Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Thai boys turn monks, for 9 days..

Australia's Craig Challen and Richard Harris who were part of the Thailand cave rescue team stand together after an official ceremony at Government House in Canberra Thai boys turn monks, for 9 days..
Steven Clarke | 25 July, 2018, 05:01

"The eleven boys will be ordained as novices, whereas Coach Ek will be ordained as a monk", Rachapol Ngamgrabuan, an official at Chiang Rai's provincial press office, told viewers on Facebook.

Australian members of the Thai cave rescue team, Craig Challen, left, and Dr Richard Harris, centre, stand with Australia's Governor-General Peter Cosgrove at a function at Government House in Canberra.

For the initial ceremony, which took place at Wat Phra That Doi Wao, the boys wore the traditional simple white robes and looked solemn as they were led in prayers by monks to give thanks for their safe return. That temple is close to the group's homes, making it easier for friends and relatives to visit.

Tradition calls for Buddhist males in Thailand to enter the clergy at some point in their lives. It is also believed that they will gain goodness and protection through such service, and that those qualities will extend to their parents.

"Ordinations are supposed to give us peace of mind", said Sangiemjit Wongsukchan, mother of Ekarat Wongsukchan, 14, one of the boys who was trapped in the cave. "Back to his normal life".

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Members of the rescued football team attend a Buddhist ceremony (Sakchai Lalit/AP) Team members in hospital (Ministry of Health/Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital/AP) The boys show their respect with a portrait of diver Saman Gunan, who died during the rescue.

Almost a week after being discharged from hospital, most of those recently rescued from a flooded cave gathered Tuesday at a temple to ordain as monks.

The boys and their 25-year-old coach Ekapol Chanthawong had gone to explore the caves on June 23, where they became trapped.

"The rescue mission was hazardous, with poor or zero visibility, debris and constrictive passageways, variable air quality, and made more hard with further rainfalls predicted", they added.

Chiang Rai Gov. Parchon said Sunday that the boys' mental and physical conditions were steadily improving with only minor health complications.

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