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  • Writer's pictureTamara Heidel

Religion—A Forbidden Subject

I could not end my Exotic Asian Adventure series without talking about religion. Buddhism is the religion of the majority in Southeast Asia. It seemed as though there was a Buddhist temple on every corner. However, all major religions were represented—Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc.

In the villages, the people mixed Buddhism with ancestor worship. When a family member would die, they would entomb the person in the middle of a rice field or backyard so the deceased could watch over the family. In the house, the family would set up a shrine to the deceased for prayers.

The mothership of all Buddhist temples was Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple and later converted to Buddhist. The intricate carvings were fascinating. The complex was massive, but no one lived there ever according to our guide. It was difficult to wrap your head around.

P.S. I asked ChatGPT to make me a rendering of what Angkor Wat might have been like when it was new



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