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Highlights of 2009: Chiang Mai, Thailand Jan 20

This an excerpt from the Thailand Virtual Tour.
See Archives October 2009 for the entire tour.

Day 16: Tak Bat

It’s 6am. It’s predawn. Why would anyone be boarding a small van to go to a fitness park at this hour? No, we’re not going to run a marathon or even a 10K, not even a 5K. We’re on a mission.

thailand-t2-fam-3631We need to arrive before the tak bat or early morning procession of Buddhist monks from their temple. This ritual is the daily opportunity for people, local residents and foreign visitors alike, to offer alms to the orange-robed monks. The monks have no worldly possessions and rely on the generosity of others for their needs. These offerings are the only food and drink they will receive for the entire day.

The monks walk single file down the sidewalk in one direction, stopping when signaled by those offering alms. The owners of Window of Thailand have once again worked overtime, preparing dozens of food bundles for us to give to the monks. They briefly described the thoughtful selection of home cooked foodstuffs contained in each. It cleared demonstrated their care and compassion for others.

Since women are prohibited from direct contact with the male monks, we were instructed to carefully place our small wrapped packages into the center of the recipient’s food bowl. We would then kneel to receive their blessing in unison.

Once they were finished chanting, they would continue on in formation to the next person or persons, eventually returning along the same route back to the temple.

thailand-t2-fam-3681I zoomed in and framed a perfect shot of a simple and elegant bowl just as the young monk turned and started to walk away. Just a moment too late. At first, I was going to discard it. It was not the still photo I had intended to take. It still intrigues me as an unintentional “action” shot.

You may call it blurry. Tell me what YOU think.

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Category: Asia, Thailand  | Tags: , , ,
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