Sunday, November 7, 2010

100 days

Rumnea and her 72 year old grandmother, earlier this morning
I've been in Kompong Thom for a couple of days attending the 100-day ceremony for Rumnea's father who passed away so prematurely in August. Coming from Chinese descent, the family held a funeral ceremony as well as remembrance prayer days after 7 (the official end of the funeral ceremony) and 100 days. In fact the 100-day period is the length of mourning by the family, during which time Rumnea has worn a small piece of black cloth on her chest for the entire time. The weekend's ceremony allowed the relatives and friends to mourn but also to celebrate the life of her father, Heng Sophal, who was much admired and respected by all who knew him. Five local monks were in attendance on both days, offering prayers and chanting, as were well over 200 (half of whom slept in the family home for 2 nights) of Heng Sophal's closest friends and family. By the way, it is the responsibility of the deceased's daughters to bear the funeral expenses under Chinese tradition. I arrived back in Phnom Penh this afternoon to get along to the Olympic Stadium just as the heavens opened and saw nine minutes of the Preah Khan versus a Khmer Select Xi from France friendly encounter. The downpour covered the pitch with water and the officials did exactly the right thing to call the game off.
Part of Saturday's prayer session with the monks inside the family home in Kompong Thom

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