• Short Summary

    Thailand is a nation of temples, with 20,000 throughout the country. There are four hundred?

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    Thailand is a nation of temples, with 20,000 throughout the country. There are four hundred alone in Bangkok, the capital. Like churches everywhere, they attract their greatest crowds when times are hard -- and 1976 in Thailand was a period of difficult political and economic problem.

    SYNOPSIS: Although more than 90 per cent of the population are Buddhists, they also worship the God Brahma, who originates from Hinduism. People flock daily to his shrine in the centre of Bangkok. It's at the corner of the Erawan hotel, and came into being by chance when the hotel was being constructed when the hotel was being constructed 19 years ago. A services of accidents caused superstitious labourers to consult a Brahmin expert. He said the name "Erawan" meant the mythological three-headed elephant ridden by the God Brahma. So the shrine to Brahma went up, and the delays miraculously ended.

    People go the shrine to seek all kinds of favours -- from job promotion, to success in examination. Worshippers throng to the site from six in the morning until midnight. A charity box at the shrine is probably the best patronised in Bangkok. Daily donations, which go to hospitals, average 40 pounds(70 U.S.dollars). Children may earn more than the capital's office workers by selling items for worship such as garlands, candles and incense sticks. The youngsters can make about eight pounds (13 dollars) a day -- but they have to dodge policemen and compete for customers.

    The day before the drawing of the city's lottery means good business for the shrine. Thais buy their tickets, then say a prayer to the God Brahma just in case it's their lucky day.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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    Available on request
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