Well, believe it or not, the Day of Merit (see yesterday’s post) has seemed to make people happier, despite the fact that one girl’s father has his ‘One Hundred Days’ today, although that is not necessarily a sad event either.
To start with, I’d like to point out that ours is not an unhappy village anyway. There is plenty of water and fertile soil, so plenty of farming work and relative prosperity. The only complaint at the moment is the high temperature. This is Thailand’s summer, but it is 45c this year instead of the more normal 35c, but the rice, the principal crop by far, doesn’t mind as long as it is irrigated.
Back to the hundred days. It is the final send-off for a soul, one hundred days after the body died. I can hear the monks chanting in the house up the road. When they leave, at about seven or eight p.m. there will be a ‘subdued party’. My wife hates me calling it a party, because that has a special meaning in Thai (as in birthday party), but it is more like a party than a wake, which they hold before the body is cremated.
Later, there will be food, lots of drinks, groups talking about the good old days and a card school. It is the one time when the police would dare not swoop for the illegal practice of gambling.
The ‘party’ often continues until 5 am, when close female friends of the bereaved might start cooking for the following day’s party, before crashing out at home until it starts again at about ten later that morning.
Now, if that isn’t a party, I really don’t know what is by Western standards. I guess we just don’t have enough words in English for ‘party’ to cover the occasion.
For those who are following the progress of ‘Asian Shorts’, it is now 29% full, so if you want to submit a story, please do so, but get your skates on.
All the best,
Podcast: Hundred Days