Friday, August 5, 2011

Khmer Krom Buddhism

Buddhism, or Preah Putthaasasna, is one of the largest religions in this world. The Khmer Krom people are the devotees to Theravada Buddhism. Buddhism has become a key part of their identity. The community members generiously provide funds to construct Buddhist Temples, or Watt. Beliefs, clothing, language, diet, social etiquette, education, social interaction and spiritual development etc., have been sponteneously agglomorated in the temple.
As the world has been changing into a more globalized than traditional place, Khmer Krom Theravada Buddhism is the main linkage between old and new, tradition and modernity. However, its shape is more divergent than others. The "hidden transcript" of Khmer Krom Buddhism is comparing like one black sheep among all the white. This phenomena happens as Khmer Krom Buddhism is locating inside the capitalism economic society with restriction of social participation and multicultural society development. The teaching of Lord Buddha is broader than what we think about modernity. Buddhist tradition has never left its isolated past, but it has always integrated itself through time, space, people, regime and society.
The teaching of Enlightenment enables us to seek independent freedom for the sake of deep understanding and collective social capital. The teaching of morals and precepts ensures us the fundamental humanity everyone should pursue. The five fundemental precepts are known to all of the Khmer Krom population to practice in their daily life: abstaining from killing or harming others, abstraining from stealing or wrong living, abstaining from sexual misconduct, abstaining from telling lie or using malicious words, and abstaining from making life indulgent in drowsiness and intoxication. The teaching of the Middle Path has ideologically shared the movement of the contemporary world in both socio-economic and socio-political sphere which have adapted its strategy from isolating or escaping itself as well as dominating others to using the tactic of "corporation", "deterance" and "comprehensive alliance" etc. The Middle Path is known as Eightfold Path: right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right meditation, and right mindfulness.
The core teaching is there, the Khmer Krom people need more engaged Theravada Buddhism in their community. Engaged Theravada Buddhism will collectively benefit the whole society. Source: