Thursday, March 19, 2009

In Thailand, Vegetarians Find a Place at the Table

Source: NY Times

FIRECRACKERS rained down like hail, filling the street with sulfurous billows. Young men, dressed in white, waved towels, trying to keep the explosives away from the black-faced god seated in the ornate sedan chair that some of them held aloft. There, in the center of it all, Phuket Town fell away; the formerly opulent Portuguese-Chinese mansions and rows of boxy concrete shops faded as the hot morning sun swooned before clouds of acrid smoke.

Participants in Phuket’s annual Festival of the Nine Emperor Gods follow a strict set of moral guidelines during its course, refraining from drinking alcohol, fibbing, killing, gossiping and, among other things, eating meat. Yet if the festival is known at all outside the region, it is for this small detail: In English, it is usually called the Phuket Vegetarian Festival.

I know being vegetarian is a good health choice but it always make me lack energy. Perhaps it's a habit? I try to follow Buddhism and eat vegetarian four times a month (on the 1st, 2nd, 15th and 16th of the lunar calendar) but I always feel so weak those days.

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