Tag Archives: Death

It is my right to ride

A long while ago,  the Thai authorities issued a law that was supposed to prevent Thai people from riding motorbikes without wearing their helmets. Before the law was officially enforced though, many fanatical bikers launched a campaign against it.  They said that, as ordinary human beings, they should have the right to put nothing on their heards whenever they wanted to be on their bikes.  Any reasonable mortal must find their logic pretty foolish as a thing like driving or riding with safety should not have been opposed in the first place.

In spite of the fact that it is presently illegal not to wear a helmet when riding in Thailand, you will often come across people, particular teenagers, dashing around on the road with empty heads. With an attitude and mentality like this, no wonder every time there is a road accident, many will sustain serious injuries and some will lose their lives at quite an early age. 

It is certainly their right to ride whatever they like, even with no helmet on their heads; but sometimes the consequence of their actions has quite a lasting effect on other people, especially those who love them. It is every parent’s dread to be told of the death of their children, but in the case of Thai parents, they may suffer their worst nightmare prematurely because some of these folks just happened to have such imprudent children who had no understanding of the need for protection.

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One day of being a monk

When somebody dies in my country, it is traditional for male relatives of the deceased to shave their heads and transform into a monk to show a mark of respect and gratitude to the person who has passed away. It is a Buddhist tradition but it is not obligatory either. I did it nevertheless.

Before the day of my nan’s cremation, my brother (the man), I and the other male relatives had to go to the barber’s in order to get rid of our hair and prepare our minds for the funeral the next day. All of us felt a little bit weird as we had never faced this sort of situation before – losing the one you love and also losing the love of your hair.

We did something a bit in the morning of the funeral day but I can only vaguely remember. The first thing we had to do was to go to meet the senior monks and say prayers. After we finished praying, we changed our dress to the style of a Buddhist monk.

In the afternoon, we had to lead the procession of the funeral while the deceased was taken to the crematorium before she was cremated. We also were the first people to see my nan’s body and pour fragrant water over her (I don’t remember the reason for doing this) and say goodbye.

When the funeral was finished, it was time for us to resign from being monks, go back to our normal lives and wait for the day when we will become monks again – the day of losing our beloved again.

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