Working Hours is a figurative watercolor by Mongolian artist, Zulaa. She conquers the dynamics of water and its spontaneity, artfully mastering the marriage of water, color pigment and brush action. The whimsical movement of the water sets a carefree tone of the playful monk children.
While Buddhism is commonly known to be a major religion practiced in mainland Southeast Asia, it is less commonly known that many young boys may enter the Buddhist monasteries as “Novice Monks.”
Reasons for ordaining vary amongst Buddhist cultures. Some young novices ordain temporarily as part of a loved one’s funeral ceremony. Other children take refuge in the monasteries as orphans and/or to escape extreme poverty. But from my travels throughout Thailand, I learned most young boys become novice monks for as little as a couple of weeks while on holiday from school.
While it may be controversial to some westerners, the venture is almost expected from Thai boys as a rite of passage – to achieve a high level of “Tham Bun,” or merit. They enter the monasteries to learn the basics of their tradition later returning to secular life; these novice monks are not expected to make a lifetime commitment.
Original art available on Artmajeur for $679.26: Working Hours by Zulaa.