The Shan People Essay

1163 Words Dec 12th, 2016 5 Pages
For the Shan people the paui sang long ordination is an important Theravada Buddhist ritual that symbolizes the Gautama Buddha’s path to enlightenment. The Shan ordination takes place every two or three years when they have an appropriate number of boys at a certain age. It cannot be held every year due to the cost and only the wealthy people in the village can afford to sponsor the entire event which is done by a couple like husband and wife. A three day ritual that involves villagers partying, sponsors offering food and luxury donations towards the novice monks. In Theravada Buddhism, the paui sang long ritual has its own set of rules that collide with the Buddhist philosophy; two major conflicts between them are the massive festival that celebrates the ordination of young boys and the donation of luxury gifts and money to the monks and novices. But despite the differences the one similarity is wanting to do good and gain merit by helping the ordination without any false intention behind the action. A beautiful, colourful, full of happiness and energy the Shan people of the northwestern Thailand celebrate the ordination of young boys who are to become novice monks. A lavish and festive ceremony of paui sang long contradicts with the Theravada Buddhist philosophy of modesty and the belief of non-attachment. Despite that notion Harvey says “Buddhists enjoy and appreciate festivals as time for reaffirming devotion and commitment, generating karmic fruitfulness for the…

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