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17 March 2010

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Mike

Lawrence, I was going to say very interesting, which it is, but I realise I usually start my comments off that way!

So heres an observation- Most of the folk you feature in your photographs at religious functions seem "elderly" I wonder do younger members of your community participate?

Reminds me of my local church in the UK-congregation

Lawrence

It's a fair cop! (I'm sure you were, too.) The photos for this last post were taken 2 years ago when the festival was on a weekday, so younger people at work, children at school.

Generally speaking, your assumption is correct, though. But having said that, younger people certainly take part in all family-related reigious occasions at the wat and at home, and some of the traditional festivals too. But elderly people are the regulars. I think it is seen as their main role in life (not much else to do) as well as helping to ensure a 'good re-birth'.

In rural areas such as this, I think young people will get around to it in later life. The annual cycle of festivals and so on is very much geared to farming lifestyle.

A bigger problem is getting young men (and particularly more academic men) to commit to becoming long-term monks. There are plenty of wats around here, but in some there are only two monks. Again, that may remind you of English parishes where they have to share ministers/vicars/priests. And they only need one at a time.

Thanks for the 'interesting'(!) question, Mike. It made me think.

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