There used to be a strong social bond in the pagoda

In our search for the lives and life questions of elderly in Cambodia, we also interview the young generation. Sochoeun (37) a sociology teacher and researcher at the CCC organization, with 160 NGO’s working together with the Cambodian civil society.

One of the things he speaks about is the fading away of traditional culture, where many elderly find comfort, and solutions for loneliness, and financial support. He describes how the pagoda was a place for elderly to go and meet each other. They talk about their worries, hopes and daily lives, and comfort and support each other in that way. Nowadays, he says the social bond in pagoda’s is deteriorating. Old people often go there, but only for prayer, and then go back home. Also as old people get older and have more pain / health problems, they can visit the pagoda less and less.

There is no alternative or solution found for these questions. As we talk to many elderly, they themselves often accept that old age comes with loneliness and having little or nothing to do.

PUCH Sim (78) Atchaa in Phnom Penh buddhism, old age

Mr. Sim Puch (78) is an Atchaa, a Buddhist leader in prayer, and he works in the pagoda daily. Now he is retired from his job as teacher, he had nothing to do, and few people to talk to. Since he joined the pagoda, he created a new social life. He says this makes him happy and peaceful, but he knows many elderly who are not feeling that way.

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