From 1975-1979, approximately 1.7 million people lost their lives in Cambodia under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime (21% of the population).2,400 Seattleites listed themselves as Cambodian in the 2000 census. About 95% of them are Buddhist.
The teachings of Buddha are characterized by the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path.
The Truths suggest that:
1. Suffering is universal.
2. The cause of suffering is craving or selfish desire.
3. The cure for suffering is to rid oneself of cravings.
4. The way to rid oneself of cravings is to follow the 8-Fold Path: Right knowledge, right intention, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.
William Sang, 54, owner of Sang Taing Heng market, renting the property
Every Thursday the monks from temple Olympia come to get something, like rice or food or whatever you have or money. I put in cooked rice and then she adds … a little at a time until you empty the bowl. You can give anything you want.
(In my) Asian grocery store I sell everything… I have meat. I have fresh food, vegetables, a lot of Asian food.
It took about 20 years working 2 jobs (to get the store). I never saw my kids because in the morning she go to school and in the nighttime she was sleeping. I have 2 daughters. They don’t like the store because it is hard work. They don’t like that kind of job.
When my daughter graduates college I will be so proud. Because I want my daughter to get a good life and future and don’t be like me. (laugh)
I enjoy my life in United States because its freedom and liberty. I leave from Cambodia 1980. I don’t like regime. The Communists force you to work hard. Not enough food. And they kill a lot of people. I have 12 brothers and sisters and they kill 6 or 7 and my Dad too.
I think in the future when (the light rail) is done I think it will be more busy then it is right now. I hope so. I think it brings more people but I don’t know what race. Right now I have all Asians come to my store.”
Phra Sangob Dhammasantiko, 37, monk from Buddhangkura Monestary in Olympia
Usually (people) think Buddhism is a religion but Buddhism is not a religion. It is a way of life.
They offer food to us and we give them blessing to inspire them to do the good thing. Try to be good people in society. Sometimes you can see a monk singing. Usually we use a Bali, an ancient language from India.
If we are good people our goodness will be spread around like the sun or the moon. … It’s a blessing.
Even a small house we can live with happiness. Even a small car we can drive to work. It doesn’t matter that we must have no money. We can have happiness without money. If you look inside (yourself) you can understand.”