All posts tagged: Buddhist

Buddhist Tattoos in Cambodia

  By coincidence, I write this post just after reading about a Buddhist British woman being deported from Sri Lanka for having a tattoo of Buddha on her arm. She wasn’t aware that in Sri Lanka this is seen by some as highly offensive, and she was arrested  before she even made it out of the airport. Of course, tourists should be aware of local traditions, but this would be an easy mistake to make considering that in several other countries Buddhist tattoos are signs of devotion. In Cambodia many monks had tattoos on their backs and arms.  

A monk and a lawyer

The title of this post sounds like the start of a joke. A monk and a lawyer walk into a bar… It’s almost a given that the joke will be based around the godliness of the monk, and the parasitic or predatory nature of lawyers. This hostility to lawyers isn’t even a recent phenomenon, in Shakespeare’s Henry the Sixth, Dick the butcher says “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” One day, while at Angkor Wat, I see a Buddhist monk in traditional orange robes taking a photo of his son. Great moment so I also take a pic. A few minutes later we bump into each other inside the temple and begin chatting. His name is Nheam, and the boy is his adopted son. He has been a monk for many years, and the boy was an orphan and needed a parent. As you might have guessed, he’s a lovely, lovely man. I ask what he does everyday, and he says he’s studying at the local university to be a lawyer. Being …