Thursday Offerings


Wear black. Wear white. There wasn’t much agreement about how to observe the tragedy as a group yesterday. A Condolence March had been announced (more than once) on Facebook for 5:00 pm, starting at the Independence Monument, and concluding at Koh Pich.

It’s nearly impossible to get a permit for a public gathering on such short notice (unless it’s sponsored/planned by the government). So I was curious to see what would shake out. (There’d been an official ceremony in the morning already.)

(Photo courtesy LTOCambodia)

By rush hour Independence Monument was pretty sparse, with the flags nearby flapping at half-mast. By 5:30 pm we had seen several foreigners with photo gear, and numerous Khmers being dropped off or arriving, some with donation envelopes and joss sticks.  Most started off for Koh Pich.

By the time we passed the Buddhist Institute, the roads were blocked off and the number of people were swelling.

Just past Naga Casino, wreaths were strewn on the roadside, and people swelled into a line illuminated by the flashing bridge lights, giving their donations to an assemblage of monks. All walks of life were here, from the landcruiser set, to students, to villagers who’d stayed on after Water Festival. Volunteers passed on envelopes and incense to new arrivals.

I’ll save the analysis for Monday. For now, heartfelt condolences to my friends and family who are grieving.

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