Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The recent socio-political conflict in Thailand and trip to Ubon kinda inspired this photo post. One of the main differences between the Red Shirts and the Yellow Shirts, the UDD and the PAD, is economic status...the Reds are generally the rural poor while the wealthier urbanites make up the Yellows. Basically the haves and have-nots, educated and lesser educated, bankers and farmers. This is not to say that urban folk are smarter or better than those who live in the boonies. They just have totally different lifestyles and list of priorities, thus view many things differently.Last week in Ubon, I was taking pictures at a Buddhist temple. I saw a small playground at the front of the temple grounds and snapped a quick picture, loving how the slide was made of a 50 gallon drum and some metal parts welded together and painted the dullest khaki tan. Buddhist monks are kinda the ultimate "have-nots" materialistically speaking, as they abandon "most" worldly things and go out daily collecting alms from the people. I do see them talking all the time on their cell phones though...they gotta coordinate right!Later in the same day, we went to the big park in Ubon where people hang out and exercise, where the local government holds festivals, etc. I randomly took a picture of their playground set up as well and later, while uploading my photos, thought of how different the two were. The government investing in the latest in playground equipment for the "Central Park" of Ubon (Called Tongsrimuang I think) versus the monks or temple people throwing together a basically recycled area for visiting youngsters to use up some energy while the parents are doing their thing in the temple.

Funny how both are funded by the people...the government's playground by the taxpayers and the temple's playground by donations of money or even labor. Ubon's tax dollars and religious dollars at work!

2 comments:

Naomi Hanks said...

Its really cool to see the differences! Personally I think the monks are on to something. What a great idea for a slide!

memock said...

When I first saw those home made slides here in Ubon I thought they were great as well. That was until my 3 year old cut her foot badly on the edge of a slide. I have since looked at many other home made play grounds in the area and many of them carry sharp edges that would remove a toe if you are not carefull. The Pic of the one in Tung Sri Muang is indeed a beauty and I take my kids there all the time.

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