Saturday, March 14, 2009

SWF - 13 March 09


The skies have been thick and gray recently. There's a big smoke cloud covering SE Asia, mostly the result of people burning the stubble and organic trash on their fields so they can prepare for the next growing season. Many of my pictures over the past week include a white or powder blue sky.


The bright colored structures are funerary monuments, or chedhi. They are made of concrete, with a little room and door in the structure to place the ashes of the diseased. They are usually placed in the yard of the Buddhist temple, but with some cultural traditions, they can be placed just outside communities, on low-lying hills or in fields.

temple entrance

In spite of the haze, life goes on. We passed this ceremony and my staff continued to have a discussion about what its significance. Were they opening a new section of the temple, or was this a merit-making festival?

There are high clouds in the sky but they can barely be seen through the dust. Last night, a big wind blew up and this morning, dust is covering everything in my house. The air is also cool so I wonder if there was a storm somewhere nearby. That would be nice - even though it's dry season, it does rain a few times during these months. People call these storms, "Mango rains" as the moisture helps to ripen the mangoes.

This is my contribution to Skywatch Friday, whose members post pictures of the skies around the world.


The Write Girl said...

Hi Chanpheng,

Thank you for your insightful post for Sky Watcher Friday. Thank you also for your insight about the chedhi. I enjoyed reading your text and photos.

Take care.

Carol said...

Hi Chanpheng...your post is very interesting. I have never seen funerary monuments. They are very colorful.

Colin Campbell said...

Never been to Laos, but many memories of smoke filled skies while travelling around the region.

Keera Ann Fox said...

The top of that temple gate reminds me of some traditional Norwegian color schemes used in weaving and embroidery. Odd how such diverse cultures can have such similarities.

Bob Johnson said...

Very interesting about the funerary monuments, great images as well.

A Khudori Soleh said...

salam. nice post.

Today's Blah... said...

Ha! How could I have missed this post? huhuhu...good thing I tried to drop by today coz I've not seen you post for a while now and I'm missing your beautiful photos.

The spire looking monuments are just unique.