knew?
Boy, are the Italians going to be in trouble!
The credibility of the Association of South-East Asian Nations and its aim of becoming a European Union-style security and economic community by 2015 was damaged this weekend as Thailand and Cambodia openly brawled over their deadly dispute over ownership of an 11th-century temple complex.
The sporadic military conflict in the border area where the temple is located has claimed 29 lives and displaced 85,000 people. Despite not being on the formal agenda, it dominated the ASEAN summit in Jakarta.
Peace, harmony, and improving the lives of millions? Sure, but first there’s this magic building we have to sort out..
A stampede in the Cambodian capital has left more than 340 people dead and hundreds injured after panic erupted at a water festival that had attracted millions of revellers.
Didn’t they check the bridges? Or was the river spirit supposed to look after it?