SKT is a factory worker who lives in Massachusetts. She was born on April 6, 1949, in Siem Reap Province to a family of 14. She went to primary school for five years. As the oldest child, she had to help her mother care for her siblings and her family. Her parents arranged her marriage.
She was widowed during the Khmer Rouge period.
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"My pains were lessened. When I recite the Dharma, I reflect according to Buddha's principles. There is death. When there is life, there is bound to be separations. When I reason this way, I try not to be to sorrow. I do this when I am sorrowful, and my face is very sad. Happiness is the counterpart of sorrow, and laughter is the counterpart of crying. When I think about this precept, I feel better. This way, I think that those who died escaped the sorrow temporarily. Those who are alive always have sorrows... The old folks would come to me and tell me that my children and no father and I should not make them orphans again by not having a mother. I was reasoning about this for a long time, and I felt better, but in the back of my mind, I still had some sorrows. Not all of the sorrows were gone. I thought about my children, about their future. They were born, they saw the sunlight, we would not abandon them. The father had died, so, the mother should remain."
"Buddhism taught us not to be bad or indulge in vice, such as stealing, robbing, cheating, adultery, liquor, and gambling. Buddhism taught us to follow a good path; so we adhered to Buddhism. My parents followed the Buddha's precepts and used them to guide the children to follow the good path... If we meet older folks, we must greet them with palms joined and body lowered so that we are courteous. This means that our parents have a good background. We should follow our Cambodian customs and adhere to Buddhism. We should go to the Pagoda to control our feelings. We should not be ill-tempered, but be even tempered, to read all the Buddhist codes, guidebooks, and obey the Buddhist scriptures recited by the monks which taught us to do good deeds which we must abide. My parents taught us not to have a ruthless and mean heart."