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Samanera (The Novice Monk)

And there he stood! He was 8 years old but already for almost 2 years a full devoted samanera (novice monk). In Myanmar it is the most important duty of all par...
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And there he stood! He was 8 years old but already for almost 2 years a full devoted samanera (novice monk). In Myanmar it is the most important duty of all parents to make sure their sons are admitted to the Buddhist Sangha (monastic community) by performing a shinbyu ceremony once they have reached the age of 7 or older. A male in Myanmar enter a monastery twice in his life. Once as a samanera, a novice monk, between the age of 7 and 13, and again as a hpongyi, a fully ordained monk, sometime at the age of 20. Some might remain a monk for just a few days, while others stay for life. Many families from poorer or more rural backgrounds take up the chance to send their son to be a monk as it also means a free education.
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