Friday, 29 August 2014

Bathing and Laundry at Kun Lay Monastery

Kun Lay village, also known as Ei Chantha (or "Cool and Peaceful") Village, is about one hour by bad roads away from Pyin Oo Lwin. Nestled on higher ground and a former summer retreat for British colonials, it still enjoys cool weather today during Myanmar's hottest months. Life has changed little in the intervening centuries from traditional Burmese ways. This is also the area where Bhikkhu Agga spends Waso, and it has an even older history of dhutanga monks seeking full seclusion here in past centuries.

This video shows the way that washing and laundry take place in the village. As few homes have their own private areas, communal sites are shared among the village. There is one for men, and another for women, and all must be clothed when showering. The well is about 20 feet deep, and require some technical skill to be able to allow the bucket to twist when dropped and fill with water, and to hoist up without dropping any. The water is from a natural spring, and is quite cool and refreshing. Men typically bathe around the large cement tank, and a washing area is demarcated by a smoothed wooden platform. The old water tank can be seen to the left of the current one. The tank is surrounded on one side by deep forest and winding paths, and on the other by vegetable fields.

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