musings on music, travel, books, and life from Southeast Asia

Monk Mania!

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Back at the monastery in Shan State’s Tat Ein village, the novice monks have gone amuck! No, it’s not another tomato salad party, this time they are just hanging with some geeky foreigner who showed up wearing a longyi and started taking photos. Despite the carefree nature of these photos, it’s not all fun and games at the monastery. These youngsters actually do have to study each day, as well as do chores around the monastery grounds. Cleaning, weeding, raking, washing; there is always something that needs done. But when they have their midday lunch break, or later in the afternoon after studies are finished, that’s when silly time commences.

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Seeing the enthusiasm of these kids when they pose for the camera is infectious. They may be novice monks with shaved heads and wearing traditional red robes, but when the camera comes out, they’re just gleeful young boys from the Shan State hills, putting stickers on their shoes (or arms and foreheads!), playing marbles, singing songs, or even, uh, punching one another.

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Whether I was taking the photos, or letting Htun Lay borrow the camera, the results were always fun to see. Enjoy these shots from the Tat Ein monastery, not far from the shores of picturesque Inle Lake.

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