Gov't Bans Song About Buddhist Monk "Leaving Monkhood for Love"

December 20, 2004

Source: BBC News

On December 20, 2004 the BBC News reported, "Cambodia's government has banned a song about a lovelorn monk. They have asked radio and TV stations to stop playing Leaving The Monkhood For Love because they say it is disrespectful to Buddhists... But the airplay ban has been met with bemusement by fans of the singer Heng Bunleap, who is one of the rising stars of the Cambodian music scene. Over the past year Heng has earned a sizeable following by matching a traditional Khmer ballad style to gritty modern-day themes. But his latest hit is just a bit too gritty for the authorities. The lyrics about a monk who prefers love in the arms of a woman to life at the pagoda probably raised some official eyebrows. And the video of the shaven-headed hero frolicking with his lover in a lake was a step too far."