Thursday, November 17, 2005

Grand Indeed

Yesterday we went to the Grand Palace, what can I say really? Wow. Bangkok is such an old city with so much detail in all the temples and the history is so rich that it makes it all the more magnificent. No detail was spared in the making and up-keep of the Grand Palace, every tile of mosaic is perfectly placed. It is almost overwhelming trying to take in all the details, a cursory glance is not enough, then you realize that everything is in layers. One object means something and that to something else. The mystic and the real collide here and something magical happens, or at least something really beautiful. To follow this experience was another great insight into Thai culture. Yesterday was not only the full moon but Loi Gratong.

Loi Gratong by Chaokoh (The Islanders)

November, full moon night,the tide is
high on the river bank. Boys and girls
and the gang come on enjoy Loi Gratong

Loi-loi Gratong, Loi-loi Gratong,
LoiGratong Thailand, The Islanders band
comes LoiGratong.

Ram Wong- Loi Gratong, Ram Wong -
Loi Gratong, donc..da..di..donc we're all
enjoy, donc..da..di..donc, we're all happy

Winai Kwunyeun
Chaokoh

Loi Gratong is a day where the people of Thailand pray for forgiviness from the river god. They float beautiful arrangements of flowers and bread down the river with candles and incense. There is also a big festival with a ton of people, food and dancing. This was such a neat experience especially because there were not many foreigners there. We were given the translation of that song from the musicians who played it. I really loved to see the Thai girls dancing, it was so colourful and elegant.

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