Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Giving Alms in Luang Prabang

We wake the kids at 5:15am, hop on our bikes on a misty, humid morning, and ride into the old town to see what is reputedly the most holy and sacred activity in Luang Prabang: the giving of alms to the local Buddhist monks. Every single morning they come out from the temples between 5:45 and 6:00am and the Lao people donate rice, bananas and other food stuffs to them.  The monks eat one meal a day and never after 12pm. Sadly it's become a bit of a circus with tourists kneeling down on mats giving alms, taking selfies, Buddhists or not.  The spirituality that no doubt should be there is no more, at least not in this town which now thrives on tourism. All I could think was "trick or treat" as the costumed monks filed silently down the sidewalk holding out their orange alms buckets. 

Mason it seems was not moved either.  "I was thinking what if there were a little dog monk and he walked by in a monk suit and just got table scraps?"  July 7

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