Thursday, September 5, 2013

Reflection - Buddhist cultural infusion

Traffic is very reflective of culture and in general I have seen more traffic equals more noise, horns, yelling and disregard for pedestrians. In China the streets were so crowded with cars and vans the motorcycles were all on the sidewalk and those walking huddled in doorways. In India they laid one elbow on the horn and then turned on the ignition to start the drive. In Thailand the gridlock went on for blocks and miles on every single street and alley, but not a honk or yell anywhere.

After listening to the Buddhist abbot monk twice I think the key is the cultural madate of all men to "become priests" for 3 months. Most fathers wil not marry daughters to men who have not been through this experinece. The 17-25 year olds sign everything over to family, live in the abbey in robes begging daily food and are taught the calm, accepting ways of Buddah. At the end of 3 months they can stay or leave, no hard feeings. Most leave, get married and go on with life, but changed.

People  - from tour gides to waitressses to cab drivers - were very respectful and looking for ways to make the guest more comfortable and satisfied.

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