Going into Monk-hood

Becoming a monk in North-East Thailand
No it was not a party for me going into temporally monk-hood. But according to Thai tradition every man should at least stay a few days in a temple to understand Buddhism. Also the nephew of my wife. But what would Thailand be without a party? So of course there will be a party to celebrate the event. The party did begin with shaving all the hair from his head, yes also his eyebrows. Unfortunately we did not manage to be there in time as we were driving from Pattaya to get to the village near Lam Ta Klong (80 km from Khorat). But I did see it being done a few months ago with another nephew. It must be a frighting moment for the boy being shaved. Because the one shaving had already be drinking a few beers and a few Lao Kao (rice wine but a bit stronger as wine) ...

So while we made our trip to Khao Yai to have a simple Thai lunch of Muo Han (bbq pork) with sticky rice (Khao niouw) and some spicy Thai salad for the ladies (Som Tom) the boys were getting shaved. After our lunch we made it of to our small resort at Sapradu. So the real party started in the evening at the house of the sister of my wife. The village is almost at the end of the world (near Pabukha Cliff) so it took us a dusty, camel-trophy road to get there. Again loads of food, beer and sato (home made rice wine). And of course very load music, dancing & karaoke singing girls.

The most people here are older people (40 and older) or younger people (12 and younger). The interesting group in between has probably moved to civilization in Bangkok or more nearby to Khorat. After evening filled with music, a bottle of Saeng Som and a lot of food we drove back to our small resort for a good night sleep. Because the party would continue early in the morning again. After a good night sleep and a simple breakfast we drove to the locale village temple (Wat) to wait the arriving of the party goers. This morning the would be 4 to be monks to be blessed by the real monks.

So that means for caravan's of cars with load Isaan music and dancing people in front of the slowly driving cars were on their way to the temple. And in the open back of the pick-up-truck the Monk-to-be is sitting dressed in white and with a shaved head. When each group arrives at the temple they will make 3 rounds around the temple building while singing and dancing like they never have a party. And to bring good luck they will throw small money around to all the dancing people. Of course all the small kids jump and run like maniacs to get the money. Amazing friend Buddhism!

After all the Monks-to-be have arrived they will sit on the ground in front of the temple building and pay their respect to Buddha. Then they will enter the building while touching the wall where the are entering the building. Once inside the real monks bless their temporarily monk-hood and they will change from the white cloths in to the simple orange monks "cloths". And from now on they are monks. There are hundreds of rules to respect as monk, but a few important once are No Smoking, No touching of Women, No Sex. Basically no desire. So there must be lot of monks? Well only for a few days. The real monks will begin next month with a 3 months not leaving the temple at all.

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