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Thu 27 Apr 2017
The Wedding Part 2
Written by Gor   
Tuesday, 16 December 2003 00:00

The short break is now over. Tai and I are about to offer food to the monks. I pick up one of the plates and put it on the yellow cloth in front of the head monk. After that I have to walk on my knees to the next monk and do the same thing for him. Tai is touching my back with her two hands. Women aren’t allowed to touch or give anything straight to monks. She shares the merit I am making by touching me.

After we have finished offering food to the ninth monk, we get up and walk outside to let the monks eat their meal. We come out to the front of the house where all of our guests have been sitting during the chanting. I definitely don’t know all the people here because some of them are Tai’s guests. We walk around and introduce each other to our relatives as we are going to be in the same family in a very short time.

You might think that what I am doing is fun, but really it is not. I really wanted to sit down and chat with some of my old school friends while the monks are having their meal. But I can’t. As a groom I have to walk around with the bride and greet everyone who has come to our wedding. I am really tired even though the ceremony is still near the beginning!

The monks are now finished and all of the plates have been cleared away. Tai and I walk back into the house. The chant-leader prepares the offerings (three lotus flowers, a candle, three joss sticks and some money in an envelope) and puts them in front of each of the nine monks. We then kneel in front of the head monk and put the offering on his cloth. We pay him respect and then move onto the next monk.

Once we have finished, we crawl back to sit in front of the head monk who is about to start the next period of chanting. The chant-leader passes me a bowl and a glass full of water. I know straight away that it is gruat nam time. Gruat nam is a Buddhist thing we always do after making merit. We believe it is a way to share the merit we just made with our dead ancestors. Also, at the same time, we ask them to protect us and give us good heath.

The monks are now beginning to chant and so I start to slowly pour the water from the glass into a bowl. Tai is sitting right next to me and touching my right arm. After all of the water has gone, I put the glass down and we both put our hands together, at chest level, and continue listening to the monks.

While the monks are chanting, the head monk is making some sacred water. After they have finished, he dips a bunch of sticks into the sacred water and then blesses us by shaking the sticks over our heads. The bowl is now being passed onto the next monk. We walk on our knees until we reach the next monk. We bend our bodies down a little while the monk is blessing us. We have to do this until we reach the last monk in the line!

I carry the bowl back from the last monk and put it next to the Buddha shrine. All of the monks are getting their stuff ready to leave. The head monk leads all of the monks out to the pick-up truck. We are standing by the door and waiting to pay respect as they walk pass us.

After they have gone, I quickly run upstairs and get changed from my dad’s suit into the Thai style silk suit. Tai is in her mum’s bedroom changing her clothes as well. Tai stays there while I run down and go to meet my grandparents outside for the wedding parade. I am really excited because this is the fun bit!

To be continued next week.