Monday, September 1, 2008

Thai Princesses

This is one of our co-teachers in a little northern town with four of her students dressed up for some festival. They're all from a small school way out in the rice field, in a small town where everyone is poor, poor, poor.
There are lots of these festivals, and everybody has a great time. These girls probably participated in a Thai Dancing contest in some shabby pavillion somewhere, after a short parade. It's a real lesson for Americans: in a poor village like this, no one has anything, but most people are completely satisfied with their lives.


Anonymous said...

I came from a poor little village where most people had little. I didn't even know I was poor until I got older. I lived in a shabby house with sporadic heat and no air conditioning and the roof leaked and there were rats in the basement and attended weekly communal gatherings and annual parades and festivals, along with an important ritual thrown in every couple of years, where you got your cheek slapped, or your name changed or you ate the spirits of your ancestors baked in little wafers... Most of the people in this village who had lived there all their lives would tell you they were content with their lives. They lived on their former glory days and/or reputations as players of sports or of battles they'd won. Some's identity were formed from having mastered daring feats on concrete structures, right-of-passage tests, or from being high up on the village's pecking-order for brute strength. This village, of course, was College Point.
Things are pretty much the same all over, Fred. It's all relative.


fred c said...

Roger that, Ed. Sometimes I think that the secret of happiness is keeping your expectations low.