I remember last year I also wrote a blog-post about Phchum Ben Festival in this blog and also published a lot of pictures I took from the pagoda. But this year, I could not make it due to some reasons. The first reason was that I did not have a chance to hit the road to any pagoda. The second is I am working at the moment I’m typing this text. And the last (but not least) reason is that I know I can’t since it’s the path I’ve chosen to walk on.
I happened to see many families packing for a one or two-day trip back to their hometown. Most of my classmates are from provinces, mostly Kampong Cham province. For them, it is not a daunting circumstance whether to go or stay. Unlike me, they have to go. I’m sure it must be fun being expected and welcomed by your parents and relatives. They have come a long way to this point and of course it’s exciting to recharge their batteries where they feel the most comfortable, like getting some fresh air at the countryside ;-). Oh, I almost forget to tell, my hometown is a Phnom Penh surburban area :P. Disappointed I wasn’t really from central Phnom Penh, eh? 😛 All of my classmates more often tease me about my hometown and my brown skin. Too many people expect I’m from a province or a rural area. Haha… But do you think all the city dwellers in Phnom Penh are white or yellow? This concept is not going to go away if one isn’t willing to get rid of their discriminatory shit.
Usually, we make jokes about each other during Phchum Ben Festival. “Are you going to receive rice balls?” “Hey mate, have you gone to any pagoda to receive rice balls?” These are words they use to kid each other. No matter how many times I’ve heard it, I still laugh about it. Sometimes, they ask me this and without hesitation I ask about the same things. But this time, I have to put my head down for a while and reply, “No, mate, not a single pagoda.”
I hope that the souls of my ancestors won’t come to haunt me for what I’ve decided to do. 🙂 I made up my mind to work, not to join the day. The real sense of Phchum Ben Festival is that it deters people from doing bad things to harm other people. They can end up in hell if they do and do not right the wrong or make an amend. Bad deeds are paid with hell to you alive or dead :P. Every day we should be taught to live in harmony, in peace and make no mistake by hurting other people. Then, our life will not end up like ‘Pret’ or ‘hungry ghosts’ whom we go to a pagoda on PBD to throw the rice to. The End. 😛