This is a very minor happening and is mostly a photo gallery with comments but I hope you find it interesting. These small but involving events define the passing of the year in the village and provide breaks to the everyday routine however pleasant that is.
After a long period of quiet on the party front due to the death of the king last year it was great to see the village back on the streets today in festival mode. Every year pre-Songkran, the huge Thai New Year holiday starting 13 April, many moo bans have these small events to take a long cloth with painted Buddha images from a point outside the village, usually with water – a river or pond, to their wat. Isaan people enjoy any excuse for a party so there’s always Isaan music, dancing and plenty of drinking to help the process. Great fun.
We started early with our own party at home with Yuan, Lud and a few friends before joining the larger crowd. As you can see from the beer bottles under the table we started early on the drinking part of the day.
I keep writing about the “normalness” of my Thai family in relation to this farang and money just to try let people know that the bad rap many Thai families get isn’t always like that. In this case Yuan bought the first round of beers, Apple, Gaun’s cousin bought the next and we provided meat and a third shout. Much the same as any group of friends and family would operation in a western situation.
I have written about the brightly dressed boy in the middle in a previous post. He decided at a very early age that he wanted to be a ladyboy and everyone accepts him as that. Something that would be most likely suppressed in our society or require extensive counselling. That’s his sister dancing on his right.
Gaun tells me that the lady on the left carrying the green umbrella in the video is her old school teacher – now retired. How she survived Gaun I have no idea. “Suban” (Gaun’s real first name – Thais are only known by their nicknames) was often heard in the classroom and the bamboo cane regularly applied. I suspect she would have been pleased when Gaun left school aged twelve and got a job in Udon Thani.
As always the formal Buddhist part of the event leads the way with the rowdy dancers (Gaun and friends included) at the back with the music truck. The party goers usually get slower and slower as they get closer to the temple because that’s where the music stops and it all gets formal again. The people at the front are constantly stopping, as they are here, in the hope that the rest will catch up 🙂 It is all done in good humour. “Sanuk” in Thai means to have fun and enjoy yourself and as you can tell from the faces there was plenty of that happening here.
The lady on Gaun’s right is called Jan and we bought our land from her in 2013, which you can read about HERE. On Gaun’s left is Ban who owns the land next to oursand shows no inclination that she’s going to sell it to me 🙁
As always these ceremonies tend to have practical aspect to them. As we come towards the theoretical end of the dry season the goal is for positive energy to encourage good rains for the rice crops, which will start to be planted in June. After a long period of drought we had a more normal wet season last year and this year looks as if it might be the same thank goodness.
Friends, food, drink and a party. Not a bad way to spend the day.
Thanks for reading.