Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Men Become Monks

The mother of a man becoming a Buddhist monk says goodbye to her son at his ordination ceremony in Chiang Mai.

We went on a drive around rural Chiang Mai today and ended up at one of the countless temples that dot the province. We walked in on an ordination ceremony for two men who were becoming Buddhist monks.

This is a very important moment in a Thai man's life. Almost every Thai male joins the "Sangha," or Buddhist clergy, at least once in his life. Sometimes for a just a week or two (the men I photographed planned to be monks for nine days), but for others it's a years long commitment. With typical Thai graciousness the families invited us to participate in this most holy of ceremonies and photograph freely.

There are more photos in my archive and available from ZUMA Press.