Los Angeles Times

A child’s life


I just returned from my 11th trip to Myanmar and was getting caught up on reading past issues of the Travel section, so I was excited to see the “Your Scene” photo of the young monk from Amarapura [“Lunch Break in Myanmar,” Dec. 27].

However, I would like to clarify some misconcept­ions. Every Myanmar Buddhist male is expected to live and study in a monastery at least twice in his life — the first time between the ages of 10 and 20, and once again after the age of 20. The time can be as short as one week or as long as a few years. Many families who can’t afford the government public schools (students must pay for uniforms and school supplies) send their boys to the monasterie­s for the free education and housing.

The child in the photo is not necessaril­y predestine­d to be a monk.


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