Father Ray Children's Village

With the long summer holidays upon us, fourteen boys from the Father Ray Children’s Village have once again decided to spend their time at a local Buddhist temple and become ordained monks.

For several boys this is their second time at the temple, but for the youngest, just seven yeas of age, he is following a tradition that goes back many years and sees the majority of Thai boys and men becoming ordained at some in their lives.

For their first night at the temple they slept on the floor, soft beds are against the rules, and on the second day they took their first step to becoming monks.

Family members were invited to cut tufts of hair which were collected in a leaf to be buried underground. Several house mothers, together with Brother Denis, passed along the line and snipped a few hairs from each boys head. They then went off to visit the monks who shaved the hair and eyebrows until they were completely bald.

They then chanted prayers with the Abbot of the temple before receiving their white novice robes.

Twenty four hours later the boys were presented with the traditional saffron coloured robes which they will wear for the next four weeks. While the mothers helped the boys into the white novice robes when it came to the saffron robes the women were not allowed to help.

One of the many rules the boys must follow is that they must not touch any female, not even their mother. Other rules they must follow include not sleeping on a soft bed, no playing soccer, have no money and definitely no eating after noon; one rule that some of the younger boys may find to follow.

Their days will start very early when they will pray. Following breakfast they will learn to meditate and listen to the teachings of Lord Buddha. Lunch is always a big affair, with food donated by the local community and the boys will be allowed to eat as much as they want, because there will be nothing until breakfast the next day.IMG_5050_resize IMG_4732_resize IMG_4734_resize IMG_4737_resize IMG_4748_resize IMG_4752_resize IMG_4753_resize IMG_4760_resize IMG_4762_resize IMG_4764_resize IMG_4776_resize IMG_4779_resize IMG_4785_resize IMG_4790_resize IMG_4799_resize IMG_4812_resize IMG_4838_resize IMG_4844_resize IMG_4849_resize IMG_4865_resize IMG_4879_resize IMG_4887_resize IMG_4950_resize IMG_4953_resize IMG_4973_resize IMG_4974_resize IMG_4984_resize IMG_4987_resize IMG_5000_resize IMG_5015_resize IMG_5017_resize IMG_5024_resize IMG_5025_resize IMG_5028_resize IMG_5032_resize IMG_5033_resize IMG_5035_resize IMG_5036_resize