NARATHIWAS, 11 April 2014 – 120 boys and teenagers in the southern province of Narathiwat have ordained as novices, or samanera, in a traditional ceremony held at the provincial Irrigation Office on Thursday (April 10).
Chairing the ordination ceremony on the layman side were deputy provincial governor Sithichai Sakda and commander of Narathiwat’s provincial police division Pol. Lt-Gen. Pattanawuth Angkhanawin. Both chairpersons led a large number of Buddhists in offering food, both fresh and dried, to the novices. The ordination follows a campaign by Promnivas Monastery in Muang District, Narathiwat, to encourage children to enter monkhood during the summer vacation and dedicate the merit gained to Their Majesties the King and Queen.
Presiding over the ordination ceremony on the ecclesiastic side was the abbot of Promnivas Monastery Venerable Phra Khru Wisit-prommakhun. The ceremony was also joined by 50 monks who will act as preceptors taking care of the novices during their brief period in monkhood.
The ordination was conducted under tight security as Narathiwat province is located in the deep South being plagued by insurgency. Ordination is regarded an act of great merit and is, therefore, popular among young Thai men. It is customary for them to spend a few months in the monastery either as a novice before reaching the age of twenty, or as a monk after attaining his maturity.