Buddhism http://www.globalpost.com/taxonomy/term/19783/all en Dalai Lama backs bin Laden's killing? http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/dalai-lama-backs-bin-ladens-killing <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> In a Tuesday appearance, the Tibetan Buddhist leader said "forgiveness doesn't mean forget what happened." </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> To be fair, it wasn&#39;t like His Holiness came out and said he wanted bin Laden dead.</p> <p> But for the man who serves as the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhists &mdash; you know, the ones with reverence for all living things &mdash; to even suggest that the killing of Osama bin Laden was justified is worth noting.</p> <p> And according to the <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0504-dalai-lama-20110504,0,7229481.story">Los Angeles Times</a>, at least, that&#39;s exactly what he did.</p> <p> After speaking at the University of California to a crowd of thousands, the Dalai Lama was asked about the Sunday raid on Osama.</p> <p> In his answer, the Dalai Lama said that as a human being the world&#39;s most wanted man may have deserved forgivenes.</p> <p> But then he added: &quot;Forgiveness doesn&#39;t mean forget what happened. &hellip; If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures.&quot;</p> <p> One reading of this statement certainly suggests that the Dalai Lama was on board with the Sunday raid in which Al Qaeda&#39;s No. 1 was shot twice, once through the eye.</p> <p> But, even if he did suggest as much, is that in conflict with Buddhism?</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/dalai-lama-backs-bin-ladens-killing" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Buddhism Dalai Lama Osama bin Laden Tibet World Leaders War World Religion China The Rice Bowl Wed, 04 May 2011 19:46:21 +0000 Emily Lodish 5642470 at http://www.globalpost.com Dalai Lama doesn't get the Dalai Lama joke http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/dalai-lama-doesnt-get-the-dalai-lama-joke <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Leave it to the Aussies to finally stump His Holiness. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> Have you ever wondered what you would say to the Dalai Lama, if you ever got the chance to meet him?</p> <p> One Australian newscaster clearly has not.</p> <p> On his recent trip Down Under, the Dalai Lama appeared on an Australian news program. The newscaster decided he would, after all, share that one clever <a href="http://www.boingboing.net/2011/06/14/dalai-lama-fails-to.html?dlvrit=36761" target="_blank">Dalai Lama joke</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p> Suffice it to say the Tibetan spiritual leader doesn&#39;t get the joke, though still manages to have the last laugh.</p> <p> One line that did get His Holiness to giggle was when he <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/110614/australia-prime-minister-julia-gillard-snubs-dalai-lama-tibet-china">confused the prime minister&#39;s gender</a>, referring to Julia Gillard as a man.</p> <p> &quot;Oh, her,&quot; he said with a laugh, after one of his aids corrected him.</p> <p> Gillard refused to meet with the Dalai Lama, but said it was unrelated to his gaffe.</p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/xlIrI80og8c" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/dalai-lama-doesnt-get-the-dalai-lama-joke" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Buddhism Dalai Lama Tibet World Leaders Entertainment World Religion China Offbeat The Rice Bowl Wed, 15 Jun 2011 00:36:43 +0000 Emily Lodish 5651247 at http://www.globalpost.com Thailand's elite bomb squad: keeping up with the insurgents http://www.globalpost.com/internal/video/5671563 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <!--paging_filter--><p>A bomb expert investigates a car and it blows up in his face. This is what the military is up against in Thailand's deep south.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mark Oltmanns </div> </div> </div> <p>South and central Thailand &mdash; Only those physically and mentally fit enough to keep up with the insurgency&#39;s shifting tactics make it onto the force in Thailand&#39;s deep south, where there are about 25 bombings a month.&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-copyright"> <div class="field-label">Copyright/Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> GlobalPost </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-lead-image"> <div class="field-label">Still Frame:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_lead_image" width="720" height="405" alt="Thailand&#039;s elite bomb squad " src="http://www.globalpost.com/sites/default/files/twistage_stills/2bc5b1731b28a-original_0.jpg?1311779915" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-datestamp field-field-publish-date"> <div class="field-label">Publish Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">2011:07:27 11:21</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="vid-wrapper"> <script type="text/javascript"> //not in site and viewNode("2bc5b1731b28a", {player_profile:"_gp3_full", server_detection:true}); </script> </div> Buddhism Islam On Location Conflict Zones Military World Religion Thailand Wed, 27 Jul 2011 15:21:00 +0000 Mark Oltmanns 5671563 at http://www.globalpost.com More bad news for Tibetan monks http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/tibetan-buddhist-monks-tibet-dalai-lama <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> China has sentenced a Tibetan monk to 11 years in jail for hiding his fellow monk who had self-immolated. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> Earlier this month, news of a <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/second-tibetan-monk-burns-himself-alive">monk self-immolating</a> in southwestern China sent ripples of terror through the Tibetan Buddhist community.</p> <p> Not only did the act of Tsewang Norbu, known as Norko, burning himself alive bring onlookers to a halt, and force them to register the oppression under which Tibetans live in China.</p> <p> But it also forced people to say, &quot;Again?&quot;</p> <p> Norko was the second monk to light himself on fire and die from subsequent injuries in the last six months.</p> <p> And today, it is that first monk, Rigzin Phuntsog, who self-immolated in China&#39;s Sichuan province on March 16, who is again making headlines months after his death.</p> <p> A Chinese court has sentenced a monk called Drongdru to 11 years in jail for &ldquo;intentional homicide&rdquo; for hiding his fellow monk and preventing him from getting treatment after he set himself on fire, <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/378fbaf4-d252-11e0-9137-00144feab49a.html#axzz1WRPaJfi6">state news agency Xinhua</a> reported on Monday.</p> <p> According to Reuters:</p> <p class="rteindent1"> Drongdru ... pled guilty to the murder charge and said he felt very regretful over the hiding and prevention of emergency treatment and asked for leniency. Drongdru said at the court room that he would not appeal against the verdict,&rdquo; Xinhua said.</p> <p> According to reports, at least three monks have self-immolated in China since 2009.</p> <p> Two other monks will stand trial on Tuesday charged with &ldquo;plotting, instigating and assisting&rdquo; in Rigzin Phuntsog&#39;s self-immolation.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/tibetan-buddhist-monks-tibet-dalai-lama" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Buddhism Dalai Lama Tibet Conflict Zones World Religion China The Rice Bowl Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:45:12 +0000 Emily Lodish 5674231 at http://www.globalpost.com Tibet is burning http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/111028/tibet-china-buddhist-monks-self-immolations-kirti-monastery <p>BIHAR &mdash; During my detention by Chinese authorities, I was not mistreated, only exhausted. That does not compare to the intimidation and violence that Tibetans endure daily.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/111028/tibet-china-buddhist-monks-self-immolations-kirti-monastery" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Buddhism Dalai Lama Tibet Conflict Zones Asia-Pacific World Religion Opinion Fri, 04 Nov 2011 10:21:00 +0000 Matteo Pistono 5679591 at http://www.globalpost.com What should the Dalai Lama do? http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/tibet-dalai-lama-buddhism-china-monks-self-immolations <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Q &amp; A with Robert Barnett, director of the Modern Tibetan Studies at Columbia Univ. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> <em>Self-immolations are in the news.&nbsp;</em><em>Besides reports today of a <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/111116/china-man-sets-fire-himself-tiananmen-square-photo">Chinese man who set himself on fire</a> in Beijing&#39;s Tiananmen Square,&nbsp;</em><em>China is also facing a wave of self-immolations in eastern Tibet.&nbsp;</em></p> <p> <em>At least 11 monks and nuns have set themselves on fire this year in protest of China&#39;s grip on their homeland.&nbsp;</em><em>Last week, the Dalai came forward and blamed China for the spate of tragic acts, saying its approach in Tibet amounts to <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/111107/dalai-lama-china-cultural-genocide-monk-self-immolations">&quot;cultural genocide.&quot;&nbsp;</a></em></p> <p> <em>For some, it was a welcome message from a figure who, inevitably, is at the center of any news out of Tibet. For others, it began the well-worn cycle that starts with the Dalai Lama condemning China, moves to China condemning the Dalai Lama, and ends without much changed.</em></p> <p> <em>&quot;It&#39;s hard to see new ways to describe the situation. But we have to keep on trying to describe it,&quot; said Robbie Barnett, director of the Modern Tibetan Studies program at Columbia University. </em></p> <p> <em>GlobalPost spoke with Barnett about the likelihood that China will make some changes, what the Dalai Lama can really do, and why no one is an idle commentator on this issue.</em></p> <p> <span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 16px; line-height: 19px; "><strong>GlobalPost: The majority of Tibetans who have self-immolated this year have died. It&#39;s clear these deaths are the result of more than a decade of repressive policies in Tibet. What is a helpful frame to make sense of this in the West?</strong></span></p> <p> Professor Robbie Barnett: We would have to imagine a government here treating universities as, let&#39;s say, mafia centers or criminal cults that have to be repeatedly invaded by police.&nbsp;That&#39;s roughly how the major Tibetan monasteries are being viewed now in China.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/tibet-dalai-lama-buddhism-china-monks-self-immolations" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Buddhism Dalai Lama Nepal Tibet Asia-Pacific World Religion China Opinion The Rice Bowl Wed, 16 Nov 2011 18:20:00 +0000 Emily Lodish 5680804 at http://www.globalpost.com Self-immolations spread from Tibet to the diaspora http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/111114/tibet-self-immolations-dalai-lama-china <p> NEW DELHI &mdash; There&#39;s a grim reason for the mounting tide of self-immolations in the homeland they may never see. Now, perhaps more than ever before, China is winning the battle for Tibet.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/111114/tibet-self-immolations-dalai-lama-china" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Buddhism Dalai Lama Tibet World Religion China India Mon, 14 Nov 2011 12:26:00 +0000 Jason Overdorf 5681225 at http://www.globalpost.com Tibet: What can other countries do? http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/tibet-self-immolations-dalai-lama-china-foreign-policy-diplomacy <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Q &amp; A Part two: Robert Barnett, Columbia Univ. Modern Tibetan Studies director. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> <em>At least 11 monks and nuns have set themselves on fire this year in condemnation of China&#39;s repressive policies in their homeland. </em></p> <p> <span style="font-style: italic;">Is it an effective form of protest? Will China change its policies? </span></p> <p> <span style="font-style: italic;">Not likely, without clear and consistent pressure on the international stage, ar<em>gues </em></span><em>Professor Robert Barnett, director of Modern Tibetan Studies at Columbia University</em>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/tibet-self-immolations-dalai-lama-china-foreign-policy-diplomacy" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Buddhism Dalai Lama Tibet World Religion China Opinion The Rice Bowl Thu, 17 Nov 2011 17:18:00 +0000 Emily Lodish 5681560 at http://www.globalpost.com Another Tibetan monk dies after self-immolation http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/tibetan-monk-self-immolation-dalai-lama <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Of the 12 self-immolations this year in protest of China, this is the first in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Is the phenomenon spreading? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Emily Lodish </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> Tenzin Phuntsog, a 46-year-old Tibetan and former monk, is reported to have died Dec. 6 from burns he suffered while self-immolating on Dec. 1, according to rights groups.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-16111709">BBC reports</a> that he died in Chamdo (called Chengdu in Chinese) hospital, located in the Tibetan Autonomous Region.</p> <p> <strong>More from GlobalPost: <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/111028/tibet-china-buddhist-monks-self-immolations-kirti-monastery">Tibet is burning</a></strong></p> <p> Tenzin Phuntsog is the 12th monk or nun to have self-immolated this year in protest of China&#39;s grip on Tibet. Seven of the 12 have died.</p> <p> He is the first, however, to have self-immolated in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Is the phenomenon spreading?</p> <p> The majority of the 12 have self-immolated in or near Kirti monastery in neighboring Sichuan province, home to many ethnic Tibetans.</p> <p> The story of these Tibetan Buddhists and the apparent psychological rupture that has occurred in their community, prompting a spate of self-immolations has just been named the <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2101344_2100858_2100859,00.html">year&#39;s most under-reported story</a> by Time magazine.</p> <p> <strong>Video: <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/video/5682881/graphic-video-tibetan-exiles-say-protests-may-turn-violent">Outcry over Tibetan self-immolations (GRAPHIC)</a></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/tibetan-monk-self-immolation-dalai-lama" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Buddhism Dalai Lama Tibet Tibetan Self Immolations Diplomacy World Religion China The Rice Bowl Fri, 09 Dec 2011 21:33:49 +0000 Emily Lodish 5683868 at http://www.globalpost.com 2011: year for self-immolations http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/indonesia/111230/self-immolations-extreme-protest-tibetan-monks-mohamed-bouazizi <p> JAKARTA &mdash; On Dec. 10, an Indonesian student died from extensive burn wounds suffered after he set himself on fire, the latest victim of an extreme form of protest that gripped the world in 2011.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/indonesia/111230/self-immolations-extreme-protest-tibetan-monks-mohamed-bouazizi" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Africa Arab Spring Buddhism Tibet Tunisia Conflict Zones Politics World Religion China Culture & Lifestyle Middle East India Indonesia Vietnam Sun, 01 Jan 2012 13:37:43 +0000 Sara Schonhardt 5685555 at http://www.globalpost.com Body of self-immolated Tibetan monk 'publicly paraded' in China http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/120109/tibet-monk-sopa-self-immolation-body-paraded <p> According to witnesses, angry Tibetans demanded that police return the monk&#39;s charred remains, which they then carried through the streets.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/120109/tibet-monk-sopa-self-immolation-body-paraded" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Buddhism Protests Tibet Tibetan Self Immolations China Mon, 09 Jan 2012 11:42:00 +0000 Jessica Phelan 5686446 at http://www.globalpost.com Richard Gere calls China "largest hypocrisy in the world" http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/richard-gere-tibet-china-dalai-lama <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The actor says that China will never be able to break Tibet's spirit. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Kathleen E. McLaughlin </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> Leave it to Richard Gere to not mince words on China and Tibet.</p> <p> Gere, a longtime outspoken supporter of the Dalai Lama and critic of China&#39;s repressive rule of the region, called China &quot;the largest hypocrisy in the world right now,&quot; in an interview with Indian television.</p> <p> The Hollywood Reporter <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/richard-gere-china-largest-hypocrisy-world-280408">has the choice bits</a> of the actor&#39;s takedown of China.</p> <p> &ldquo;Are we more interested in money or are we more interested in the truth?&quot;, Gere said during an interview with English-language channel NDTV 24x7.</p> <p> &quot;Eventually you have to bow to the will of the people and especially as their progress as an economy, education also gets higher; their interactions with the world and other people&#39;s functioning in the world, and the openness of self-expression. No one wants to live in hypocrisy, and China is the largest hypocrisy in the world right now. &rdquo;</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/richard-gere-tibet-china-dalai-lama" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Buddhism Dalai Lama Tibet Entertainment China The Rice Bowl Wed, 11 Jan 2012 15:54:35 +0000 Kathleen E. McLaughlin 5686913 at http://www.globalpost.com China: Dalai Lama encourages suicide, says paper http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/china-dalai-lama-tibet-self-immolation-suicide <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Communist newspaper says the Buddhist leader has benefited from Tibet's spate of self-immolations. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Kathleen E. McLaughlin </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> Speaking of suicide as a bargaining tool, China&#39;s nationalistic Global Times newspaper <a href="http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/691630/Dalai-uses-suicides-for-political-gain.aspx">is accusing the Dalai Lama</a> of that very thing.</p> <p> In an editorial on Wednesday, the newspaper scolded the Tibetan spiritual leader over the latest spate of self-immolations in the Tibet region.</p> <p> Last weekend, three more people reportedly set themselves on fire in Tibetan areas of China to protest Chinese rule of Tibet. Those three deaths are only the latest in a series of protests by fire across the Tibetan plateau since late last year.</p> <p> <strong>More from GlobalPost:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/111028/tibet-china-buddhist-monks-self-immolations-kirti-monastery">What compels a Buddhist nun to burn herself alive?</a></strong></p> <p> The Global Times, often known for its vitriolic opinion pieces, heaps scorn upon the Dalai Lama, referring to &quot;the Dalai group,&quot; and unsubtle reference to Chinese government assertions that hostile foreign forces aligned with the Dalai Lama are behind all unrest in Tibet.</p> <p> The Dalai Lama hasn&#39;t set foot in China in decades, but he remains a polarizing figure for official China.</p> <p> &quot;The Dalai group has become an interest group outside China. They are exiles, but they need to survive. Therefore, they sell themselves to the West to help against China. If they only prayed and delivered sermons in foreign countries, their lives would be much worse,&quot; the newspaper wrote.</p> <p> &quot;The selfishness and ruthlessness of the Dalai group are carefully packaged by the West. The so-called &#39;Tibetan independence&#39; or &#39;high degree of autonomy&#39; that the Dalai group is pursuing are unreachable. They know this very well. But what they really care about is not the results but the slogans to help the West interfere in China&#39;s domestic affairs. The slogans also helped the Dalai Lama win the Nobel Peace Prize and gain considerable sums of financial support from the West.&quot;</p> <p> <strong>Related:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/120109/tibet-monk-sopa-self-immolation-body-paraded">Body of self-immolated Tibetan monk &quot;publicly paraded&quot; in China</a></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/china-dalai-lama-tibet-self-immolation-suicide" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Buddhism Dalai Lama Tibet World Religion China The Rice Bowl Wed, 11 Jan 2012 16:10:04 +0000 Kathleen E. McLaughlin 5686914 at http://www.globalpost.com China vs. India: the battle for Buddha http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/120118/nepal-buddhism-dalai-lama-china-tibet LUMBINI, Nepal — For the past several months, a curious mystery has unfolded around Lumbini, the latest beachhead in the quiet battle for Buddha. <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/120118/nepal-buddhism-dalai-lama-china-tibet" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Buddhism Dalai Lama Nepal Tibet World Religion China India Thu, 19 Jan 2012 11:32:04 +0000 Jason Overdorf 5687998 at http://www.globalpost.com Welcome to Thailand: The penis shrine http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/wanderlust/thailand-penis-shrine-fertility <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tucked behind the Swissotel Hotel in Bangkok is a fertility shrine with hundreds of phallus carvings. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Iva Roze Skoch </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> It&rsquo;s been a while since I got anywhere near a seven-foot penis.</p> <p> The last time that happened I was in Bhutan, where I reported on the <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/asia/101227/penis-travel-bhutan ">Buddhism-inspired phallic imagery</a> locals there paint on their houses to ward off evil spirits.</p> <p> You&#39;ll find similar phallic warship rituals in Japan, too, as reported by GlobalPost&nbsp;in a <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/japan/100315/japan-penis-japanese-vaginas ">story and photo essay on penis and vagina festivals</a>.</p> <p> Since it&rsquo;s almost springtime, it was about time I made another pilgrimage to pay my respects to the penis.</p> <p> After all, if it weren&rsquo;t for a global fascination with the phallus, I would have to find another way to make a living.</p> <p> So today I went to the &ldquo;penis shrine,&rdquo; as the <a href="http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thailand/bangkok/sights/shrine/lingam-shrine-saan ">Lingam Fertility Shrine</a> in Bangkok is colloquially called.</p> <p> It&#39;s a small wooden structure tucked behind a giant glass building of the <a href="http://www.swissotel.com/EN/Destinations/Thailand/Swissotel+Nai+Lert+Park/Hotel+Home/Hotel+Description">Swissotel Hotel</a>. I found myself in this secluded spot, in the shadow of banyan trees, surrounded by some three hundred wooden phalluses ranging from lifesize to seven feet long.</p> <p> The Lingam Fertility Shrine, if the name isn&#39;t obvious, is the place locals come to pray so that they can conceive children.</p> <p> The setting is surreal. If I was a marketing director for Swissotel, I would capitalize on the hotel&rsquo;s location and design a special &ldquo;penis shrine view room.&rdquo; You could set up couples with champagne and charge them as much as an <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_vitro_fertilisation" target="_blank">average IVF cycle</a>.</p> <p> The shrine was originally dedicated to Chao Mae Tuptim, a female animist spirit who &mdash; locals believe &mdash; has been residing in the banyan tree next to the shrine for centuries. One day, the story goes, a woman came to the shrine asking for help from Chao Mae Tuptim because she couldn&rsquo;t get pregnant. Nine months after visiting the temple, she gave birth to a healthy child. She was so grateful, she came back and left a giant wooden carving of penis as a way to thank the universe.</p> <p> Over the years, others have followed in her footsteps. If you visit today, you will see hundreds of phallus-shaped objects, made mostly from wood and stone.</p> <p> Some have bows tied around them for protection, others are dyed bright red, blue or green. All of them, however, are here with the same premise: You offer up a penis, and you, too, may undergo the miracle of conception.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/wanderlust/thailand-penis-shrine-fertility" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Bangkok Buddhism fertility penis Phallus Thailand Travel/Tourism Offbeat Thailand Wanderlust Thu, 09 Feb 2012 13:53:00 +0000 Iva Roze Skoch 5691050 at http://www.globalpost.com