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Monks Thailand -
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Monks Thailand

Dressed in orange colored cloth, approx 400,000 Buddhist monks from 30,000 monasteries are traveling quietly throughout the country.  With bold heads and walking with bare feet or simple sandals, monks can be seen collection food offerings and small gifts in the early morning hours.  After taking in the second meal of the day just before lunchtime, peacefulness and meditation is reserved for the remainder of the day.  Happy is the Thai, when a monk is eating his offered food from his very own chinaware.  Monks will graciously accept all offerings, while you will not hear a thank you.  Places or monasteries where monks live are called Wat in Thailand. The majority of monks serves only for a limited period, from one week to months to  several years. Each believing Thai will serve at least once in his life as a monk, to get closer to the ideals of Buddhism. The monks live without any possession, just carry some very personal belongings needed to master the daily life are tolerated. They are allowed to eat meat and smoke, while the handling of money is not permitted. In Buddhist script, you can only find male monks mentioned, but there was never any antipathy against female monks. 10,000 nuns carry similar but white clothes under the same rules and regulations as their male counterparts. In the meantime you can even find monasteries where foreign visitors can pray and meditate.


Some guideline of how what to do with and how to react in the presence of monks:
Monks always  have the right to move ahead of you (queue in front of a bus counter, etc) 

You do not walk next to them, fall behind

The clothing of the monks should not be touched

Females should keep their distance

Offerings are only handed over by man, offerings by women are placed on the floor in front of the monk

Pay attention that offerings to the monks should go conform with the religious believe, alcohol and cigarettes should not be donated.

Monetary donation should be placed in an envelop or donation box