We’re all hypocrites…on January 15, 2011 at 8:25 pm
Today's comic kicked my ass, but kind of in a good way. I knew pretty much exactly what I wanted to present, and wanted to get it up as fast as possible. Things went swimmingly until time came to scan the page.
I went to a local photocopy/print shop that couldn't get their scanner working, so after about an hour of frustration I nipped over to a larger, more professional outlet on Sihanouk boulevard. Whew.
Then I returned to the first shop to snap pictures of what was on their walls. Was that a calendar? Since today was all about astrology, I had to get the lowdown.
Westerners will wake up, read their horoscope, and go to church, seeing no contradiction in these two belief systems.
Cambodians are very much the same. They believe in Buddhism but their Hora (astrologers) follow a system based off the Indian (Vedic) system. This is complicated by strong influence (and local belief in) the Chinese system, in order to, um, make it as complicated as possible.
So at the local shop there is a poster of the Buddha's doings (much like the 'Stations of the Cross')
in addition to two Khmer Yantra (youn).
So Cambodians observe the Chinese year animal choices, but also associate each year with one of Brahma's seven daughters. These 'angels' (devata) are far from Western angels - some suggest suffering and danger. The same is done in Thailand, alas I don't have Cambodian web reference on Cambodian Year Devatas. (I'll dig around a little.)
So if you think Westerners are juggling numerous value systems and traditions? Rest assured they're not the only ones.
[Thanks to religious scholar Erik Davis for quick overview on the Vedic system & colloquial astrology use! You rock!]