Students get a taste of monastic life | Lifestyle | The Phnom Penh Post – Cambodia's Newspaper of Record

A young girl is ordained as a Buddhist nun at Puthi Khorsachara pagoda, where 300 young people lived for a week as monastics. Photograph: Sou Vuthy/Phnom Penh Post

It is traditional practice in Khmer society for young people to be temporarily ordained as monks or nuns at a Buddhist pagoda. The rite is often done as a show of gratitude from children to their parents, and as a way of earning merits during ones lifetime by learning the Buddhas teachings.

Each year, boys and girls ranging from primary school to university students are ordained at Puthi Khorsachara, where they stay for a week to live as monks and nuns.

This year, 300 young people made the journey to the temple 200 kilometres from Phnom Penh.

Soun Sok Chamrouen, a former engineer student at Preah Kossomak Polytechnical Institute in Phnom Penh, participated in the ordaining ceremony to further his spiritual practice.

I decided to ordain in right now, because I want to understand about Buddhas lessons and his advice, which led people to educate my spirit, my family and society peacefully, said Soun Sok Chamrouen, adding that this event also educates Khmer youth to be grateful to their parents.

We want to learn about the two basic beliefs of Buddhism, which are the principles of rebirth and karma, said Vises Sothearath, a young woman ordained as a nun for the ceremony.

For example, the eight steps to enlightenment through the Buddhas way, she said

Thammear Nunth, a high-ranking Buddhist monk and the General Secretary of Buddhism Practice Section at Pannasastra University, said that in the past both boys and girls relied on pagodas to access general education as well as Buddhist teachings.

Now that they are provided education in schools and universities, they seem to be drifting away from Buddhism, he said. This ordaining was an opportunity to connect university students to Buddhism again, explained the monk.

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Students get a taste of monastic life | Lifestyle | The Phnom Penh Post – Cambodia's Newspaper of Record

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