Isan Game of Thrones
Temples and dragons, that was my day so find your beast Daenerys Targaryen and join us for some Isan insights.
This morning we were invited to a ceremony to deliver a naga, actually more of a mythical serpent than a dragon, that had been made by Nit Noy, the massage lady and neighbouring farmer I mentioned recently, to her family’s wat in a moo ban opposite ours.
These events are designed for people to make merit in the Buddhist tradition by donating something like this plus money. Feeding the monks if often part of the ceremony. As always a pleasure to be involved and share the outcome with you.
Nit Noy had spent three days making this naga mostly from natural materials.
Offerings of food, drink cigarettes are made in respect.
This was a small naga that Nit Noy had made previously for her brother’s monk ordination ceremony, which will be covered by me under a post on Live Isan Street Music – Option 3 – more to come on the blog
Setting up the table in front of Buddha statues in that uniquely Thai mix of beliefs.
Pinning money to the naga watched by the abbot.
Every moment has to be captured in Thailand. You not only make merit, you have to show others that you have!
A sign of the times. What hope for carrying on cultural events like this one? Pretty low I think.
This is one of my favourite photos of the day and there is a story that sits behind it, which is the main reason I share.
70 plus years ago a group of villagers from Ubon Ratchathani, a province a few hundred km south of us, decided to pack up their lives on wooden wagons pulled by buffalo and make a trek north looking for new raw farming land. Their search finished in Si Bun Ruang our home town, although I doubt there was much here then.
This yai (grandmother) is one of that original group of villagers as was a young Gaun’s mama. Because of this history there is a strong link between those original families locally and also to their roots in Ubon. Guan’s mama met her husband here, they selected their land, which is the land being split between the family now as I have covered in previous posts. Pure forest at the time cleared by hand using two people saws, machetes, axes and buffalo.
When I look at a yai like this lady or mama herself knowing the history, it makes me really appreciate the strength and determination of this generation to carve out a life for their families under very difficult and demanding circumstances. Tough, focused achievers who deserve our respect.
As always the heros are the cooks. Here the trays are being prepared to present a vast amount of food to the monks for lunch.
Seven monks in all. A few more than normal because we are heading into Buddhist Lent and guys join up for the three month period. BTW – no parties over this time so if you were hoping to replicate the good time I have been having the last few months forget it! Come back November!
A mass of food presented to the monks to choose from. They eat before noon and it’s their last meal of the day.
The final blessing.
Inside the public Buddha hall.
Nit Noy’s family and friends group involved in a sub-ceremony led by a non-monk to present the naga.
An Isan version of Daenerys Targaryen. This is Nit Noy, master dragon creator.
And this is one of the other things she does well. One of the best Thai massage therapists I have had. This is a friend of mine have a Nit Noy massage at the farm.
Once the monks are finished eating the remaining food is distributed to the attendees. Not much left after that
A last look at the naga with all the money pinned to his tongue.
Terrific work Nit Noy.
You can see the naga influence here too.
This is the temple outside of which this ceremony was happening. I have showed regular readers before.
Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment because it gives me something to read in exchange.