Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chiang Rai Day 4 : Burma : Meal Time @ a Shan Temple

By 1130 am we rushed down to another Shan temple to witness the monks at their lunch time. Children are given the option to join the monastery when they are 8 years old and many from the poor families choose this option as life at the monastery/monk school assured them of a place to stay ( dormitory), education ( both Buddhist education as well as normal school education) which is free, free meals, and an opportunity to save some money as on the days these monk students go out to the villages they normally are offered alms in the form of food and money. According to our guide, at the age of 18, these students have the option to continue their lives as qualified monks and remained celibate but usually half of these apprentices would leave the monkship, go to universities using the savings from the money they collected over the years, get married and have families.
Quite often the lunch at the temple is sponsored by members of the public - either as a thanksgiving, as a wedding celebration etc etc. Visitors to the temple are welcomed to join the lunch.

this Shan temple is similar in design and structure as in a Thai temple
the lunch consisted of rice, chicken soup, steamed chicken, tofu,
sauteed vegetable, salads and sambal ( chili sauce) and fruits
the student monks at their lunch table waiting for
the chief monk to recite the pre-lunch 'doa'....

the chief monk reciting prayers before the meal
these families were probably the lunch sponsors for the day
the big kitchen at the temple
the food store
the sponsors preparing the dishes to be served
papaya salad?
ice-cream and condensed milk.....

the students' dormitory

the chief monk's residence looked quite grand.....
the dormitory

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