Sunday, December 23, 2018

Incredible Thai generosity

In the spirit of Christmas, I started wondering at the incredible generosity of Thai people. Not only do they daily provide pendabat food to monks, and a plethora of items to non-Buddhist spirit proprietors of where they live and where they work (candles, incense, flowers, cigarettes, liquids including alcohol and sometimes even cash money), but they also give flowers to their cars. They choose from one or two of the half-dozen new year’s days to give out cash presents to loved ones, share lots of food at harvest festivals, and give offerings to the waters during about 10 days of expensive Songkran revelry. Birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated with gifts, and as if that were not enough, they’ve adopted from the commercial west the gift-giving celebrations of Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Beyond all that they contribute to the upkeep of temples, hospitals, orphanages and even stray dogs. At weddings and funerals they give and give, adding cash to cash trees and food to tables laden with it, and somehow, sometimes even contribute to government (although maybe not as happily).