Photographer's Note

Alms or almsgiving involves giving to others as an act of virtue, either materially or in the sense of providing capabilities (e.g. education) free. It exists in a number of religions and regions.

In Buddhism, almsgiving is the respect given by a lay Buddhist to a Buddhist monk, nun, spiritually-developed person or other sentient being. It is not charity as presumed by Western interpreters. It is closer to a symbolic connection to the spiritual realm and to show humbleness and respect in the presence of the secular society. The act of alms giving assists in connecting the human to the monk or nun and what he/she represents. As the Buddha has stated:

Householders & the homeless or charity [monastics]
in mutual dependence
both reach the true Dhamma....

In Theravada Buddhism, nuns and monks go on a daily almsround to collect food. This is often perceived as giving the laypeople the opportunity to make merit. Money cannot be accepted by a Theravadan Buddhist monk or nun in lieu of or in addition to food, as the Patimokkha training rules make it an offence worth forfeiture and confession.
Buddhism is practiced by 90% of the country's population, and is predominantly of the Theravada tradition. It is the most religious Buddhist country in terms of the proportion of monks in the population and proportion of income spent on religion. (Wikipedia)

This daily ritual is for me always a great joy to see. The monks have the dark red or brown robes, the nuns are in pink and have their heads shaved.

Here three scenes from the street in Mrauk U, I choose this one because of the smiling nun. Two other views of the same group in Workshops.

Bigger beta picture

Broader view of the street

Another view.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12633 W: 133 N: 32623] (150035)
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