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Old 09-10-2009, 01:15 AM
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Default Portrait of a Lao Monk

Lao monks are very friendly and approachable. Pay a visit to any temple in town and it's highly likely that a polite young monk - or group of them - will initiate a conversation with you. Most of these curious, conservational monks are of the novice variety, that is, they are usually teenagers still in school and not yet full-fledged men of the cloth. Many of the novice monks come from poor villages throughout Laos to live and study at one of the twenty-odd temples scattered around Luang Prabang. Obviously, being Buddhist monks, they are focused on learning about the teachings of the Lord Buddha, but novices also study a variety of academic subjects and languages such as Pali, French and English. Many of them can also speak Thai, a language that is quite similar to their native Lao. Those monks that want to pursue their education at a university must relocate to the capital of Vientiane and do so at one of the larger temples located there.
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