Time stands still

Far away in the hills of Chiang Rai, monks travel by horse to receive their morning food from villagers as they have done for hundreds of years.



Photo above of monks and novices in a hilly village in Chiang Rai riding horses to get around during their morning alm rounds

Click button to listen to Monks Riding Horses to download

SMALL PEOPLE

Horsing around

19/06/2012

Monks walking through the community to receive food from laymen early in the morning is a common sight in Thailand (and other Buddhist countries). But monks in a hilly village in Chiang Rai have to find practical means of transportation to receive their morning alms.

It's too far for the villagers to go to offer food at the temple every day.

Last year I was assigned by a foreign magazine to take photos of this sight, which was also part of the Unseen Thailand campaign.

Riding on horseback, the older monks keep calm as required by phra vinaya. But not all young novices realise that.

They enjoy the horse ride at the back of the row, and sometimes speed up. Some of them fall off and laugh among themselves.

Although phra vinaya is not strictly imposed on the young novices, allowing them to have a little fun sometimes, they are occasionally reproached by the seniors who tell them to behave themselves.

(Source: Bangkok Post, SMALL PEOPLE, Horsing around, 19/06/2012, link)

Buddhist Monk Vocabulary

monk -
a man who lives in a religious community away from other people (See Wikipedia)

Buddhist monk, same as "Bhikku"

Bhikku -
a Buddhist monk ภิกษุ (See Wikipedia)

novice - a person who is preparing to become a monk (but not yet ordained) เณร,  สามเณร also called "samanera" (See Wikipedia)

ordained - when a person has gone through the ordination ceremony and become a monk
ordination
-  the religious ceremony held when people become monks (See Wikipedia)

laymen
- normal people without special knowledge

alms - things given to poor people to help them live (such as food, clothes or money), in Buddhism things given to monks also included (See Wikipedia)

morning alms - when the monks living in a monastery in a community walk around in the morning and receive their food for the day from the Buddhist lay people living in the community (See Wikipedia)

phra vinaya - Same as "Vinaya
Vinaya -
the part of the Buddhist holy texts that contain the 250 rules that monks must follow (See Wikipedia)

horsing around - playing around, joking and having fun with friends 

community - local people, all the people who live in a local area or place ชุมชน
community - all the people who live in a place and know each other (haev something in common and are friends)

common - happening often
a common sight - something that you see often, all the time

means - methods and ways of doing something วิธี, วิธีการ
transportation - the activity of moving people and things from one place to another place
a means of transportation -
ways of moving people and things between places

practical - useful for real people in real situationssolving real problems (example: repairing a car); not just ideas or theory ที่ขึ้นอยู่กับความเป็นจริง
a practical means of transportation


Monks walking through the community to receive food from laymen early in the morning is a common sight in Thailand (and other Buddhist countries). But monks in a hilly village in Chiang Rai have to find practical means of transportation to receive their morning alms. It's too far for the villagers to go to offer food at the temple every day.

assign - give a person a job to do
assigned by a magazine to take photos

campaign - a planned group of especially political, business or military activities which are intended to achieve a particular aim การรณรงค์
Unseen Thailand campaign.

Last year I was assigned by a foreign magazine to take photos of this sight, which was also part of the Unseen Thailand campaign.

calm - peaceful and quiet; without anxiety ใจเย็น,ไม่ตื่นเต้น, สงบ
keep calm - stay calm, remain calm (not get excited)

realise - to know about ตระหนัก รู้

horseback -
on a horse
riding on horseback -
riding on a horse

Riding on horseback, the older monks keep calm as required by phra vinaya. But not all young novices realise that. They enjoy the horse ride at the back of the row, and sometimes speed up. Some of them fall off and laugh among themselves.

imposed - force someone to do something or follow some rule

strictly
- completely; exactly or correctly; in a limiting way; อย่างเข้มงวด
strictly imposed
phra vinaya
 strictly imposed

reproach -
to find fault with a person; to tell them what they did wrong (to criticize and say you are disappointed)

occasionally - sometimes, but not frequently or regularly บางครั้งบางคราว
occasionally reproached

seniors - people who are older than you or who a higher position in an organization

Although phra vinaya is not strictly imposed on the young novices, allowing them to have a little fun sometimes, they are occasionally reproached by the seniors who tell them to behave themselves.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer