"Joshua Beckford learned to read fluently by the time he was two and a half and taught himself to touch-type on a computer before he could write using a pencil. He can speak Japanese, practices medical surgery on a computer simulator and has completed more than 1,000 maths problems.”
What is alms-giving? It is a Buddhist tradition, mostly associated with countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. It is a religiously significant event where Buddhists give food to monks every morning,etc. as they make their round. to make merit towards their community. It is done with silence and no expression, showing respect to the monks. This is part of a Laotian’s heritage and religion. This ritual is extremely important in Luang Prabang, Laos’ former capital.
Nowadays, even tourists can even get a hotel bundle where hotel owners invite monks to their hotels where their guests give alms.(Sadly seen this in person down in Pakse.) This applies to other forms of tourists’ groups where this is part of the tour.
The monks are not there for your camera and for you to participate as “oooh, you are in such an exotic country, let’s try what these third-world locals go, so magical!!1”. These are locals, practicing a religion. It is completely fine to participate in the alms-giving if you learn first-hand (from locals) how to properly do it without offending anyone.
Wear modest clothing, including a sash around the torso.
Men can stand, while women kneel on knees or sitting.
Must be quiet.
Pay attention to locals and how they give alms and especially when they give advice. It’s their alms-giving ritual, after all.
Taking photos is FINE. Don’t, however, snap photos (and use flash) right in front of the monks and locals’ face.
RESPECT A MONK’S PRIVATE SPACE.
Don’t be loud. (Please talk quietly. Not ideal to talk while giving alms.)
Women cannot touch a monk (Including the hand) when giving monks.
If you are not giving alms, but still like to see it in person and take pictures, do not be too close and let the monks and the alms-giver have their space.
Stop saying sorry. Say thank you instead. When you say, ‘Sorry for being a jerk,’ the other person is forced to either call you a jerk or say it wasn’t a big deal. Instead, say, “Thank you for being so patient with me,” so the other person has a reason to say they love you.
I saw this gem on Reddit tonight. It was posted under a topic of “What ‘little’ things you can do to improve your relationship with your significant other.” (via coloradocowgirlforchrist)