The wish of nearly every devout Buddhist father is to see at least one of his sons ordained as a priest.
GV ZOOM IN TO MV Brothers seated having heads shaved whilst brothers and sisters look on (5 shots)
CU PAN Sister holding lock of hair
MV's Father blessing bald heads (2 shots)
MVs EXTERIOR Procession of relatives and brothers headed by father enter temple (3 shots)
MV INTERIOR Brothers seated as father and two mothers look on (2 shots)
MV Novices (in white) and monks (in orange robes) kneeling, praying (3 shots)
MVs Monk chanting as the brothers present the robes the robes they will wear to monks as mother looks on (4 shots)
GV Golden statues
MVs Sons presented with orange robes by monk (3 shots)
GV Golden statues PAN TO newly initiated young monks kneeling praying
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Background: The wish of nearly every devout Buddhist father is to see at least one of his sons ordained as a priest. So an ordination ceremony in the town of Klong Darn, 60 kilometres south of the Thai capital, Bangkok, on Saturday (21 May) was a very proud moment for Mr Lek Chuket.
SYNOPSIS: At the ceremony, 14 of Mr Lek's sons were ordained as Buddhist priests...a number believed to be a record for a single Thai family. Altogether Mr Lek has had 33 children by his two wives, 28 of them still living. He has 22 sons and six daughters. As a preliminary to the ordination, the young men and boys ranging in age form 11 to 25 have all hair, including eyebrows, moustaches and beards, shaven.
One of the boys' six sisters collected the hair to keep for luck.
Their father who is 54, blessed his sons. Mr Lek, a grocer, has attracted attention from local journalists by refusing to practise family planning. He believes it's a sin to have a vasectomy and likes the natural way of living, and wouldn't mind having more children. As Mr Lek is not rich, the ceremony was simple. The family, community leaders and school children attended the ordination. For Thai people an ordination is an occasion to spend a large amount on celebrations.
The boys, dressed in white robes, sit in order of age in front of the senior priest who was specially invited by Mr Lek for the occasion. His eight other sons will have to wait to be ordained, as they are still too young for the ceremony.
After the procession, the men and boys exchange their white robes for the oranges ones they'll wear as monks. their life as monks starts form the moment they leave the temple after the ceremony.
How long they'll remain monks is entirely up them. Some remain for as little as a week, others spend up to three months wearing the orange robes. Only a minority will stay monks for life. Mr Lek said he had two instructions for his children. First, they have to assemble at his house every Chinese New Year after he dies, or risk being cursed. He wants to see his large family stay united. And secondly they must stay honest and thus stay out of trouble.