Buddhist novice numbers fall in Cambodia

Australian Network News, 28 Apr 2009

Muk Kampul, Cambodia -- Nearly 300 young Cambodian men and women have travelled to Muk Kampul district in Kandal province to be ordained as monks and nuns at a 10-day course on Buddhist teachings.

<< Buddhist leaders hope to teach young people about family duties, religious history, culture and morals. [ABC]

However, organisers say the numbers are far fewer than expected.

Kandal province surrounds, but does not include, the national capital of Phnom Penh.

The Cambodian Student Association says the novices will be taught how to be grateful to their parents, about the history of the Buddha, the value of Cambodian culture and social morals.

The Phnom Penh Post quotes the association as saying only about 40 women are attending.

Chhunn Noem, chief of the Cambodian Student Association based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, said the total number who made the trip, around 270, was far lower than the 500 he had anticipated.

"We only had a short time to promote this ceremony," he said.