• Daniel Austin
  • 28
  • Jun
  • 09
This entry is part 15 of 40 in the series The (d)SP0T

If you’re planning a trip to SE Asia, there’s one thing you need to know which is that Buddhism is everywhere.  SE Asia has such a rich history of Buddhism tied in with its political history that you can’t go anywhere without there being a temple.  In Vietnam I saw something that I thought was a dog house but turned out to be a tiny shrine.  There are very involved and accessorized rituals too, usually involving donations.  You have to take off your shoes, light incense, light a candle, stick a gold square on a buddha, don’t step on the door frame, drop 108 coins into 108 separate buckets, etc..  Even when driving by a buddha or glimpsing one, people will bow quickly to acknowledge that they saw it.  There are forms for the stances, clothes to change at seasons and all sorts of complex stories and history about individual buddha statues as well as the whole religion.  But then, one the first things you learn in Phat Giao is that Buddhism isn’t a religion.  Whatever it is, its people are devout and it’s everywhere in SE Asia.

This thing points upwards
One of many who are missing heads

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