Thursday, July 31, 2014

Buddhism in Cambodia

Hi Guys! Today, I am going to talk about the Buddhism in Cambodia. This is because every day I commuted to work, I saw many monks in the streets. I asked lots of questions about Cambodians’ religion.  About 95% of Cambodian population is a Buddhist.  Did you know that there are different kinds of Buddhism?  The Buddhism prevalent among Cambodians is “Hinayana Buddhism”.

You can notice this fact easily, based on the picture of monks. Their costumes represent Hinayana Buddhism. Because I am Korean and my family believes in this religion, I think I am very familiar with this religion, Buddhism. However, how monks are dressed is considerably different each other, so that’s why I could figure out the Buddhism in Cambodia is different with that in Korea. According to my search, the origin of Buddhism was one, but as time went by, the Buddhism was divided into several parts. One of them is Hinayana Buddhism.

Buddhism is a set of system for achieving enlightenment. Cambodian Buddhism emphasizes a belief in reincarnation, and one's position in life is believed to arise from actions in his or her past life. Respect for Cambodian royalty can be in general rooted in this belief. King's high station in life can be interpreted as the result of good deeds in previous lives.

I went to a small temple near my housing. Many buildings and towers were decorated in the style of Buddhism. The small towers in the second and third pictures are for when monks pray every morning. If you visit Cambodia, it is so so so easy to find monks and temples wherever you go. I think Cambodian's live is equal to a life as a Buddhist. If a monk visits a housing in the morning, any Cambodians are very willing and happy to give some foods or money to the monk. They think this is a way of being responsible as a Buddhist. Then, the monk recites the Buddhist scriptures for a while for the person who presents an offering to Buddha. I wanted to take a picture of this scene, but I couldn't because I could interrupt them.   

Even though how monks are dressed or the architectural styles between “Hinayana Buddhism” and “Mahayana Buddhism” is very different, people’s minds toward believing Buddha is same in that they want to be happy and they perceive lifedeath and rebirth as a continuous cycle. I think Buddhism is the most motives for Cambodians to survive from exterior attacks in their history. 

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