How Cambodian Americans heal the cycle of intergenerational trauma

Lions and angels guard the perimeter of the main pagoda at Fresno’s largest Cambodian Buddhist temple, resplendent in gold, green and red hues. They were witness to the inauguration of the temple’s first-ever abbot, a lifelong appointment so rare that dozens of Cambodian Buddhist monks from around the world flew in to offer blessings.

A sea of orange robes lined the procession route winding around the pagoda. At the center, the new abbot, Say Bunthon, sat atop a chariot serenely taking in the scene. Temple-goers began their circular march as a boisterous band of musicians and singers set the rhythm. This was where I met Nancy Meas a year ago.

“Aren’t they gorgeous?” she asked, smiling from behind a row of lush flower bouquets.

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