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The recovery of a old wooden boat from the Mae Klong River has attracted many residents in Muang district to worship it every day, some in the hope of winning money on the lottery.
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Photos by Piyarach Chongcharoen
Old boat attracts worshippers – and lottery addicts
The recent recovery of a wooden boat believed to be almost 100 years old from the Mae Klong River has attracted many residents in Muang district to worship it every day, some in the hope of winning money on the lottery.
The boat was discovered near a pier of Wat Chai Chumphon Chana Songkhram, also called Wat Tai, which is located on the east side of the Mae Klong River.
The boat, made of takhien wood, is being kept next to the living quarters of Jao Khun Wisutthirungsri, a former abbot who died 66 years ago.
Residents who learned about the discovery visited the temple to catch a glimpse of the ancient boat. Colourful clothes were tied to the boat and garlands were placed as gestures of respect to the boat. Some people believe powerful spirits reside in things made of takhien wood and the older it is, the more they are seen as sacred.
Some visitors said they came to pray to the guardian spirit of the boat and asked for the blessing of happiness and well being for themselves and their families. However, many admitted that they came to wish for lottery success.
There are many theories about the boat's origin. A team of experts has concluded that it was likely built sometime after the reign of King Rama III and is no more than 100 years old.
It might have been built during World War II between 1941 and 1942 and it may have been used to deliver materials for the construction of the famous bridge over the River Kwai.
Another theory is that the boat was used to transport loads from the Mae Klong River to the main Chao Phraya River.
A group of elderly villagers believed the boat was used by the late former abbot to collect morning alms on the Mae Klong River. It was also used to take King Rama IV along the waterway when he visited the riverside town, they added.
Adapted from a story on bangkokpost.com by Piyarach Chongcharoen
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abbot: the head monk at a temple - เจ้าอาวาส
addict: a person who is very interested in something and spends a lot of their free time on it - ผู้ที่หมกมุ่นกับสิ่งใดสิ่งหนึ่ง
admit: to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it - ยอมรับ
alms: food, money, and other items that are given to Buddhist monks; money, clothes and food that are given to poor people - ของทำบุญ ของบริจาค
ancient: very old - ที่เก่าแก่ ที่โบราณ
attract: to cause someone to be interested in something - ดึงดูดความสนใจ
blessing: God's help and protection, or a prayer asking for this - การสวดให้พร, การให้พร
conclude: to decide that something is true after looking at all the evidence you have - สรุป
construction: the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. - การก่อสร้าง
discover: to find somebody/something, or learning about something that was not known about before - ค้นพบ
elderly: (of people) old - สูงวัย, อาวุโส, อายุมาก
expert: someone who has a particular skill or who knows a lot about a particular subject - ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ
garland: a circle made of flowers worn around the neck or head as a decoration - พวงมาลัย
gesture: something that you do or say to show a particular feeling or intention - ท่าที
glimpse: to take a quick look - กวาดตามองอย่างรวดเร็ว ดูอย่างคร่าวๆ
guardian spirit: a creature with magical powers that protects a particular place - เจ้าที่, อารักษ์, เจ้าป่า
late: dead - ที่ล่วงลับไปแล้ว
load: the goods that a vehicle or boat carries - ของบรรทุก
located: where something is - ตั้งอยู่
material: a substance that things can be made from - วัตถุ
origin: the place where someone/something comes from - ที่มา, ต้นกำเนิด
pier: a platform sticking out into water which people walk along or use when getting onto or off boats - ท่าเรือชนิดยื่นออกไปในน้ำ, สะพานที่ยื่นออกไปในน้ำ
pray: to speak to God or a saint, for example to give thanks or ask for help - ภาวนา, สวดมนต์
quarters: rooms that are provided for people (monks, soldiers, workers, servants, etc.) to live in - ที่พักอาศัย
recovery: the act of getting something again that was lost, stolen, or owed - การนำกลับคืน, การกู้
reign: a period of time during when a king or queen rules a country - ช่วงเวลาครองราชย์
reside: to live in a particular place - อยู่อาศัย
residents: people who live in a particular area - ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
respect: a feeling of admiration that you have for someone because of their personal qualities, their achievements, or their status, and that you show by treating them in a polite and kind way - ความเคารพ, ความนับถือ
sacred: considered to be holy - ศักดิ์สิทธิ์
spirit: the soul thought of as separate from the body and believed to live on after death; a ghost - วิญญาณ
theory: one or more ideas that explain how or why something happens - สมมติฐาน
transport: to move people or things from one place to another - ขนส่ง
worshipper: someone who is showing love and respect for God, especially during a religious ceremony or prayer - ผู้นับถือ,ผู้สักการะบูชา, ผู้สวดมนตร์