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THE SLEUK RITH INSTITUTE

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Published on Oct 9, 2014

Youk Chhang, Chairman and Founder, the Sleuk Rith Institute (SRI) and Zaha Hadid invite you to a reception to celebrate plans for a ground-breaking new center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) dedicated to the prevention of genocide worldwide.
Zaha Hadid Design Gallery, London
Thursday 9th October, 2014 at 18:30 pm.

The name of our Institute reflects our core objectives as well as our Cambodian heritage. Sleuk rith are dried leaves that Cambodian religious leaders and scholars have used for centuries to document history, disseminate knowledge, and preserve culture during periods of harsh rule and grave peril. The term “sleuk rith” literally means “the power of the leaves,” capturing their beauty as vehicles of knowledge and their strength in advancing social memory and human dignity. The Sleuk Rith Institute (SRI) will represent a permanent stand against mass violence in Cambodia and throughout the world.

For more information and support, please visit: http://www.cambodiasri.org

Note:
Tree that producing Sleuk rith: Traeng (KH) or Corypha Umbraculifera (EN)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corypha_...
See also Khmer Dictionary by Choun Nath, 10 December 1967; page 469-70.

UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION
Treang (ទ្រាំង):
Treang is the name of a thorny palm tree with long stems, the leaves of which are dried and used by monks as writing paper called sleuk rith. The sleuk rith pages are combined to form manuscripts called sastra.

In addition, the midribs of the treang leaves are used to pin the light green leaves together to make a thatched-leaf roof called phchol, which has limited durability. The leaves can be made into handbags or sacks, also called phchol. Small strips of its stems are woven to make sails, called totot. The central rib, when stripped of its leaves, is called tronung rith or chhaoeng rith (literary means: power of the bones). Mature stems are chopped up for use as canes, loom rods called dam, and various bars called poan moul, which are used to hold threads in weaving (for example treang stick, dam treang and poan moul treang). The stems of treang used as dam or poan moul are called treang kamdor khmoch and are tied to the staircase of a home to protect it from ghosts or evil spirits. In traditional lore, ghosts or evil spirits are fearful of treang. Sometimes, people who are very lazy or uneducated and do not easily wake up are considered to accompany those ghosts or evil spirits. There is a proverb which states, “Use treang to ward off evil spirits.”

Treang trees self-seed in the jungles of Cambodia, predominantly in Kratie and Kampong Thom provinces. These thorny palm trees have many beneficial uses. They can be cultivated as a border to enclose a Buddhist temple, thriving in any kind of soil. Their life span is longer than that of humans. However, after blossoming and producing mature fruit, they die. The underlying assumption of these trees is that they blossom, produce fruit, and then somehow kill themselves. This process is similar to a Buddhist proverb which states that bamboo, tall reeds (Aira arundinacea) and treang trees grow, blossom, produce fruit, and then kill themselves, just as greedy, vulgar people can hasten their deaths through their own dishonorable behavior.

Sastra (សាស្ត្រា) Pali and Sanskrit
Sastra are manuscripts which contain codes of conduct pertaining to scientific knowledge, religion, law, educational doctrine, and other life matters which benefit from instruction. The word may be used as a suffix, for example: pravoat sastra, a manuscript that describes the history of a country; vityea sastra, a manuscript that contains different methods of research using primary resources; and selapak sastra, a manuscript for studying the arts.

Sastra is also sometimes known as satra (when intended to describe a manuscript made from palm leaves), for example: satra chbap, a legal code of conduct; or satra tes, a preaching text. Sastra may be also used as prefix. For example: sastra krit: a person who composes a manuscript or code of conduct; sastra chaksa, sastra nei or sastra netra, the eyes of the manuscript (i.e., grammar); sastra ved, a wise man or scholar who knows the content of the manuscript; and sastra char, the teacher of the code of conduct or ethics.

Youk Chhang's Bio: http://direct.cambodiasri.org/sites/d...
Zaha Hadid's Bio: http://www.cambodiasri.org/sites/defa...
Brochure: http://www.cambodiasri.org/sites/defa...
Press Release in EN: http://www.cambodiasri.org/sites/defa...
Press Release in KH: http://www.cambodiasri.org/sites/defa...
Images: https://drive.google.com/drive/folder...

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