Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

Poy Sang Long

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Poy Sang Long is a rite of passage practiced in Thailand and Myanmar. It`s three days and it involves kids age 7 to 14 dressed like Buddha’s son. The children ride on an adults back for two days and on the third day they go to a monastery where they have to live for at least a week or more. I think this is a great custom for all these children because they have fun participating in the festival for two days and after that they decide if they want to stay in the monastery for more the a week so it’s their decision if they want to become monks.

I also think that the custom show grown in these kids because their knowledge increases and they come back from the monastery as new people who know more about their own religion . I would definitely do this rite of passage because it would give me a clear understating of how Buddhist live and I will learn martial arts along the way. If I really had a chance to do it I would be excited and interested in changing up my daily routine. The only thing that would give me trouble would be the 6 hours of meditating daily.

I think the true purpose of this rite is to show uniqueness in Buddhism because I have never even heard of any right of passage close to that one. One of the main purposes is also to respect Buddha who stated that this will be a rite of passage for all the young children. The benefits of this right of passage are that people will gather to a commune event, kids will have fun and they will learn about their religion and they will experience what is like to live with monks.

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I also think that this right of passage can be harmful because of the discrimination against women. In a way it’s great that children learn so many new things but it’s only for boys so the girls are not allowed. And if I was a girl and I see my male friend and my brother let’s say for example I would ask myself why. Why am I different, why can’t I have fun like them and why can’t a become a monk. All this thoughts will stay in the girls mind and later on affect her by maybe lowering her self esteem and changing her beliefs about males.

The three stage process about right of passage is to change from what you are to something new, to remove yourself from the society temporarily and to be re-admitted as a new person in the society. In Poy Sang Long the children change from being goofs to being smaller goofs in way because they learn about Zen meditation and they learn to control their emotions better. They are removed from the society by going to a monastery for a period of time and they are re-admitted back after the period is done. I think that this rite of passage follows the threes stage process but it varies because some of the children may become real monks.

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