Making Buddha at Wat Lanka

Written by on February 28, 2010 in Photo Posts, Photos and Stories in Progress with 0 Comments

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This is just a photographic sketch I made one afternoon in Phnom Penh. I take photos like these as a way to observe and learn; and I enjoyed talking to the people as I photographed them. It was in February, just before Chinese New Year. I walked into Wat Lanka, a Buddhist temple, and saw several young men and one older man at work. I don’t think any of them do wood working as a profession, though I could be wrong. My impression was that they showed up and learned. Perhaps they are carving images of Buddha to earn merit, or dollars (the statues were being made to sell). Buddhism in Cambodia is very practical. Young men become monks for spiritual reasons and/or because they want a place to live, food to eat, and an education. Most are monks for a few years, and some continue for life. I didn’t know what motives these men had for their labor, but I admired the care they put into the task.

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About the Author

About the Author: Andy Gray is a writer and photographer living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and working with Alongsiders International. You can find him puttering around the streets of Phnom Penh on his Suzuki Viva 125, running stoplights and driving on the wrong side of the road or on the sidewalks like a local. If you see him in a coffee shop, he'll be the one typing and deleting the same line over and over again. .

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