Buddhism discovers Doraemon

Buddhism discovers Doraemon

Rakkiat Lertjitsakul applies a delicate touch to his mural on the wall of Wat Sampa Siw in Muang district of Suphan Buri. THITI WANNAMONTHA

Rakkiat Lertjitsakul applies a delicate touch to his mural on the wall of Wat Sampa Siw in Muang district of Suphan Buri. THITI WANNAMONTHA

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Like it or hate it, it’s something different

A mural at 700-year-old Wat Sampa Siw in Muang district of Suphan Buri has been attracting crowds recently. It is probably the only temple in Thailand where you can see the popular Doraemon cartoon character appearing in scenes of the Lord Buddha's past lives and the afterlife.

Some onlookers are amazed, others pleased and still others bewildered by incongruous sights such as Doraemon swimming in an oversized pan of boiling water in hell.

Some approve, saying the paintings have tackled serious subjects with hidden religious messages of virtue prevailing over evil.

The depiction of Doraemon also provides an entertaining break from tradition, according to some temple visitors.

But others, such as Suphan Buri resident Sarawut Pathumsut, do not find the mural amusing. He says Doraemon is totally foreign to traditional Buddhist belief.

The artist, Rakkiat Lertjitsakul, 34, says his sole intent was to entertain.

"It's to express my sense of humour. When I was in a fun mood, I painted Doraemon on the mural," he said.

He added that the Japanese cartoon character did not play a conspicuous part in the mural. "Unless you look hard, you can barely see it," he said.

Doraemon pops up in scenes where he meets angels in heaven, swims in the ocean, hides behind a Buddha image in a chapel, and struggles in a pan of boiling water in hell.

An avid fan of Doraemon since childhood, Mr Rakkiat said the round physical shape of the character appealed to him.

He said Doraemon's presence in the mural could represent human spirit and greed as well as good and evil. It was up to one's imagination, he said.

"The Doraemon [images] should draw children to the temple. At first, they might come to see the cartoon but once they are here, they will be immersed in something virtuous," he said.
Adapted from a story by Onnucha Hutasingh in today's Bangkok Post

You can read the original story here: http://bit.ly/dRj68U . For more photos, see here: http://bit.ly/i2Y3JE

delicate – needing to be dealt with carefully; easily damaged ยุ่งยาก, ละเอียดอ่อน, ลำบาก, ซับซ้อน
mural – a painting, usually a large one, done on a wall, sometimes on an outside wall of a building  จิตรกรรมฝาผนัง
attract – to cause someone to be interested in something ดึงดูดความสนใจ
appear – to be seen; to start to be seen ปรากฏตัว
scene – a view that you can see in a picture or from the place where you are  วิว,,ภาพ, ทิวทัศน์,ทัศนียภาพ
afterlife – a life that some people believe exists after death  ชีวิตหลังความตาย
onlookers – people who watch something that is happening in a public place but are not involved in it ผู้ชม ผู้ดูเหตุการณ์
amazed – very surprised น่าทึ่ง, น่าอัศจรรย์, น่าแปลกใจ,
pleased – happy and satisfied พอใจ
bewildered – confused and not certain what to do งุนงงอย่างที่สุด
incongruous – strange, and not suitable in a particular situation ซึ่งไม่สอดคล้องกัน, ซึ่งไม่ลงรอยกัน
boiling – heated to the point where a liquid forms bubbles and turns to steam or vapour เดือด
approve – to think that somebody/something is good, acceptable or suitable พอใจ
tackle – to make an organised and determined attempt to deal with a problem การรับมือ แก้ไข จัดการกับปัญหา
virtue – good, moral qualities or habits คุณงามความดี
prevail – to defeat an opponent, especially after a long struggle ชนะ
evil – a force that causes bad things to happen; morally bad behaviour สิ่งที่ชั่วร้าย
depiction – showing an image of somebody/something in a picture การบรรยายให้เห็นภาพ, การวาดภาพ
tradition – very old customs, beliefs, or stories ประเพณี, ขนบธรรมเนียม
resident – a person who lives in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
amusing – funny or entertaining ขบขัน
foreign – not typical of somebody/something; not known to somebody/something and therefore seeming strange ไม่เกี่ยวข้อง,ไม่เหมาะสม,แปลก,ไม่คุ้นเคย
sole – only เดี่ยวๆ
intent – your plan or purpose จุดประสงค์
sense of humour – the ability to know when something is funny, and to laugh at funny situations อารมณ์ขัน
mood – the way you feel at a particular time อารมณ์
conspicuous – easy to see or notice; likely to attract attention  ที่เห็นได้ชัดเจน
hard – putting a lot of effort or energy into an activity ที่ต้องใช้ความพยายามมาก
barely – in a way that is just possible but only with difficulty เกือบไม่ได้
pop up – to appear suddenly
chapel – a separate part of a temple โบสถ์เล็ก, ห้องสวดมนต์
struggle – to try hard to do something that you find very difficult พยายาม
avid - extremely eager or interested  กระตือรือร้น
appeal – to cause someone to like or want something ดึงดูดใจ ทำให้สนใจ
presence – when someone or something is in a place การอยู่ในสถานที่หนึ่ง (ของบุคคล)
represent – to be an example or expression of something แสดงให้เห็น, เป็นเครื่องหมายของ
spirit – courage, determination or energy  ความมุ่งมั่น, เจตนา
greed – a strong wish to have more money, things or power than you need ความโลภ
imagination – the ability to form pictures in the mind จินตนาการ
draw – to attract or interest somebody ดึงดูดความสนใจ
immersed – to become or make somebody completely involved in something หมกมุ่น
virtuous – behaving in a very good and moral way  ดีงาม, เที่ยงธรรม

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