No classes today. Because … Monks!

Buddhist Lent — Khao Phansa  — is a time monks devote to study and meditation. They remain within the temple grounds for three months, from the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month (July) to the fifteenth day of the waxing moon of the 11th lunar month (October). As I understand it, the community’s gift of a candle to the monks is a way of telling the monks “don’t worry, we’ve got your backs” while their all stuck on there, praying and meditating and stuff.

So … no classes! Instead the songtaew (school bus) is outfitted with standard, enormous bullhorns, an amplifier and a generator to provide 220v power …

The music encourages general merriment…

Some of the kids have makeup and costumes …

And they all pile into pickup trucks.

The trucks crawl the dusty roads of the school district, stopping at every house. Our students have made wands out of drinking straws and plastic flowers — they take these wands to their familes and neighbors and ask them to tuck 20-baht notes in the wands to provide gifts for the monks.

At the direction of the Ministry of Education, the students also carry educational posters about the upcoming vote on a new constitution. The posters encourage people to vote on 7 August.

Please share with your friends!