Friday Five

Five Things I Like About Loi Kratong

Making Pretty Things
Instead of buying one of the twenty baht pieces that were everywhere, my coteachers bought flowers and taught me how to make a kratong (pieces of a banana tree trunk are then covered by banana leaves and flowers are added, stick some incense and your candle in and you’re ready to float your offering/wishes to the body of water you’re honoring). Granted I didn’t do anything too special, it was a relatively simple process and one that I enjoyed much more than I thought I would.  Who knew my Thailand would bring out my crafty side?

If this Peace Corps thing doesn't work out, at least I can always be a professional kratong maker

Moo-bahn Games
Bingo, fair-like games, dancing (of course) and three different beauty contests of baby gals, old ladies, and really old ladies were entertainment for the evening. I’m kind of glad they didn’t have one for my age because I think my Thai peeps wouldn’t have let me exist without entering it. Though it vaguely reminded me of Toddlers and Tiaras, you can see who I liked the most…

I told her to smile and this is all she would give me- yes that is white make-up on her face... pale=beautiful

Lanterns and Things
Celebrated at night, at least in my village, I liked the lighting up of lanterns, candles, fireworks, colored lights, the works. Though I was told these are a little expensive, I was happy my family invited me to let one of these float into the sky…

That thing was taller than my host sister!

Loi-ing With Friends
Like I said, my coteachers wanted me to make my own and I’m glad I took the time to do it. You’re supposed to loi your kratong with your friends, family members, and (if you have one) your sugar lumps. I’m glad I got to do this with my coteachers and other friends, I had two other kratongs that people wanted me to join in on sending off.

My coteacher, Aom, and I

Loi Kratong in the Moo-Bahn
Sukothai, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok are known for their awesome Loi Kratong festivals. They’re larger, more beautiful, more eventful, and on a much grander-scale. But I was glad to do mine in the village. I’ve been in my site for about eight months now and I feel like I’m part of the community. People knew me, greeted me like they did for everyone else, my students shouted my name before taking off at a sprint behind their friends, the grannies patted my arm-hair, the drunk guys offered me their glasses of whiskey, and people only stared at me because I was wearing pants, my hair down, and make-up. I still may be a farang, but I’m their farang. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Loi Kratong in my village...just how I like it.

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