One old man donates a lot of money to a priest in a pogoda. Then the priest wishes him « I wish you good luck, success with your business, sweet family,.. ». The old man smiles. The priest wishe the old a lot too, but he then wished the old » at the end, I wish you to live until 100 years old ». The old man suddenly grabs back the money. Can you guess why? It’s because the old is already 99 years old of age!
Once, there was a man who had a happy family. The family was very wealthy. They believed in Buddhism. They often helped those in need. Everyone in the family was very kind-hearted. One day, the man suddenly passed away. His wife was so devastated. She cried, and cried, and cried everyday. So her children decided to do something to comfor her. Everyday, they went to the graveyard to make meat offering to their father. They also asked people to chant for their father. And they burned in cense sticks, paper moneys, etc. They went like this for several weeks.
One day, a buffalow boy came to the graveyard. He brought a buffalow to graze. Suddenly, the buffalow stopped walking and died. The buffalow boy cried and cried and cried. He kept shaking and crying. » You can’t die », he said, « Please come back to me ». He even rushed to cut grass and placed it next to the buffalow’s mouth and tried to feed it. » You can’t die », he cried, « Please come back to me ». Hearing that, the family at the graveyard came over. The wife said to the boy » please don’t cry. The buffalow is dead. It’s impossible for it to come back to life. Even you keep giving it grass, it’s dead and won’t eat anymore. Don’t be foolish ». The boy looked up and said « I am not foolish. Don’t you come here everyday to make offerings to the dead man by burning paper money and offering him meat to eat? ». Everyone suddenly realized how foolish they’d been.
Then the boy stood up and said to the family, » Actually, I am the dead man you are grieving at. When I as alive, I upheld Buddhist precepts and often helped the poor. So I’ve been reborn in the heaven. I have transformed into a heavenly being ». He then disappeared.
The family all understood now. The dead buffalow died. It’s impossible to wake it by shaking it or feed the grass. Similary, it is wrong to kill animals to make offerings to the deceased instead of doing good. Having realized this, this faimily immediately resumed the man’s practice of helping the poor and upholding Buddhist precepts. Their lives had also gone back to normal.
Before you go further through my text, I’d like to take you few seconds to apologize in advance for my words which may hurt your feeling. There is a lot of evidence that identity comes from a common sens or act which most people in the country do. Which means it matters for behaviour. This text presents a simple Khmer identity. No? Maybe
Yesterday I was driving on the street, the always-busy Norodom Blvd, heading to the Wat Langka park. I didn’t drive very fast, but I drove non-stop which means I got through the light-stop without even care the red light. Two barangs (foreigners) looked at me sharply. Did I care? Nope, not even a little bit! Then I stopped nearby and bought a bottle of Lactasoy milk (it was wrapped with 2 plastic bags. I finished it at the same time I arrived the park. Then, voilà, I embarrassedlessly threw my rubbish just infront of the indépendant monument. The same barangs were there. One of them came and picked up my rubbish for me; and the other asked me why did I do that! My replied with a big smile « because I am afraid to lose my Cambodian identity!«