Minnesota Buddhist temple puts out open call for sacred dance troupe

by | Feb 13, 2023 | Religion

HAMPTON, Minn. (AP) — The Buddhist community anchored by an ornate temple complex here in the Minnesota farmland is trying a new way to ensure its faith and ancestral culture stay vibrant for future generations — an open call for the sacred dance troupe.Founded by refugees fleeing the Khmer Rouge regime, which sought to eradicate most religious institutions, Watt Munisotaram and its troupe hope that teaching young children sacred dance will strengthen their ties to both Buddhism and Cambodian traditions.
“The connection is stronger when I dance,” said Sabrina Sok, 22, a Wattanak Dance Troupe leader. “The thing that stays in my head is this dance form almost disappeared with the Khmer Rouge.”
During their 1975-79 regime, the Khmer Rouge caused the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million in Cambodia. Hundreds of thousands fled, first to neighboring Thailand and later the United States, where Southeast Asians are one of the largest refugee communities.
They carried this sacred dance tradition with them. On a frigid early February evening, Sok rehearsed for the upcoming Cambodian New Year holiday with fellow troupe leader Garrett Sour and his sister Gabriella, whose parents were among those refugees.
Practice used to be held at the temple, whose golden spires outshine the red barn roofs and silos in the snow-covered fields about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of the Twin Cities. But it was recently moved to a Minneapolis studio to make it easier for families to participate.
While recruitment was by …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This