Burmese migrants celebrate start of lent

Jul 18, 2008 (DVB), Burmese migrants in the Thai border town of Mae Sot celebrated the beginning of the three-month Buddhist lent yesterday by going to temples, making merit and donating to monks.

Migrants said the Thai police allowed them to carry out their celebrations without any harassment.

One migrant from Mae Sot said he was pleased to be able to give offerings and celebrate with fellow Burmese migrants.

"It’s a very good thing we had a chance to gather a lot of Burmese people around and donate robes to the monks upon entering the Buddhist lent," he said.

Another Mae Sot migrant praised the solidarity of the Burmese people attending the celebrations.

"This is Burmese people showing unity in a foreign country and also cheerfully carrying out traditional Buddhist activities at temples, I’m so happy to see this," he said.

Burmese migrants in the Thai cities of Bangkok and Phuket also came together to celebrate the festival.

"A well-known Burmese abbot Phyu Sayadaw came and honoured to the robe donation celebration in Bangkok and it made me so happy," said one migrant in Bangkok.

"As we are struggling to make a living here, it is not easy for us to go back to Burma and make a donation to such a monk if we want to. But now I have a chance to do that here."

A Phuket migrant said local Burmese people had managed to overcome problems organising the event.

"We managed to hold the celebration successfully even though there were a lot of difficulties in organizing it. Everyone is happy about it," he said.

Reporting by Htet Yazar

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