People get tattoos in Thailand – level 3

30-03-2016 07:00

Tens of thousands of people have flocked to get tattoos in this Buddhist temple just west of Bangkok. These worshippers can be seen running in a trance, mimicking the creatures that feature in their tattoos.

Many believe that the tattoos, drawn by the monks inside, possess mystical powers. This man says that his tattoo is the reason he survived a car crash unscathed and why his job is going so well.

The ink used is made of a mixture of snake venom, herbs, and cigarette ash and when the illustrations are complete, the monks blow on them in order to bestow them with their sacred power.

The sanctity of the tattoos is apparently only maintained if the bearer obeys the five precepts of Buddhism, including abstinence from stealing, taking life, sexual misconduct, drinking alcohol, and taking drugs. If anyone does slip up though, they are welcomed back the next year for a top-up.

Difficult words: flock (to come in large numbers), trance (a special state of the mind), mimic (to imitate), feature (are), unscathed (not hurt), venom (a poison), bestow (to give), sacred (holy), sanctity (holiness), apparently (seemingly), bearer (the person who’s carrying something), misconduct (a wrongdoing), precept (a principle), slip up (to make a mistake), top-up (to get something redone or fixed).



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