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Photographer's Note

If you’ve ever been in Thailand on the King’s Birthday, then you will probably know what this picture is all about. If you haven’t, then you probably wouldn’t have a clue what all these people are doing, kneeling beside a red carpet stretching as far as the eye can see with baskets of rice, noodles, fruit, confectionery and other goodies. These are the people of Chiang Mai waiting for their local monks to begin a walk down this street to collect alms on the morning of the King’s Birthday, 2004. As the monks walk by, the food will be placed in their alms bowls, and then the soldiers in the blue tracksuits will transfer them to the plastic bags that they have in front of them so that the monks always have an empty alms bowl. Most of what the monks are given is too big for the alms bowl anyway (I noted that a carton of soft drinks definitely doesn’t fit into an alms bowl!) After the alms-giving ceremony the soldiers will take the food that has been donated back to the monks’ monasteries.

I took several shots from the side of the road trying to get the red carpet in a diagonal across the frame, but this didn’t work as there were too many heads in the way. So I took off my shoes, and jumped out into the middle of the road to take this shot, and then quickly returned to the side. Nobody seemed to mind.

RGatward, orme, NgocSon, zips has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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