Finally the Salakapat has happened and is finished. It started at about 6:30 am when the first people came and offered some food for breakfast. They were even so thoughtful and came to my kuti where I tried to hide. I was happy that I got some food. There was no hiding anyway, they turned on the music at 6:30 and came with their offerings. One loudspeaker was turned directly towards my kuti aproximately 7 m away from it so I could not miss a sound. The dogs hid under my bed and AD was not back yet.
The old monk had said yesterday evening that we three would all give the blessing but today there was no mention of it and he blessed and blessed like a worker on piece wage. When I finally showed up, it took me a while because I took my time to separate the the minced meat out of my rice soup and that can take very long…, anyway when I showed up, and prepared my seat he didn’t show any sign of letting me doing any of the blessings. I was rather happy then anything else about it.
Some monks and their following came to visit. Among them a very nice monk, one who is monk whole heartedly and because he wants to become enlightened, a rarity, from a neighbouring village Hui Klai. I was happy to see his shiny eyes smiling in this jumble of noise, music, blessings, people running around doing all very important things.
In Thailand, when something was done once in one way and has worked it becomes kind of a law that it will always be like that and has always been so. Tradition. Funny enough, after the sound check which took ages yesterday, today the sounds system failed half of the time. At least for the blessings and speeches not for the music, though.
At about 10:00 am, when the school kids performed a dance for the sponsors (have to say, Salakapat is all about money people come in and bring money for the monastery) AD and some other monks came. It is good that they have these fundraising parties, in our case, the roof of the vihara is leaking and urgently (before next rainy season) needs a repair. It’s all lay peoples business, the monks only have to be there for the blessing and to eat lunch. People come from the surrounding villages in groups or clans. Sometimes there is singing and dancing, movies and all kind of things but here it was just the kids dancing and the torturing music. Women cooking, chatting and serving, men organizing, doing and getting drunk, children running around.
The girls were dancing hip wagging, imitating young, sexy women. Then the whole class including the boys showed a hula hoop ring performance. My little friend Oom was very serious about it (he is a bit fat I have to say) and he managed to move to ring up and down and around his body with a minimum of movement. One of the most beautiful and fine young men of the village who usually is quite shy and well behaved was completely drunk or/and drugged, he did somehow to greet monks with a wai and bowing forward without falling over on his face. He was so taken by the school kids performance that he could not hold back and danced in the back of their open air ‘stage’.
Then we monks were called into the vihara and the villagers came with money trees. They circambulated the vihara three times. I could see their faces, when they were passing the front door. Some were dancing and laughing, some walking looking serious. For a moment I just saw fear and dispair in their faces, behind the laughs and seriousity. I closed my eyes and watched the breath. May this be my last birth.