14 October 2006

Thailand's Religion

Theravada Buddhism is the primary religion of Thailand. As I walked around in Bangkok during a recent trip there, I passed an area that sells primarily religious articles, including Buddha figures and monks' robes.

Most men who become monks do so only for a period of their lives, not forever. Maybe as few as 3 weeks. I even recently heard of a foreign exchange student who was ordained just for one day, just to say he had been a Buddhist monk in Thailand!

Women cannot really be monks. There are some who wear the white robes and such, but it is not the same. They do not make merit by doing this the way the men do. But, everyone can EARN merit by giving food to the monks as they go on their early morning alms walks.

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