Wat Thai Norway to move next year

Wat Thai Norway Buddhist temple in Oslo will next summer move to a new location 30 km north of Oslo on Trondheim Road to become the center for Buddhism in Norway.      According to the Abbot of Wat Thai Norway, Phrakru Palad Samruat Kamalo, there are approximately 20,000 Buddhists in Norway, among them about 4,000 Thai residents in Norway. As their numbers are growing, the current size of Wat Thai Norway has now become too small. The current building is only 400 square meters.      “On days with a religious event or activity, the temple has to accommodate 150-300 people within its 400 sq.m. building,” says the abbot.      “Expansion within the current location is impossible because we are already surrounded by neighbors’ premises.”      “Luckily, we’ve found a perfect new location just 30 km. to the north of Oslo on Trondhiem Road. This new place, formerly a farmland and is still surrounded by farmland, will give us an ample of room for expansion.”      With the savings of the Thai Buddhist Association over the past ten years plus donations received by Wat Thai Norway, the temple has now bought this 16,800 sq.m. (approximately 10 Thai ‘rai’) plot of land at the price of slightly over NOK 2 million, including expenses and fees.      Wat Thai Norway today serves not only Buddhists from Thailand, but also Buddhists from countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Sri Lanka residing or visiting Norway.      “Sri Lankan Buddhists, for example, sometimes ask to perform their religious ceremonies at our temple because they don’t have a suitable place for such activities.”      “With the new location, we also plan to become the center of Buddhism in Norway, including also a school of Buddhism,” Phrakru Palad Samruat adds.      The land at the new location has already been adjusted and prepared for the construction, which Phrakru Palad Samruat expects to cost around NOK 10 million.      The construction cost is planned to be financed through loans and paid for by the budget that the Norwegian government allocates to its citizens for religious purposes.      “The Norwegian government has a budget of NOK 250 per person per year to be used for nourishing religions. If a person does not express an intention where he/she wants the government to give his/her part of this allocation to, the money will go to a pool which will be spent on fostering religions as a whole,” Abbot Samruat explains.      He also says that there are presently about 4,000 Thai Buddhists in Norway who are Norwegian residents/citizens and have this right, but the temple can contact only half of them.      “If the other half could join the Thai Buddhist Association, their part of the budget for religion can also be directed to nurturing Buddhism in Norway, plus it would be easier for them to directly benefit from this allocation or even track on how it is spent.”      Wat Thai Norway will expectedly be moved to the new premise in summer next year, but the first Buddhist ceremony at the new temple location has already been performed in one of the existing buildings on the land plot on September 9 this year as an auspicious day. Contact Address: Wat Thai Norway Torstadasen 16 1396 Billingstad Norway Tel: (47) 66 84 83 13 Fax: (47) 66 77 79 27 E-mail: [email protected] Related story: Wat Thai Norway helps poor Thai school 

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