cambodian tradition


August 27 2017

Hi no studying again today because like lazy. I painted instead (I guess I’m self studying art!!)

I want to learn how to *art* better. I struggle with proportions and anatomy sooo much.

This is a painting of a woman wearing traditional Cambodian wedding clothes!! I have a few more of these that I did in the past. I luv doing the little details.

More Asian Newsies Headcannons (Modern Au)
  • Jack flunked out of math and science. When the teacher said, “But you’re Asian” he got mad and cussed him out in Cantonese. He can do calligraphy, which is what made him so good at drawing.
  • Race is autistic and cannot speak Urdu. He hates it when you ask him (like me). He likes smoking, How To Train Your Dragon, and overall being a “bad Asian.” He attended a Pride parade with a bi flag and his father’s turban.
  • Katherine is actually good at school, but she runs the journalism lab. She gets super mad when Jack brings his food in there. She thinks he’s a slob, especially when he (incorrectly) uses chopsticks. Her dad, as a first generation Japanese immigrant as well as a rich businessman, expects her to do super well in school and get into Harvard. This puts too much pressure on her. She hates anime and technology. On her coming of age day she wore her kimono to school.
  • Crutchie actually speaks Mandarin instead of Cantonese, so he gets super confused when Jack tries to talk to him in Chinese. Crutchie is an adoptee; he ended up in a Beijing orphanage bc of his bad leg and eventually go adopted by Chinese American parents.
  • Medda is Jamaican/Korean. She teaches drama and choir; she may be a grown up woman, but she remembers how hard it was for her to come to terms and love her heritage. So she tries to help her students along with the same process.
  • Davey is a transracial Chinese adoptee who feels very alone and in denial about his Asianess. He can’t decided if he’s a “normal white guy” or an Asian man. He tries to get in touch with his culture thru his pals.
  • Whenever Elmer takes a drink, his face breaks out in a rash. It’s called Asian Flush. He’s the baby of the group but he doesn’t mind unless he’s making a fool of himself (which is 90% of the time).
  • Les is an Indian adoptee who has the same issue as Davey. However he’s more willing to go to Hindi language classes and do what the fellas tell him bc he thinks Jack is the next best thing since cake.
  • Specs wears his glasses not because he needs to see better but to honor his near sighted grandfather, who was killed by Khmer Rogue before he was born. He takes a traditional Cambodian dance class and likes to dig thru other people’s lockers bc he thinks it’s interesting.
  • Albert got in a fight and was arrested protesting Miss Saigon bc he finds it disrespectful to his Vietnamese ancestry. He has acne and  fetish for people who play in the band. He loves to hide stuff in people’s lockers, like anonymous love letters, Race’s cigars, posters of Marilyn Monroe.
  • Romeo got rejected during a prom proposal bc his horrible crush thought Afghan were abusive. He went home crying and the guys had to cheer him up. After that he began flirting girl after girl and even guys. Pretty soon he discovered he was polyamorous. At any rate, he totally showed the mean girl.

anonymous asked:

Where on Earth did you find information on the unalome? I'm trying to find resources on Thai Buddhist cosmology, like you mentioned, there's little to nothing out there... I'm so intrigued by the symbol and don't doubt it's meaning, but I don't want to only believe in the captions on Pinterest.

Finding information took a lot of patience. As noted in our very first post on the topic, the symbol was fairly obscure until this new Western fad popped up. When you sift out the spiritual white people on Pinterest, most of what’s left over are paragraphs here and there, mostly about Sak Yant, a southeast Asian practice which incorporates Thai and Cambodian traditions, as well as Buddhist and some Brahmin ritual imagery.

Some sources as follows:

The Relationship between Por Gae Lersi Ta Fai and the Shiva Deity.

According to the legend, whenever Lersi Por Gae would open the third eye, flames would arise in the line of sight of his third eye.According to both Brahmin and Buddhist beliefs, the possession of a third eye is the result of having practiced self control and renunciation over a period of many thousands of lifetimes. Such a meritorious person is recognized at birth by observing various signs that can be found on the body of the person; One of these signs is the form of an Unalome in the center of the forehead (Unalome means a spiral shape). The Unalome is seen as a sign of the third eye, or Divine Eye. It is believed that Lersi Por Gae Ta Fai is also the Avatar (earthly incarnation) of the lord of the world (Shiva, or Ishvara – in Thai known as Pra Isworn or Pra Siwa).

Yants and their Meanings and  Yant Gao Yord/Jeesip Yord

The spires are known as “Unalome” and represent the crown of the Arahants (enlightened Saints), the spiral stands for the crown at the center of the scalp, and the straight line pointing upwards representing the straight path to enlightenment without any wavering behavior that the Arahants have accomplished.


The Mahīśāsaka and the Theravada regarded arhats and buddhas as being similar to one another. The 5th century Theravadin commentator Buddhaghosa regarded arhats as having completed the path to enlightenment. According to Bhikkhu Bodhi, the Pāli Canon portrays the Buddha declaring himself to be an arahant. According to Bhikkhu Bodhi, nirvāṇa is “the ultimate goal”, and one who has attained nirvana has attained arahantship: Bhikkhu Bodhi writes, “The defining mark of an arahant is the attainment of nirvāṇa in this present life.”

Sacred Geometrical Yantras and the Meanings

The ever decreasing spirals as in Gao Yod (nine spirals) (เก้ายอด) signify the wavering that this earthly life bestows upon us. At the top, when the line goes straight up signifies that the person has attained control over these earthly desires and attachments  and is ready to enter Nirvana or true enlightenment. This symbol is called an Unalome or Unaalome and the central spire represents Buddha himself. 

Sacred Skin: Thailand’s Spirit Tattoos, by Tom Vater and Aron Thaew Chatturat

A lot of Thai amulets use the symbol (as you can see in this post), but in much of those cases, the sellers assume that you know what the meaning is, and that it can be used for the amulet’s purpose.

Pra Sivali Jok Bat Run Dtraimas edition - Thai Amulet for riches, success and popularity

The rear face of the statuette has a sacred Na and Unalome design for Metta Mahaniyom purposes, a sacred Na in the back of the base, and a coded number stamped into the limited edition amulet. 

Pong Sanaeh Jantr Nang Taep Apsorn Yoni

The rear face features another Apsara Maiden with five Silver Takrut with Various spells inserted for Maha Sanaeh Attraction. The front face has been given gold foil pasting. Two pearls are inserted into the Sacred Unalome (Spiral Yantra) on the rear face, along with the Five Silver Takrut Spells.

(Image description: A middle aged Cambodian woman is looking slightly towards the left. She is against a black background, with a black shirt, mostly concealed under a peachy-beige scarf wrap.)

Sophiline Cheam Shapiro/ (ឝភីរោ ជៀម សុភិលីន): Why she kicks ass

  • She is a groundbreaking choreographer, dancer, vocalist and educator whose challenging work has infused the venerable classical form with new ideas and energy.
  • She was one of the first students to learn from the masters of dance who had survived both the end of the court and the later violence of Pol Pot, who specially targeted artists. 
  • Being among the first generation of classically trained Cambodian dancers to graduate from the School of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, Sophiline devoted herself to master the complex and intricate gestures and movements of classical Cambodian dance.
  • Along with her husband, Sophiline launched the Khmer Arts Academy to teach a new generation of Cambodian-Americans the traditional art and culture of Cambodia.
  • In 1990 Shapiro did a classical Cambodian dance adaptation of Othello called SAMRITHECHAK (2000) (សម្រីតិចក់) where she used symbolism and metaphors to allude the Khmer Rouge of their guilt and denial of the crimes they committed on Cambodia.
  • Her choreography includes THE GLASS BOX (2002) and SEASONS OF MIGRATION (2005), which she has set on Cambodia’s finest performing artists and toured to three continents. Notable venues include Cal Performances, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, New York’s Joyce Theater and the Venice Biennale. PAMINA DEVI had its world premiere at the Schönbrunn Palace Theater as part of Vienna’s New Crowned Hope Festival (2006).
  • She has received numerous honors, including Asia 21, Creative Capital, Durfee, Guggenheim and Irvine Dance Fellowships, as well as the Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture.

“and you’re half cambodian, that’s like SO COOL”

she says this, and i can’t help but being puzzled. what do you mean by “it’s so cool ?” 

oh. oh, it’s the first time she meets a mixed race asian person. and she says it’s so “cool”. she keeps repeating that word and i feel like i told her i’m half fairy or something. but i’m just me and i don’t know what she means when she’s using that word over and over again. 

that’s what they think, i think, that people of color are “cool”. they call us “ethnic” and they call us “exotic” and they call us “a beacon of diversity”. 

i try hard, and harder, and harder and the compliment she thinks she’s making, i fail to hear it. 

because. because let me tell you how “cool” it is to be me. 

i’m a first generation cambodian born after the genocide that took place between 1975 and 1979. my father is a survivor. my father is a refugee.

from a refugee camp in thailand to another, he eventually ended up here in Paris after declining an offer to be sent to America. 

let me tell you how “cool” it was, when during his first years here, he used to wake up, multiple times a night, every single night, sweating and out of breath, jaw and fists clenched, ready to fight back against the invisible attackers that remained in his nightmares. 

let me tell you how “cool” it was, when he arrived here alone without the slightest idea of whether his family had survived or not. how “cool” it was when he, a former journalist, now had to carry bags of rice sixteen hours a day for the asian stores in china town to make a living. and the sleepless nights. and the clenched fists to fight back, just in case of. 

let me tell you about how “cool” it was, when he drowned his sorrow and trauma in alcohol and opium because then, refugees had been offered no psychological support. and how the tight refugee community was his only family. when those that survived hell with you are the only brothers you have left. 

let me tell you how “cool” it was. for him to be dropped off in this country he had only seen in pictures. where the cold was new, and the loneliness was new, and the hate of these people towards him was real. 

and me. let me tell you how “cool” it felt, when at a young age, i would hear my little friends talk about going on vacation at their grandparents’. how “cool” it was when i asked where my father’s brothers and sisters and parents were. everyone has brothers and sisters and parents, i thought. 

let me tell you how “cool” it was, when i first greeted my grand parents when i was 9. on their tomb. 

this grand father, beaten to death by the khmer rouges. my two oldest uncles, gone missing and never found again. this grandmother whom i love, that died of sorrow after she had lost every thing and every one she loved. 

let me tell you how “cool” it is, to love ghosts with all you heart because there is no one left to love. because even the memories are scarce. 

let me tell you how “cool” it is when all you have left is four or five partly burned pictures that my father managed to hide from the khmer rouges in the crack of a wall in a house, and how they are all i can cherish. 

let me tell you how “cool” it is, when i wear the portrait of my grandfather on a pure gold chain around my neck, next to my buddha, according to the cambodian tradition, and white people laugh and make jokes.

“is that kim jong-il ?” they cackle, “is that jacky chan ?”. and every time they laugh and laugh, it comes like flashes in my head, and i see, from a distance, men dressed in black, beating this man i love and never knew, until they have broken everything there is to break with their riffles. i clench my jaw, like my father years before me, and i think to myself, “this is so cool”.