By Sai Awn Tai
Than Htay, 50, a Burmese political asylum seeker fears he will be deported. His application to stay in Australia has been rejected eight times by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
Than Htay came to Sydney in 1996.
As a young man in Burma he was an active member of the Student Union. The union supports democratic leader and Noble Peace Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 11 of the last 17years, most recently since 2003.
By: Sai Awn Tai /Sydney
Water festival is a famous and popular event among the Theravada Buddhist communities in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Laos, Burma and Cambodia. This water festival is known as Songkran in Thai, Songkan in Laos and Tai, and Thingyan in Burma and Cambodia. The Theravada Buddhist communities in western countries such as Australia also celebrate this event annually at Buddhist monasteries, even though it is not as big an event as it is in Southeast Asian countries. There are significant practices with regards to
culture and religion on this festival occasional day. However, for young people, the event represents more than just normal celebration, it is the most amazingly wild, wet and merriest days for them. It is a significant event for all types of people who believe in Theravada Buddhism. Here in Sydney, the water festival is celebrated every year at the Buddhist monasteries. In this essay, I will briefly explain the water festival at the Leumeah Thai temple in Sydney and answer the concept of “Culture” by critically analysing the cultural and religious practices of Theravada Buddhism during the water festival days.