Sun creeps through the blinds and the chants of prayers, which have become our new alarm, ring loud around us. Throwing my tierd heavy body out of bed, into the shower and out the door, I would stand absorbed by the morning routine that awaited my eyes. A stream of red robes, hung off the shoulders of young boys, shaved heads, bare foots as they stood patiently in line each holding out their bowl to collect food from the village. These were young men in training, a right of passage for all boys to enter a life devoted to Buddhism. Once they have learnt the teachings of Buddha and spent several weeks living on the monasteries they may choose if they wish to return to their families and lives or continue to the path of enlightenment.
Buddhism for these people is more than a religion, a way of life. It is integral to their being. It distinguishes their values, their beliefs, behaviours. Like a Holy Communion or Bar Mitzvah, they will grow up to learn the teachings, celebrating their entrance into the monasteries, spending weeks away from their families. Monks wondering the streets is a common site, as people continue to dedicate themselves to the teachings of Buddha. A country adorned by temples. When Looking out to Old Bagan, to the earthy washed landscape of dry baron land, ancient temples take to the horizon. Walking across the land, amongst the temples, there is a sense of calm, stillness across these quite grounds. Grounds that have been respected, worshipped for centuries. It is these pagoda’s and temples where the people spend their time. When travelling you see limited places fro entertainment, cinemas, sports, clubs all limited, if at all. it is the festivals at the temples that people part take in. As a result you notice, how gentle, kind the Burmese are, they are modest and respectful. Despite, all they are subjected to by the rulings of the country, they have faith, they stay true to what they belief in.