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..