Global Images Contest 2006-2007
CommUNITY, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, 2006
Heidi Roop '07
Situated at confluence of the Khan and Mekong Rivers in Lao, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is famed for its beautiful Buddhist monasteries and wealth of monks and apprentice monks. This photograph captures the rapidly disappearing Buddhist tradition of “alms giving”. At 6 a.m. everyday, the orange-robe clad monks (~1200) silently circumnavigate town collecting their daily food from community members. Women, men, and children kneel on their mats, scooping palms of steaming sticky rice from reed baskets, and gently place them in the monks bowl. As the sun climbs higher over the Mekong, and the stream of monks ebbs, the “givers” pack up knowing that tomorrow, they again will unite as a community.