Cambodian Buddhists Celebrate New Year in Florida

April 18, 2003

Source: River City News

On April 18, 2003 the River City News reported that "the Wat Khanteyaram [in FL] celebrated the Cambodian New Year last weekend with chanting, dancing, blessings and messy fun... Stephanie Galloway, a World Religions teacher at Florida Community College at Jacksonville, gives her students the opportunity to take part in the celebration for class credit. The students also had the chance to go to a Jewish Bar Mitzvah and an Islamic Center earlier in the semester... Children snuck up on their parents and friends, trying to hit them with shaving cream and baby powder... T.J. Tor, 32, said that in Cambodia, the New Year is at a time when there is a lot of rain... 'So that is how it started with everyone throwing water. Now we just mix in the baby powder and shaving cream...' Parents laughed it off when they were hit with the shaving cream and baby powder. Most didn't even bother to wipe it off. Tor said parents aren't supposed to get mad. He said it is the one time of year when everyone is supposed to just let loose and have a good time."