Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Cambodian Community Festival – Part 2
Theravada is the oldest surviving branch of Buddhism and prevalent mainly in South East Asian countries, including Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, with over 150 million followers around the globe. Many Cambodians originally came into New Zealand as former refugees, escaping Pol Pot’s horrific regime in the 1970’s.
Three decades later Wellington’s Cambodian community are vibrant, thriving and celebrating a 15-day Theravada Buddhist festival commemorating loved ones who have passed on. Lynda attends several days of the festival, first at the heart of their community, the Wat Buddha Chaya Mahanath Monastery in Island Bay and then at Rongatai College Hall in Kilbirnie. She finds out why this festival, filled with delicious home cooked food, is fundamental to the on-going happiness and spiritual well-being of the living and the departed.