Getting to the Rocket Festival in Phanom Pai, the surrounding lanes are chocked with people and there is no transport for the last few kilometers. One must walk across the fields in the dreadful heat of the midday. In every filed we meet lines of rice farmer marching out together to the festival site. This field seemed to be occupied by the local villagers, lead by this intimidating young monk. He and his two henchmen seemed to occupy the field with a proprietary attitude. They stood their ground oozing with attitude at the sight of an oncoming foreigner. The old abbot seemed to be too interested in keeping cool to notice a foreigner and the rest of the villagers trotted along behind. The place is very remote and I must have seemed a strange sight, because among the thousands of local farmers who turned up for the festival that day, I didn’t see another foreign face. No wonder that they regarded this fat old foreigner with a camera, like an invader from outer space.
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RGatward (20062) 2007-06-15 8:24
Wow Kevin, that sound's like great fun. Love the mixture of styles here, especially the guy in the cool shades squating on the left.
dvlazar (6644) 2007-06-15 9:19
Its always interesting to see a monk or someone dressed in the orange robes also looking modernised. It's the sunnies on this monk that juxtapose that 'cool materialism' facade.
ndb1958 (9289) 2007-06-15 10:23
Hi Kevin nice pic and amusing note. Indeed the attitudes of the monk on the left and the two guys next to him is cool. I Like the composition of this image.Nino
InasiaJones (31554) 2007-06-15 12:32
Upon opening this image of yours, I got the same reaction that goes along your title and thought the same thing, looking at the cool sunglasses Mr. Territory wears...
But then, reading your insightful note, I can share totally the perception you ressent from this monks attitude. Although they are generally nice and friendly, there’s so many monks who perceive themselves as buddha reincarnated... So I know what you mean when you’re talking about attitude. These guys will never get access to nirvana! LOL!!!...
I think you have an interesting way to present this festival, through villagers and ordinary people, but you also found a "rebel" character, maybe not very likable, but he adds some colours to this scene. I’m happy to read that you impose yourself to take this photo, even if the bad monk was intimidating... Gutsy!
branley (3681) 2007-06-17 5:39
this guy doesn't look like someone who wants to be a monk, he looks too aggresive to me, it's more like he is one for a short time because it was expected of him. This is a well composed shot with the lead guy crouching and looking at you full on whilst the interest in you wanes as you go back through the line. Lovely rich colours and fine sharpness makes this a fine capture, well done, it must take a lot of nerve to point your camera at people with you being the only foreigner in the vicinity.
papagolf21 (88239) 2007-06-17 6:07
Bonjour, cher Kevin,
Alors, on s'estime étranger (cela c'est vrai !), gras (dans le sens "opulence" avec caméra au poing) ! ;o)
C'est vrai que nous avons du mal à nous rendre compte comment la vie là-bas est difficile. D'un autre côté, ils ne connaissent pas une autre vie. C'est peut-être la comparaison qui peut les irriter. En tout cas, cette photo est très bonne et nous aide à comprendre les us et coutumes du pays.
sabyasachi1212 (19773) 2007-06-17 9:32
Thailand, much like India, seems to have lot of local customs and festivals related to agriculture, either sowing or farming. I don't know how intimidating the 'henchmen' are, but you sure would look out of place in a place like this.
With Greetings from India