The ambitions of Buddhist monks, Phnom Penh

Opposite the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh and next to the river was a large park. On a Saturday evening it was much like any city park you would see: families having barbecues, young children feeding the pigeons, couples going for walks, different groups socialising together. 2014-02-08 17.16.04 2014-02-08 17.14.07 Standing out though amongst this scene were groups of Buddhist monks in their vivid orange robes. Cambodia is a Buddhist country and so this sight was in fact common throughout my stay but particularly so in this area of town, being close to Buddhist schools and universities. I got chatting to a group of three – all who were still studying, about their ambitions for the future as well as their family background. I was keen to find out more about the sizes of their families as I had read that a trait of many Cambodian families was their large size in comparison to the smaller western families I was familiar with growing up in the UK. 2014-02-08 16.57.40

‘I want to be in a community – and be part of one. I want to work in a business.’
– Veasana, 21, one of 3 siblings

‘I want to be a teacher.’
– Kim song, 22, one of 9 siblings

‘I want to be a teacher as well. I’m not sure why!’
– Sovanna, 23, one of 7 siblings

 

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