Wat Thai Norway helps poor Thai school

A group of Buddhists from Norway in early November visited Thailand to hand over donations totalling almost Bt300,000 to a rural school and temple in Buriram Province.      Leading the group of about twenty people – some Thai people of Norwegian residence and some Norwegians who believe in Buddhism – was the abbot of Wat Thai Norway in Oslo, Phrakru Palad Samruat Kamalo. On November 5, they visited Wat Ban Jom School and Wat Ban Jom Temple in Krasung District, Buriram to make their donations.      The financial aid to the school followed a proposal made to Wat Thai Norway by Mr. Thawatchai Piram, headmaster of Wat Ban Jom School who wanted to improve the school’s sanitation. In total, the school will get more than 200,000 baht. Part of it has been allocated for building six toilets, two bathrooms, and a water storage for the schoolchildren and kindergarten kids.      The support to the Wat Ban Jom Temple was a total of some 60,000 Baht.      All the money was donations which Thai and Norwegian Buddhists in Norway had made at Wat Thai Norway.      “Thai people living in Norway never forget to give back to their homeland. Whenever there is a chance, they like to share what they have with people who have less opportunity back home,” says Phrakru Palad Samruat who with a strong support from the Thai Buddhist Association in Norway (Den Thailandske Buddhistforening) founded Wat Thai Norway in 1996.      Phrakru Palad Samruat entered the Buddhist monastery as a ‘nane’ – or Buddhist novice – at Wat Ban Jom Temple, Buriram in 1969. He underwent an ordination to become a ‘phra’ – or Buddhist monk – at Wat Po Nimit in Bangkok five years later.      His religious mission abroad started in 1988 when he was sent to Sri Lanka for two years. After that, his main work has always been in Scandinavia.      Phrakru Palad Samruat travelled to Denmark in 1991, then transferred to Wat Buddharam in Sweden in 1993 as a missionary. Althought he was based in Sweden, most of his work was in Norway. He served Buddhists in Norway under the temple in Sweden until he could find a premise in Oslo to establish Wat Thai Norway more than two years later.      But it took him another half year to get a resident visa for Norway and be able to start serving Buddhists in the country full time.      To Phrakru Palad Samruat, the first day he arrived in Oslo as a resident of Norway was miraculous.      “Only an hour after my arrival, I was informed by the cargo company that the Buddha image transported from Bangkok to Oslo for Wat Thai Norway had also arrived the same day,” he makes a remark about the coincidence.      The brass Buddha image (30 inches in width and 57 inches in height) was built in Bangkok by Buddha Rangsi Patima factory and transported to Norway by TMT Co., Ltd., both as a religious contribution, to be the principle Buddha image at Wat Thai Norway. In the same container with the Buddha image were the ‘Tripitaka’ – the three sacred collections of Buddhist scriptures.      “The moment I was notified about the arrival of the container, I felt superbly delighted with an impression that Buddhism had just been born in Norway because the Three Gems in Buddhism concept – Buddha, Dharma and Sangha (or monks) had all arrived, all in the very same day,” he recalled about the arrival of the three symbolic elements, which were that day represented respectively by the Buddha image, the Tripitaka and Phrakru Palad Samruat himself. Related story: Wat Thai Norway to move next year 

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