I haven’t yet traveled much in Asia, but from my first days in New Zealand I’ve enjoyed the large amount of authentic Asian culture in New Zealand. In 2016 I was lucky enough to experience Thailand in New Zealand.
I haven’t been to Thailand, but I enjoy the ways that New Zealand meets Thailand in the temples here. Watyarnprateep Temple was once a typical New Zealand farm house. Even more New Zealand are the caravans that serve as housing for some of the monks. Note the Buddhas on top of the caravan below.
The Thai style looks great in the New Zealand landscape.
These pictures are from the Udan Thani Attractions website.
On 13 October 2016 the King of Thailand died at 88 after a reign of 70 years, 126 days.
The lèse-majesté law makes it illegal to it criticize the king (or queen, heir-apparent, or regent). But many Thai people seem to have sincerely loved King Bhumibol Adulyadej. There was an official mourning period of 30 days before the new king was crowned.
At the end of October I experienced observances of respect and mourning for the late king at Pathumrungsiwatanaram Monastery in Hawkes Bay.
When I arrived most people seemed to be involved in making sure everyone was fed. Every Thai restaurant in the area seemed to be serving food to anyone who was hungry, and other people brought dishes to share.
We dressed in black, but everyone was happy, friendly, and very welcoming.
Pathumrungsiwatanaram Monastery is located on a plot of former farmland among fields still being cultivated. In the picture below a monk walks along the driveway with young apple trees in the background.
Some of the monks live in buildings identical to cabins found at many New Zealand campgrounds.
The temple is in the living room of a former farmhouse.
People lined up with bowls of rice and spooned it into the bowls of the monks as they walked past.
There was a procession in honor of the deceased king.
The procession included a couple of different kinds of money tree.
Many mourners purchased gifts for the king in the form of clothes given in his name to the monks.
Like Watyarnprateep Temple in Auckland, Pathumrungsiwatanaram Monastery is fairly modest, but has some beautiful features.
On November 15 Thai people gathered in Aotea Square near the Auckland Town Hall, and said their final goodbyes to their king.
His son King Maha Vajiralongkorn accepted the throne on the night of 1 December 2016. His reputation is very different from that of his father, and the people of Thailand wait to see what the future will hold for their country.
Thai people and their culture are, for me, another interesting and welcome addition to the overall culture of New Zealand.
You can view the full gallery of 24 pictures below. To view on imgur click here.