Monk learns art of communication

Buddhist monk Narong Kim with his English teacher Michelle Hodges.
Buddhist monk Narong Kim with his English teacher Michelle Hodges.

Twice a week the Cambodian monk attends the English conversation group at BJL Connecting Communities in Girrawheen, where his teacher Michelle Hodges works with students from every corner of the earth.

Most, like the Ven Narong Kim, did not speak a word of English before starting the class.

He now helps other Cambodians speak English at his very modest Buddhist temple.

There’s nothing ornate about the temple. it’s no more than a suburban house in Marangaroo with 120 members.

But the Ven Narong Kim, the resident monk and spiritual director of the Angkor Wat Khmer Buddhist Society, teaches Buddhist dhamma and meditation as if it were a traditional style temple.

Using his newfound English speaking skills, he conducts Khmer language classes for children so they will understand the religion and traditions.

Some of the upcoming events he will be teaching about include Khmer New Year (April), Buddha’s birthday (May), Rains Retreat in July and P’Chum Ben or Ancestors Day (September/October).