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Religion

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Most of the Pa-O people are Buddhists. Every village has their own monastery. Villagers pay homage four times in a month: full moon day, moonless day, 8th waxing day and 8th waning day. The elder people are taking a Sabbath on these days and the young people are preparing for offerings at home. The elders observe the eight precepts and meditate, telling the beads, stay overnight in the monastery without having dinner, during the Sabbath days. Besides, the story teller who is known as “Maw” is being invited to deliver a speech in order to admonish the audience by telling the previous life story of Buddha known as Jataka. This kind of rare event can be seen in the Pa-O region only. The Sabbath will be ended the next morning by the worship celebration ceremony and offering food to the monks as well as to the elders who were taking part in the Sabbath.

After the food offerings ceremony, all the villagers gather and sit in the main hall of the monastery facing the monks who sit in a slightly elevated place. An experienced chief monk is sitting on the throne to give a sermon the audience. The monk gives an educative speech for the sustainable development of the village and to continue keeping the good character, habit and spirit. Then they conclude the ceremony by sharing the merit gain saying Sadu (well done) three times.

This short description show how strongly Pa-O culture is rooted in Buddhism.

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