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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
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    Monks Need More Food

    Thailand’s Downturn Means Even the Monks Are Going Hungry
    By Randy Thanthong-Knight and Lee J Miller
    April 23, 2020, 4:00 AM GMT+7


    • Monks see alms shrink as worshippers stay home in lockdown
    • Temples struggle to collect food, funds in state of emergency


    Buddhist monks at the Talat Thai wholesale market in Pathum Thani, Thailand, on April 14. Photographer: Luke Duggleby/Bloomberg

    Thailand’s cherished Buddhist tradition of giving alms to monks is becoming yet another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many of them without enough food.

    Traditionally, Thais bring food to monks in exchange for blessings when the orange-robed clergy undertake early-morning rounds, but there are far fewer people on the streets because of a partial national lockdown. The nation’s monks don’t take a vow of poverty, but they do rely on donations for food, robes and other essentials.

    “Our monks used to be able to get food from all 10 houses they walked past, and now that’s down to three out of 10,” said Sipboworn Kaewngam, an inspector at the National Office of Buddhism. About a fifth of temples, especially in rural areas, face difficulties getting donations, Sipboworn said.

    Thailand’s economic outlook is the bleakest in Southeast Asia because of the outbreak, and millions of jobs are at risk. Some people are now relying on government cash handouts to help feed their families, making it much harder for them to donate to the nation’s 40,000 temples and 300,000 monks.
    More than 90% of Thais identify as Buddhist, but temples are quiet and religious ceremonies have been canceled during a state of emergency that lasts at least through April to fight the spread of Covid-19.

    In Chiang Mai in the north, for instance, coffee shop and bakery owner Homthongthip Chaipanjaketngam recently closed her shop as business dried up. She then began cooking food for temples to try to alleviate the difficulties monks are facing.

    Worshippers place offerings in front of monks sitting behind a plastic screen at a temple in Bangkok on April 15.
    Photographer: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP via Getty Images

    “After talking with the monks, I realized how severe the need is for basics like rice, canned goods and some vegetables, so that’s what I’m trying to collect,” she said.
    The abbot at one of the temples she recently visited “was very happy to receive food from us” and “said that monks need nourishment every day just like normal people,” according to Homthongthip.

    Sipboworn from the national Buddhism office said a similar scenario is playing out elsewhere. Poor regions in the north and northeast are worst affected, and local authorities are trying to identify and help the temples grappling with food shortages, he said.

    Bloomberg/asia
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    What a load of fcuking bollix.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    What a load of fcuking bollix.
    ...this thread accommodates contrary opinions...

  4. #4
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    The monkeys here are getting a bit restive too. Lack of tourists means they are not getting their usual banana ration.

  5. #5
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    ^not just the monkeys, elephants too...


  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warwick View Post
    The monkeys here are getting a bit restive too. Lack of tourists means they are not getting their usual banana ration.
    ...so, monks, monkeys and rampaging elephants are suffering...

  7. #7
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    . . . there must be an amulet for that . . . where could one find an intrepid monk to get the ball rolling . . .

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    . . . there must be an amulet for that . . . where could one find an entrepreneurial monk to get the ball rolling . . .
    ...ftfy...

  9. #9
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    Every morning I stop at a 7/11 just down the road from my house.

    Every morning I see a Monk hop out of his brand new TRD Fortuner and walk to the back of the vehicle to put on his robe and grab his begging bowl.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fondles View Post
    Every morning I stop at a 7/11 just down the road from my house.

    Every morning I see a Monk hop out of his brand new TRD Fortuner and walk to the back of the vehicle to put on his robe and grab his begging bowl.
    ...I hope his other ride is a Mercedes...

  11. #11
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Humble and spiritual fasting might make a fashionable comeback, even among these spoiled generations...

  12. #12
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Meanwhile, have another twinkie.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fondles View Post
    Every morning I see a Monk hop out of his brand new TRD Fortuner and walk to the back of the vehicle to put on his robe and grab his begging bowl.
    These 2 look like brothers.


  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    These 2 look like brothers.

    ...doubt it: looks like one has his dick out...

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    ^ No ... that's his light sabre

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD View Post
    ^ No ... that's his light sabre
    ...ah, the local euphemism then...

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    looks like one has his dick out...
    The driver looks to have a money wrap in his right hand.

  18. #18
    Your local I.Q. Monitor
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    As it is well known in Thai circles that Monks can tell the future, why don't they just have the monks who will not contract the virus collect the food?
    Problem solved.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
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    ...first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye...

  20. #20
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    ^ Jeff-ism? Nice!

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    ^ Jeff-ism? Nice!
    ...our Jeff, who art in Portland, hollowed be thy thought...etc...

  22. #22
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    ^ Jeff-ism? Nice!
    Not even close, as I don't do biblical or heavy Eurocentric references.
    Consider the source.


  23. #23
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    Not even close, as I don't do biblical or heavy Eurocentric references.
    I lost my way, sorry . . . "Culture heals exponential energy"


  24. #24
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    Monks can tell the future, why don't they just have the monks who will not contract the virus collect the food?
    Problem solved.
    Apparently they were going to have a meeting about it but had to cancel it due to unforeseen circumstances.

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