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Ethnic Mon in Sangkhlaburi Join Buddhist Chanting to Celebrate the Buddhist Lent
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Ethnic Mon in Sangkhlaburi Join Buddhist Chanting to Celebrate the Buddhist Lent

Kaowao
Sunday, August 05, 2012

Over a hundred ethnic Mon from Burma who live near the Thai-Burmese border in Sangkhlaburi, Kanchanaburi province, joined Buddhist chanting to celebrate the beginning of the Buddhist Lent on August 3.

Dozens of Mon Buddhist monks are chanting daily for a week in celebration of the beginning of the Buddhist Lent, and many people have come to donate flowers and candles and listen to the Buddhist chanting.

Ethnic Mon from Burma who live near the Thai-Burmese border in Sangkhlaburi, Kanchanaburi province, joined Buddhist chanting to celebrate the beginning of the Buddhist Lent on August 3. (Photo: Ruby Mon)

Wearing traditional red and white Mon dress, devotees rose at 7 am to gather at the main pagoda, which was built by the well known Mon Buddhist monk Ven. Uttama.

Many teenagers donated flowers at the front of the chanting ceremony by putting bunches of flowers in bottles with water and placing these in front of the chanting monks.

After a week the chanting will conclude and the people will take back the bottles they placed at the front of ceremony and will use the water within the bottles as a drink to cure future sickness. Many believe the water will have gained power from the chanting Buddhist monks and can protect against bad luck and bad tidings.

Ethnic Mon from Burma who live near the Thai-Burmese border in Sangkhlaburi, Kanchanaburi province, joined Buddhist chanting to celebrate the beginning of the Buddhist Lent on August 3. (Photo: Ruby Mon)


The ceremony, which is hosted once each year, intends for peace in the Mon village in Sangkhlaburi and many people have already come to donate fruit juice for those listening to the chanting monks.
Ven. Uttama established the Mon village, named Mon Culture Village, in 1984. Currently there are about 10,000 ethnic Mon in the village.

The village is led by the Mon abbot Mahasuchat, who became leader after Ven.Uttama passed away in 2006. The Venerable Uttama migrated to Thailand in 1949 with 60 followers in an attempt to avoid the civil war in Burma.

Ethnic Mon from Burma who live near the Thai-Burmese border in Sangkhlaburi, Kanchanaburi province, joined Buddhist chanting to celebrate the beginning of the Buddhist Lent on August 3. (Photo: Ruby Mon)

During his life he had a strong spiritual influence over Mon, Karen and Thai people, and helped establish Three Pagodas Pass, Sangkhlaburi and Tha Thoung Nar villages. The land controlled by Ven. Uttama is not for sale and anyone who wants to can build a home on it.

Sangkhlaburi town is well known as a haven of freedom for the Mon community and Thai school authorities allow students to wear traditional Mon dress on Fridays.

Many students are bilingual, speaking both Mon and Thai, but elders worry that few know about Mon history and culture. The younger Mon generation recognize themselves as Thai-Mon, and many eventually leave the area to find better jobs in Bangkok. However, they come back to their hometown whenever there are culture events hosted at the village so as to join the celebration.

 

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