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American Religious Sounds Project

Vaisakhi puja

Description

Wat Buddha Samakidham is a Buddhist temple in the Theravada tradition, whose community consists primarily of Lao- and Thai-Americans. In May 2016, the temple celebrated Vaisakhi, or the Buddha's birthday, with a special weekend-long festival. Inside, the temple's resident monks engaged in lengthy sessions of chanting and meditation, joined by a large group of lay women and men, dressed in white, who had taken special monastic vows for the weekend. Outside, the temple hosted a cultural bazaar, with food, kiosks, and vendors selling all sorts of Thai, Lao, and Buddhist-themed goods. This recording begins inside, with the monks, and then gradually moves outside, where the sounds of the monks' voices can still be heard, just barely, amidst the background noise of the festival and nearby highway. The recording was produced toward the end of the day, as vendors were closing their shops and relaxing with drinks and casual conversation. The faint echoes of the monks’ chanting subtly undercut any sharp distinction between inside and outside, temple and marketplace, religion and secular culture. (Isaac Weiner)

Event
Vaisakhi puja
Community
Wat Buddha Samakidham Temple
Location
Wat Buddha Samakidham Temple
City / State
Columbus, OH
Recordist
Isaac Weiner
Recorded On
2016-05-21
Religious Tradition
Buddhist
Language
Pali
Types of Sounds
ambient, amplified, chanting/reciting, multiple voices, speaking, worship service
Types of Space
house of worship, indoors, outdoors
Research Team
Ohio State
Season
spring
Day of Week
Saturday
Time of Day
evening
4c2f17406e34bb3cf664
Celebration of Vaisakhi Puja inside the Wat Buddha Samakidham Temple in Columbus, OH. Photo by Isaac Weiner
Vaisakhi puja
79e12456b6b50646e146.mp3
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