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Wat Khmer Palelai

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Basic information
2701 S 58th St, Philadelphia, PA 19143, USA
Sectarian affiliation(s):
  • Theravada
Cultural, linguistic, ethnic representation:
  • Cambodian
Geographic origins of institution, founder, or network:
  • Cambodia
Best time to visit:

Open Mon through Fri 8-6 and 9-4 on weekends. Daily services 4-6am and 1–3pm.

Date last visited: April 22, 2016
Currently active?: As of the last time it was visited by our research team, this location was open.
Other Basic Information:

Established in 1986 on Greenwich Street in South Philadelphia, moved to current location in 2003 or 2004. Between six and twelve monks typically in residence. The grounds are open, but the temple itself is still under construction.

Local setting, neighborhood, demographics

Attendees are mainly first and second generation immigrants from Cambodia.

Connections with medicine, healing, wellness

One of the practitioners reported to us that often illnesses are caused by ghosts and black magic, as a result of the body being possessed by a spirit. In these cases, a monk performs a blessing ceremony where the ill individual is blessed by brushing them with holy water. Other ceremonies might be offered for specific types of illnesses, and some monks have knowledge of herbal medicine. While offering blessings, the monks pray over the individual to enhance their well-being and improve their karma. Ceremonies are held for the elderly where prayers are made to bring them good luck and improve their overall well-being.