Friday, August 30, 2013

What's Inside the Monasteries?

Q: Hello school friends. We are excited to learn and share with you this year from Anchorage, Alaska. We have looked at a few pictures of Thailand and already have questions! Our first question is, what is inside your monasteries? They look so beautiful on the outside!

AHello students! I was so excited to answer your question this week! My Thai student helpers, Sa and Nam Peung, were also really happy and excited to help. They were a little bit nervous when I told them that students in America would be watching their video!

I took this picture of the wat from my
front yard. Every morning I wake up to
the sound of a gong ringing from the wat.

To start, I would like to share that the wat is not only a temple where people practice Buddhism, but it is also a community center. If people need to borrow dishes for a wedding, a funeral  or a monk ordination, they borrow them from the wat. If people find a stray dog or have a dog that they can’t take care of anymore, they bring the dog to the wat. If there is a festival or celebration, it usually takes place at the wat. If someone is traveling and doesn’t have a place to stay, he or she may stay at the wat. Usually the local school is in the wat too!

The wat is not just one temple, it is an entire complex.  In the video below, you will see that the wat has dormitories, a bot (the most decorated building), a crematorium, a fish pond, fruit trees, flowers, vegetable gardens, and many other things! The video doesn’t explain everything, but it’s a start! Also keep in mind that I am still learning Thai and that even though I tried to translate everything accurately, there are still many things that I say wrong or interpret wrong. Hopefully with a lot of practice I will be able to speak Thai really well after two years in Thailand!


  1. Wow, Thailand friends, we have learned so much from you already. How you collect water is very interesting. We are considering trying to collect rain water here just to see if we are able to.

    We noticed all of the cat dishes where the cooking supplies are kept and we wondered if people bring stray cats to the wat just as they bring stray dogs.

    1. That would be really fun to try to collect rain water at your school! The monks take care of all of the animals at the wat. I asked Bow and Nam Peung about the cats, and they told me that people bring both cats and dogs to the wat if they can't take care of them. there are also a lot of dogs that live at the school. They don't really belong to anybody, but they are usually given the leftovers from lunch. Most all pets live outside and wonder around freely. It's REALLY uncommon to have an animal inside the house.