Anthropology Life, Death and Culture Funeral Rituals of a Buddhism Vulture in Thailand – Essay Example

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The paper "Anthropology Life, Death and Culture Funeral Rituals of a Buddhism Vulture in Thailand" is an outstanding example of an essay on anthropology.   Buddhism is the main religion in Thailand. In fact, Thailand’ s culture and Buddhism are intertwined. One of the main teachings of Buddhism is giving meaning to life and death, which is referred to as the anthropology of life and death by scholars (Kaufman & Morgan 2005, p. 317). on this point, it can be appreciated that the lifecycle of an individual is marked by many aspects that are well illustrated in Thai Buddhism.

At times, Buddhism also offers the living a chance to connect with their ancestors through specific religious rituals. On this aspect, it is important to note that funeral rites are some of the most important and closely observed rites in Thailand Buddhism. The following essay will take a deep insight into Buddhism in Thailand. Under this subtopic, it will be realized that modern Buddhism has several variations from traditional conventional Buddhism (Theravada). The essay will then discuss death and its significance in Buddhism. Lastly, the essay will also give an in-depth discussion about the funeral rites in Thailand Buddhism.

Under this, the essay will discuss clothing, the duration of the funeral and mourning, the bathing rite, chanting, the ordaining of the novice monk and the cremation ceremony. Lastly, the essay will discuss Monoraa Ronkruu, a ritual performed to enable the living to connect with the ancestral world. Buddhism in Thailand Buddhism is the main religion in Thailand. The religion is so important to the Thai that most of their cultural practices are closely related to its teachings. So important is the religion to the people that there is a proviso in the country’ s laws that its president must be a strict follower of Buddhism in addition to being a strong believer in its practices.

The degree with which the religion is upheld in the country explains why Thailand is sometimes referred to as the ‘ Country of Yellow Robes’ a phrase which depicts the high presences of the yellow robes which are worn by Monks. Buddhism in Thailand has always gone transformations according to the prevailing times for instance times or war or peace.

Buddhism was introduced in Thailand by missionaries and travelers who made their way into the country from China and other Asian countries where Buddhism was more advanced/ popular. The history of Buddhism in Thailand can be traced back to the Al Lao period, who was the first ruler to proclaim that he upheld Buddhism and its teachings (Setaburr 2002, p. 20). Ideally, this was the first move to what is today a requirement for a Thai president; to be a believer in Buddhism. Buddhism then continued to become firmly rooted in Thailand over the next regimes, for instance, the Nao Chao regime, Chang Saen regime, Lankavasma (Ceylon) regime, Sukhothai regime, Chang Mai up to the Mahayana Buddhism period (Setaburr 2002, p. 41).

References

Barrow, R., 2011. What to expect in a Buddhist funeral. Buddhism in Thailand. (Online). Available at: http://www.thaibuddhist.com/what-to-expect-if-you-are-invited-to-a-thai-funeral/. Accessed on 10-06-2013.

Berhard, K., 2007. A Guide To A Proper Buddhist Funeral, The World Buddhist University, Sea Park

Falk, M., 2010. Recovery and Buddhist practices in the aftermath of the Tsunami in Southern Thailand. Religion, 40(2): pp. 96-103.

Horstmann, A 2009. The Revitalization and Reflexive Transformation of the Manooraa Rongkruu Performance and Ritual in Southern Thailand: Articulations with Modernity. Asian Journal of Social Science. , 37(6): pp.918-934.

Ismail, M., 2006. Buddhism In A Muslim State: Theravada Practices And Religious Life In Kelantan, Journal E- Bangi, 1(1); pp.1-20

Kaufman, S., & Morgan, L., 2005. The anthropology of the Beginnings and Ends of Life, Annual Review Anthropology, 34 (3); pp. 17 - 41

Sanders, G.,2010. The Dismal Trade As Culture Industry, Poetics, 38 (1), pp. 47 - 68

Schedneck, B., 2007. Buddhist Life Stories. Contemporary Buddhism, 8(1): pp. 57-68.

Setaburr, A., 2002. Buddhism in Thailand, The World Buddhist University, Sea Park

Williams, P., & Ladwid, P., 2012. Buddhist Funeral Cultures Of Southeast Asia And China, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

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