Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday, Feb. 17, Chinese New Year, return to Siam Society museum and a class with MLS students

Today for lunch I returned to the Siam Society Museum, which was closed last Sunday when I tried to visit it. Its two ancient and serenely beautiful Thai houses were brought here from the Lanna region and re-constructed. Tradition in Thailand is matrilineal inheritance, with the youngest daughter having the responsibility to care for the parents/grandparents and carry on the family traditions. Sounds pretty good to ME! The shirts with inscriptions were worn by the men (who also had tattoos as you can see on the model) to protect them while away from home hunting or going to war.

Though located on the very busy Asoke St., the museum is a tranquil oasis. Wedding preparations were being made for tonight, so I took a few photos for cousins Tina and David Dennison. Looks about the same as at home.

My walk back to campus was enlivened by lots of Chinese New Year festivities, including the burning paper near doorsteps to honor deceased ancestors and firecrackers.

Nongnath's weekly class of MLS students was a treat. Most of them are already working in libraries. A bright and energetic group, who introduced themselves to me in English and told me why they are becoming librarians. I gave them my sermon about the necessity for lifelong learning and studying. (Not sure they were eager for a sermon on Chinese New Year, but at least it was short.)

As I write this, SWU students are outside singing, chanting in unison, and playing traditional drums. This seems to happen every afternoon. It feels very uplifting.