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Theravada Buddhist Monastery

  • Photographer
    Steff Gruber

Theravada Buddhism has been the Cambodian state religion since the 13th century (except during the Khmer Rouge period). Boys traditionally spent part of their lives as monks. This practice is once again widespread. Families consider it a great honor if their sons enter a monastery and live as monks, however briefly. For many, it is also the only opportunity to receive some kind of education. Women cannot be ordained, but older women, especially widows, can become nuns and work in the temples. The photographs shown are from the Wat Kirisophea in the Kampot Province in southern Cambodia.

Steff Gruber (1953) is a Swiss photographer and filmmaker. He worked as a press photographer for Keystone Press and was one of the first filmmakers to deal with the docudrama genre. Based on his interest in documentaries, Gruber began shooting photo stories in various countries that focused, in particular, on human interest subjects and humanist concerns. He produced many of his photo series over a period of several years, visiting places and people on repeated occasions. Steff Gruber is a member of the Swiss Association of Journalists and Photographers IMPRESSUM.