PREFACE\nThis is a collection of readings from various sources. Each article throws some light on alternative social systems. They intrigue because they are different from models known to me all my life. But I have no obstinate allegiance to any particular social code, and it is easy to accept that other people have adopted other life models. The important conclusion is that ALL these life models have worked for the groups that live those.\nI have great respect for each of these alternate models, and I do not subscribe to the view that they are what missionaries called \u2018barbaric\u2019 models.\nDiscovering such alternate models through the writings and first hand experiences of others, has been a mind opening experience for me. It teaches me the true meaning of the word \u2018paradigm\u2019.\nThis article on the Khmers is followed by an article on alternate conjugal / sexuality traditions of Tibetans.\n***\nIn 1295, a young Chinese diplomat by the name of Zhou Daguan\u00a0 visited\u00a0 Angkor,\u00a0 lived with the locals and recorded extremely interesting accounts of Khmer life.\u00a0 Academicians today use Zhou Daguan\u2019s scholarly works extensively to understand Khmer life.\nSome parts of ancient Khmer life that are totally different from life as we understand it today relate to the norms and practices pertaining to sexuality.\nZhou Daguan describes a custom he calls \u201czhentan,\u201d which consisted of having girls (9 years old in wealthy families and 11 in poor ones) deflowered by a monk.\n\u201cI have heard that when the time comes, the monk goes into a room with the girl and takes away her virginity with his hand, which he then puts into some wine. [\u2026] Some say the monk and the girl have sex together, others say they don\u2019t,\u201d Zhou Daguan wrote. The monk is subsequently given gifts and the family celebrates this event.\n\nAn image of the pre-13th century Khmer temple of Phanom Rung depicting this ceremony. \nAnother interesting note by Zhou Daguan:\n\u201cEveryone with whom I talked said that the Cambodian women are highly sexed. One or two days after giving birth to a child they are ready for intercourse: if a husband is not responsive he will be discarded. When a husband is called away on matters of business, they endure his absence for a while; but if he is gone as much as ten days, the wife is apt to say, \u2018I am no ghost; how can I be expected to sleep alone?\u2019 Though their sexual impulses are very strong,, it is said some of them remain faithful.\u2019\u201d\nThis seems contrary to the male-hunter role that is the common practice today.\nThe rest of the Khmer life model has many other gender-life differences \u2013 women armies for the palace, women handling all the trade and so on\u2026.so the alternate life model is both complete and internally consistent even though it is totally different from the majority of the models prevalent in the 21st century.\nThe easier reaction to these tales would be to judge and snigger a bit, call it barbaric and attempt to \u2018civilise\u2019 them by imposing their own models upon those alien cultures \u2013 that is mostly what the world has done up until now when encountered with strange new life models.\nThe tougher thing would be to simply stand by and watch the diversity and enjoy its uniqueness, even if we do not completely understand all its facets.\n***\nThe next article in this series, \u201cAlternate Sexuality Traditions-2,\u00a0 Tibet\u201d is located here.\njm\n\n\nThe post Alternate Sexuality Traditions \u2013 1, The Khmers appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.