Navigation for Voices

Lynda Chanwai-Earle is at the Wat Buddha Chaya Mahanath Theravada Buddhist Monastery in Island Bay, Wellington to meet a beloved 78-year-old monk who escaped Pol Pot’s regime to arrive in New Zealand in 1985. Senior Venerable Pramaha Suthep Sudevo is considered the heart of his community, after all, he has spent the last three decades building a sanctuary for his people.

Senior Venerable graciously fields questions from Lynda, multi-faith tour facilitator Joan Buchanan and Wellington City Counsellor Judith Aitkin about his culture, 30 years of life in New Zealand and Cambodia’s devastating history. They are kindly assisted with translations by community member and oral historian Niborom Young, herself here since the 1970s.

Gallery: Beloved Monk – Wellington’s Cambodian Community

Senior Venerable Leading the prayers during the festival
Senior Venerable Pramaha Suthep Sudevo leading the prayers during the festival