By Dominique, Ashley, Jeremy, and Nitzny
The first week of Southeast Asia is so amazing. Something that I completely adore about the city is the architecture. The vibrant colors just show so much of the countries culture and how they live. Every building that I look at is different and are significant in their own way. The temples are on every corner and being able to see a new temple every 5 seconds is so amazing. Being able to go into the temple just to see the intricate details and being able to pray is so amazing. I hope that one day everyone gets to experience this.
This week has passed by fast. It feels like we have been here a lot longer. So far the standers for males and females have stood out the most. One of the first things I noticed when we went to the temples, was how females were perceived in the paintings. They seem to have less power than the male figures. It was also interesting to find out that females say certain phrases differently than a male would.
One of the main ideas of Buddhism is establishing a sense of gratitude for what you have been given. Much of the books I have been reading (The Book of Joy, Shambala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior), and previous studies have explained this principle over and over again. I was utterly shocked and full of joy to see how much the people of Thailand were grateful for even the simplest of things from taking away a plate to being paid for a Song-Tao ride. I was shown many smiles for showing my thanks with the traditional “Thank you” of bowing slightly with my hands in a traditional prayer gesture. It actually made my day to see the natives of Thailand give genuine beaming smiles in my attempts to show traditional thanks. I wish that level of appreciation and just a general policy to live full of smiles was present in the United States.
It has been such a mind blowing experience so far! There has been many emotions but over all seeing and being in this new culture has been amazing. I’m excited for what’s to come.
Here are some photos of our group at Mae Rim! You’ll find us in our cooking class, making water offerings, and dance practice.