Sarungal – About Monks and Orphans

Late last year I went down to Sri Lanka on a humanitarian trip to raise awareness regarding poverty in the region. I stayed in a Buddhist temple with my host, Reverend Mithabani.

One week of vegetarian food, one week of living among the children and orphans opened up my eyes. Made me realise how little I needed and how much I wanted. Interestingly after many long, meaningful discussions with the reverend, we both realised that each of us was the antithesis of the other.

I’m working on making prints from the trip to hopefully raise funds and awareness to give the people in Sri Lanka ways and means to support themselves and grant them means to get out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

Kudos to Jun Wen for setting the gig up. I’ve learned more about myself and my craft and in the process be put in a position to have my photography be put to good use.

Yes the monks and I have different ways of going about our business and I’m not the holiest person this side of the hemisphere. But I’ll be damned if I don’t try making this end of the world a better place.

Monk sweeping

Monk sweeping the temple grounds

Before entering the temple

A believer washing a monk's feet before he enters the temple

Orphans at play

Orphans at play midday

Blowing his lungs out

And he huffed and he puffed

A lone child playing with his toy

An orphan boy with his newfound toy

Looking at my camera

Two monks enjoying a laugh

Crayon madness

Art in progress

In between the drawing

I love his smile

The reverend washing up

The reverend freshening himself by the stream

Flower close up

The flwer blooms in the morning and withers before noon

Altar

High priest altar

The monk

How adulated these monks are

Marching monks

Marching out with the offerings after the prayers are done

Laundry

Wonder if they ever mix their laundry up

Monk folding robes

Moments as I learned the word Sarungal

Reverend and child

The reverend and an orphan in a quiet moment

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