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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 3, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta The whole country is addicted to religious magic Buddhism plays major role in Cambodia By SYDNEY H. SCHAXBERG New York Times Scrrice PNOMPENH. Cambodia There are nearly 70.000 monks and priests in Cambodia, and only 400 doctors a good indi- cation of ihe importance that Buddhism, with its mysticism acd fortune telling and magic omens, plays in the everyday of the Klimer people. Especially now, in wartime, wben Khmers. or Cambodians. KfA s'-l the blessings aid good luck they can get jusi to stay alive, the Buddhist monk acd his less formally educated col- league, the priest, have become even more venerated and be- seiged by the public. Before taking any major step, and ofien before minor ones, a Khmer will visit his monk or priest to find out if the signs are right. No marriage is ever arranged, no business deal con- sumated. no move made to a new house or a job wifn- out the socihsayer's approval. President Lon Nol is said to consult his p.ivais oracle be- fore even1 important decision. Soldiers, on being drafied. im- mediately a monk or priest for holy vaier and "magic'' scarves and amulets. Even the cynical modernise admit their fealty to the mysticism. "I know intellectually that it's all ridiculous.'' a western- educated govem.T.em official said, "but I can't help myself. I have to go to the monk to read my iuTUre. li I didn't 1 wouldn't feel right." Kiwanis hear Bracken TABER Members o; the Khvanis Club of Taber recemly heard a talk on the provincial social development department. Speaker was the depart- ment's regional administrator for thic area. Cam E. Bracken of Lethbridge. Mr. Bracken told the Hwan- iani it was "changes in life styles that have caused stresses and- made our .department ne- cessary families are not as clct-e-knit a; iiey formerly were, families an> spread fur- ther, and as a result the family support that was once depended upm is no longer there." Urbanization also has had its effect on family life. Mr. Brack- en said. 1 There are 35 weliare offices b. the province. While some provinces in Canada have chil- dren's aid soienes. supported by public fusc.3, there is not such organization in A.berta. With regard to adoption. Mr. Bracken said, "we're in the happy situation where do not have enough children for the number of people waiting them." About 120 adoptions a year are handled by the depart- he noted. There is no charge involved in Alberta, be said-, as is the case in o'ber provinces. Mr. Bracken went on to out- line the departments' soda': work. Metis rehabilitation, em- ployment opponirury program, senior citizens homes, as well 25 many other facets which are the responsibility of the depart- ment. Wins award NANTOX Dmaid H. of Cayley. of tie Foothills School Division No. 33. received a long service award ir- recog- nition of his 22 years cf school service, from the .Alberta ?chool Trustees' .Association st the group's annual convention in Edmonton recently. He received the a'.vard from T. C. Wejtteihamer. member of the ASIA, and former chair- man of the Foothills board. Though westerne-s lead to snicker at Die Cambodian ad- diction to religious magic. Ihe practices are really little differ- ent irom the holy sacred objecis. Talismans and riiual promises of western religions. Khmers go to their monks and priests for the same reasons thai westerners seel: our their priesis. minister and rabbis for reassurance, sollace. advice and blessings. LIKE A DOCTOR "I am like a docw." Kuch Duch, a pnes: here in the "People j ccme to me. their mirxis are troubled. I bathe their faces with holy water and say special prayers. This cleanses their niinds and makes them peace- Kuch Duch asd ihe appnra- mstely 5.000 other Buddhist priests in Cambodia are of les- ser order than ihe more tr.a- EP.OOO monks. This is largely be- cause, unlike they do no: undergo formal training or ordination, nor aie they requir- ed lo pracccr celibacy cr i'r- sunence. Self taught and self- appointed, they attain their po- sition by virrue of being trust- ed and respected elders. Monks wear ihe traditional saffron robes: priests wear white pyiama like costumes. Monks shave their heads and eyebrows: some priests shave their heads, but most simply cut theL- hair short. Kuch Duch, a lean spectacled man with a crew cut that is almost fully gray, has many gold teeth and wears a gold Omega Welch. A television set, several electric fans and a small shrine littered with rit- ual objects adorn his ramshac- kle rniddle-ciass wooden house. Once a successful business- man. 13 years ago. at the age of 50. he had a dream in which, be says, a voice told him to go and hsip his country. This j when Cambodia was strug- gling for independence f r o m and he interpreted his dream as a call to the priest-: hood. Most of his priestly work in- volves prayiag for the sick, tel- j lies fortunes and trying to solve problems, particularly marita] i ones. i 'Unfortunately, be was unable i to resolve his own domestic j problems. His wife divorced j him 20 years ago and went ofi j ar.o'.her man. ''She wanted j to bs happy and have fun and could no: give her be i liis rvpica! client. Kuch Duch said. :s a woman distraught be-; CHuse her husband has taken a mistress. The chief ''mediane" i for this problem U iattha, a j homemade three-strand neck- j lace of string decorated with bead-like pieces of Tead, each with a special inscription "A blessing to make everybody each other." ON SALE: JAN. 3rd TO 6th WHILE QUANTITIES LAST! JANUARY BEDDING SALE MARTINIQUE FLORAL MARVEL PRESS BEDDING BEDDING SPRING GARDEN THERMAL BLANKET BLENDED BLANKET Acprox. c-cU1- rayon! ;ndin< on ends. Florals in 'cse. blue. geld. DIANA BEDSPREAD Our Regu'zr 7.09 SPECnL It's "1' 544 SHREDDED FOAM PILLOW FEATHER PILLOW Our regular price 19 KRESGE PRICE Our regular price 284 KRESGE SPECIAL 57 4 .86 c-.a POLYESTER FIBRE FORTREL FILLED COMFORTERS Size 6i fiorol prints cf pink, yellow and KRESGE PRICE 9 FRINGE DOUBLE BEDSPREAD w e. ro colcrs cf ?old. crei'n end M COTTON PILLOW CASES KRESGE KBESGE PRICF low, low :h col- orful embro'dered paiterr.s! KBESGEPRICr SPECIAL 1C PAIR January 3, 1973 THE LEmUIDOE HEUAIO 15 Take Time to Think... It could save you from "doing SHOPLIFTING IS STEALING and if yc--j c 2 5 femc'e I.: c- C'-r-, and You II os You'll s r'-ed finoe-priniec. "i -eccrd, wh'ch lite! time in fcr vp V Kp --t-r If you rr? te decii And ch r-cfS Think cbr.: yOLrr lirrc1, yci-i''! ;'e ru .1 get sacrificing PUBLISHED A? A PUBLIC SERVICE BY n Daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday 9 am to 9 pjn: ;