Last night, we went to a party at the village Buddhist Temple, which is called a Wat in Thai. My wife and many others had been helping the holder of the party prepare for it for three days. The occasion was the elevation of a friend’s son to vice abbot, or perhaps deputy would be a better term under the circumstances, if such a post exists.
However, since the Abbott is very ill, he is running the Wat effectively. It was a big do. My wife estimated that 600+ people turned up, and everyone was given food and drink. No wonder it took them three days to do the catering!
The Wat sits on several acres, since besides the temple there is accommodation for the resident monks, various outhouses, a crematorium and a ‘wild area’ where people can go to think. The whole place, except the wild area, thronged with well-wishers.
The was also a stage with musicians and dancing girls. It was a very pleasant evening, and I’m sure that a good time was had by all. It certainly looked that way. As I have said elsewhere, this is the Thai holiday season, because the evenings are cooler and there are far fewer mosquitoes.
We left early because Neem was worn out after all the preparations, but from my office, at the other end of the village, I could hear the music continue until midnight.
The following day, a band of volunteers, Neem included, went back to the Wat early in the morning and cleaned the Wat and its grounds thoroughly. By lunchtime, no-one would have guessed that such a party had been enjoyed by so many people just half a day before.
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Podcast: Wat Party