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Photographer's Note

This image is very close to my heart, and has sentimental value to me, photographed in my hometown, outside one of my childhood friend’s home who I have not seen for over 20 years, it was a wonderful reunion.

In Laos, traditionally, all males are expected to spend a period as a monk or novice prior to marriage. Many parents send one of their sons, as young as 6 or 7 year old, to a wat to reside as a novice. Being ordained brings great merit to one's parents. Some do so, that their son can also be educated, fed and sheltered. The period of ordination need not be long, it could last only for three-month. But nowadays most men curtail their stay to one or two weeks. When a parent dies, they are also expected to stay as monks from 3 months up to a year. The temples of Laos were once seen as "Universities" for monks. Lao monks are highly respected and revered in Lao communities.

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Additional Photos by Way Lim (Waylim) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2732 W: 154 N: 6183] (25436)
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