Photo 101: A timeless Asian street


This morning shot could have been taken anywhere in South East Asia. This year, 10 or even 20 years ago.

Asia has this fascinating duality: very modern but also very traditional. It takes whatever it likes from the “farang” world, but stays true to its genuine self.

At dawn, the monks leave their monastery to shops, houses  and markets where people offer them food in exchange of their blessing.

The giving of alms is not thought of as charity. The giving and receiving of alms creates a spiritual connection between the monastic and lay communities. Laypeople have a responsibility to support the monks physically, and the monks have a responsibility to support the community spiritually.

Monks always go barefoot, sometimes for very long distances, holding the silver bowl that will carry their presents. They seem wrapped in silence. No one can touch them nor their bowl, nor talk to them. Once the bowl is full, the monk will return to his temple and share it all with the other monks..


20 thoughts on “Photo 101: A timeless Asian street

    1. Thanks so much Amy! I love our years in South East Asia. Even if you are not a Buddhist, there is something so special and sacred about the monks. The silence wrapping them, in spite of all the noise of the hyper busy streets. THanks again for your warm encouragements 🙂

    1. Thanks :)so common in this part of the world that you end up not paying attention anymore. too bad, because it’s so unique and inspiring. Have a sweet day!

  1. Quintessential Asian Street! I, being from India, can totally relate to it. Oh and by the way, I googled Anchor beer and got Cambodia! So that must be it, huh? 🙂

    1. You WON 🙂 totally Cambodia! the other tip was a few Khmer letters on the top left (no idea what they mean). Well done 🙂 You perfectly said it, it is “quintessential” (love this word!). For India, we could have a pict of holy cow, for Jaipur elephants and even camels, right?
      Thanks a lot for stopping by, have a lovely day!

      1. Yay! So this tells that there’s nothing Google cannot solve 😀 As for India, Elephants are not part of the “daily scene”. You can only see them in temple towns. But otherwise, cows and buffaloes, totally yes! 🙂

      2. You re right 🙂 although when I lived in Delhi and visited Jaipur, we “met” so many elephants getting ready for wedding ceremonies. Tamed ones, in comparison to the ones I met in Sikkim 😛 Only in India you can pass by those impressive animals and think “business as usual”, no? 😉

      3. I guess where usually people would go “HEY LOOK AN ELEPHANT!!”, Indians are more like “Duh, just an other elephant” 😛 😀 I have never been to Sikkim myself, you do seem to have seen a lot of India!

      4. Hehehe, you are right 🙂 Yep, I was fortunate enough to live and work in your incredible country for 2 years!

  2. Dearest Estelea! First of all, your photo is so meaningful and captured a very special moment…and second of all, I must admit that I didn’t know anything about the monks and their relationship with the people who give them donations…what an important part of the community! Thanks for sharing this with us!

    1. thanks so much dear 🙂 monks have such a special place in South East Asia, nothing compared to the image of the monks we have back in Europe. When we lived in Bangkok, the kids use to prepare special boxes for them, with dried food, candles, even sometimes paracetamol. On special occasions, the monks would visit their schools to collect the presents and give their blessings. It was so impressive to see all those hyper toddlers suddenly so quiet, bending respectfully in front of the monks. Even my daughter!!! Very special moment, so calm that even if I knew I was entitled to take pict, I never dared.

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