|Small bones under the care of Grandmother Lang in Phnom Neanglem, where the Buddhist inhabitants have created peaceful routines for engaging with Khmer Rouge victims’ bones. Eli Lillis|
Cristina Maza and Kong Meta, The Phnom Penh Post
Fri, 24 March 2017
When Nou Pharng, 48, found a skeleton in her garden still wearing the trademark red krama of the Khmer Rouge, the first thing she did was ask the dead body for winning lottery numbers.
“I’m not scared of bones,” Pharng explains matter-of-factly, as she sits cradling her granddaughter in the sweltering heat of her Battambang home.
“We invited a monk to the house and celebrated a small dedication ceremony for the ghost, and then it made me dream about lottery numbers.”
The lottery numbers the ghost gave her turned out to be the right ones. Pharng won $100 and used the money to bring the bones and other offerings to the local pagoda. Her neighbours told her it would bring bad luck to keep the bones on her property, and she wanted the skeleton’s spirit to be happy.
“I think she wanted to go to the pagoda, that’s why she gave us such exact lottery numbers,” Pharng says. “I believe she is peacefully reincarnated now.”