Even though the temples were really cool, perhaps what was more interesting was the Buddhist monk initiation ceremony that we witnessed. It started in the morning with a village parade where all the young boys and girls who were joining the monetary dressed up in really bright and colorful ceremonial clothes and paraded around the village. They walked, rode on horse or cows or even a few in trucks or cars. This went on for a hour or two. Followed by a communal meal. Later in the day, they actually got their heads shaved and donned the red or pink robes of the monks. I couldn't get over how nice and inviting everyone was. The parents and relatives would move out of the way to let us see, to take pictures... some even held flood lights so that we had better light for our photographs. We really felt welcomed.
The parade marshals were these two stern looking guys:
There was music and the jester -- I like his moustache and the bamboo percussion instruments !
The kids rode on horses and carts
As you can see, they were all cute (and had lots of makeup on)
After the parade, everyone went to the picture tent for the family pictures.
Then later in the afternoon, the kids had their heads shaved and got their monk robes (boys in red, girls in pink). I don't know why the girls get to wear the orange handkerchief on their heads.
And again, more family pictures.
Random Photos of people around Bagan.
Notice the girls with thanaka power on their face. It tighten pores, controls oiliness, and promotes smooth and unblemished skin. Essentially every woman and small child in Myanmar wears thanaka every day.
It wasn't unusual for dogs to sleep in the middle of the road. The few cars would just drive around. It was clear, no dog was ever in danger of getting hurt from a car.
The temples of Bagan -- inside, outside and at dusk.
Not far outside of Bagan,we met several groups of people -- some heading to the full-moon festival schedule for Bagan in a few days (bullock carts aren't all that fast), some local women carrying their harvest (of some sort of leaves). These woman (some without shoes) stopped to allow all three of us to take pictures. The people of Myanmar have a totally different view of time.
We visited a rural farm village where the family made peanut oil and threshed grain using wicker trays.
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