HankP36201_Travel Writing

November 23, 2014  |  By  | 

We were all gathered around in a circle, our feet facing outwards and our hand placed on a silver platter of food and owers and white string. As we waited the elders suddenly burst into a chorus of incomprehensible chants supposedly blessing the audience. We sat with our hands up for the elders to tie the white string around our wrists. Food was given around and we were commanded to eat. A strong smell of chemicals permeated the air as the elders brought out their special rice whiskey. The whiskey was thrown onto us and given to the adults. The ceremony was concluded with a ravenous rave that showed the liveliness of the village people, completely setting me off guard having only seen the elders show the slightest of smiles. Walks through the street at Dawn It was early morning and a scarce number of people were seen walking on the streets. Unlike back home, rarely a car was seen passing by. The peace and quiet was refreshing to the mind after the days of gruelling manual labor. We passed by several streets and nally came to our resting place. Our group was to take part in the ancient ceremony of Giving of the Alms. We all lined up on the main road and gave large pinches of rice to the passing monks as an offering for our ancestors to gain spiritual merit. As the sun rose above us in a sticky haze of sweat more and more monks passed, shown by the quickly draining basket of sticky rice we each carried. I couldn't feel my legs by the time the second group of monks passed by. Life is pleasant Walking down the main road, tourists bustling around, cultural diversity pierced my eyes. Among the usual golden Laos temples, French inuences could be seen. French styled buildings plastered every so often, and the French language placed on every ofcial building and poster. Bakeries with freshly baked French goods could be seen. The air was scented with the lovely breads of the French people. Throughout the trip, all around, the cultural diversity of Laos ourished. November 2014 A fancy car resting on the street, near the temples. Photo Credits to Mr Dickinson A monk after the Giving of the Alms. Photo Credits to Michelle Barrett

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