Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Children in Thailand

All the Thai children I've come in contact with have seemed very happy, and their parents seem to be very attentive. There are no child "leashes" like in the U.S., but it seems like the children either know their way around or stay close to their mothers.

This very shy young lady was wearing a Minnesota Twins outfit!

He wanted nothing to do with Megan.

This little girl was sweeping the stairs of her hut while playing.

Playing with Balloons in the Hill Tribe Village!
A Hill Tribe Mother Carrying Her Baby

I can't believe she let us all hold her baby! Here's Mia with the cutie.

National Children's Day
In Thailand, National Children's Day is celebrated on the second Saturday in January. They call the celebration "Wan Dek" and go through great efforts to make sure that the children have fun. Also on this day, the King gives a speech involving moral teachings for the children because they are the future of the country. There's a famous Thai saying: "Children are the future of the nation; if the children are intelligent, the country will be prosperous."

In this picture taken at a hill tribe village on National Children's Day, these children are carrying wood up the hill to prepare for their campout and bonfire that they would have that night. Our guide from the village explained that this was the favorite day for these children.

Outside of our hotel, a Seuss-themed playground was set up for children to play on. A committee spent all week making giant fruits and clouds in order to make everything colorful and as fun as possible. (Even I was excited to play on the rainbow slide!)

Children Becoming Monks
For a child to become a monk is a great blessing for his parents. At ages as early as 12 or 13, boys can choose to become novices. Often, this is the only way for the children from poor families to be able to have an education.
We made a trip to Wat Sri Soda, a school for boy monks ages 13 to 18. We tried to help them with their English, although they were very shy. Also, monks are not allowed to have any physical contact with women so that made some communication awkward.
For girls, there is a similar school separate from the boys. Both boys and girls must shave their heads, and girls wear white robes instead of colored ones.

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