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Avoid morning almsgiving to be more culturally sensitive?

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Boston, MA
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Avoid morning almsgiving to be more culturally sensitive?

This is my first post on the Laos forums, happy to take guidance from experts.

I was hoping to visit Laos early next year as a side-trip from some time I'll be spending in Vietnam. I have wanted to visit Luang Prabang for many years, and have always thought that the morning almsgiving must be such a beautiful thing to witness and experience.

Lately I have been reading so many negative things about the behavior of other tourists. I do not personally want to contribute to turning this ceremony into something negative. Experts, is it for the best that we avoid watching the almsgiving altogether, and experience other things that Luang Prabang has to offer? Or is there a way to witness the ceremony where we can be as peaceful and respectful as possible?

I look forward to learning from the experts here as we make our travel plans. Thanks!

Toronto, Canada
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11. Re: Avoid morning almsgiving to be more culturally sensitive?

I was born in LPB but now live in Canada. I took my kids there a few years back and we are heading back in a few days. I would let my kids watched as i explained the process one day and participated the days after. I have read so many negative posts out this. The locals gives (everyday) because they feel good about giving, they are not paid to do so. Whether its alms giving or donating food to monks (they are not allow to eat after 11-12), it is the locals way of passing food to the deceased loved ones. They also believe the more you give the more you will get. If anyone wishes to participate, buy pre packaged snacked will do it doesn't have to be rice. I did it near the outskirt of town where there ware no temples. I sat and waited. They stopped for me (only me there) and about 35+ monks. I sat on my flip flop and had my offerings in a shopping bag. Once the last monk passed me, they all stopped and chanted blessings for me. I felt good and I would do it all over again. For those who thinks it is an act, almsgivng has been a way of life going back before tourist time. Alms giving is being done throughout northamerica every Saturday and Sunday, where there are no tourists.

12. Re: Avoid morning almsgiving to be more culturally sensitive?

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Removed on: 11 August 2014, 07:17