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Monks near Taungoo


We stopped on the way upcountry in Taungoo, a small town along the main Yangon - Mandalay road. Our guesthouse was decorated in beautiful dark teak. From the upstairs balcony we could look out over the surrounding rice fields and watch the sun trace a wide arc across the sky. In a nearby village there was a festival for the initiation of new monks. In Myanmar, like in other Buddhist countries, children are expected to spend time at the monastery as part of their education. On arrival we were surrounded by curious villagers who escorted us to the monastery. One woman, the village schoolteacher, spoke a little bit of English. The boys had just had their heads shaved and were dressed in the new red robes. We took some pictures of the monks and some of the villager children, who lined up dutifully. Anne went back the next day to see more of the festival that included music making and wild dancing. The children were dressed up as little princes.

Monk initiation festival Monk initiation festival