For Sellers of Pchum Ben Offerings, Business Is a Mixed Bag

At Phnom Penh’s O’Russei Market on Tuesday, Chhim Savoeurn and her tuk-tuk driver used clear packing tape to affix a meter-high package stacked with household items to the roof of the three-wheeled vehicle.

Savoeurn had two more $70 palong gift baskets in the backseat to offer to her ancestors via Buddhist monks who she says will visit and bless her home in Takeo province this week for the Pchum Ben public holiday, which starts on Wednesday.

“This Pchum Ben, it’s the third anniversary of my grandmother’s death,” said Savoeurn, a 40-year-old housewife. “I saved more than $2,000 to budget for such a big anniversary.”

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