Boys rescued from Thai cave ordained at Buddhist temple

The 11 boys, ages 11 to 16, became Buddhist novices in a religious ceremony, while their 25-year-old coach was ordained as a monk.

The young soccer teammates and their coach who were rescued after being trapped in a cave in northern Thailand were ordained Wednesday at a Buddhist temple, a merit-making activity to show thanks for their rescue.

The 11 boys, ages 11 to 16, became Buddhist novices in a religious ceremony, while their 25-year-old coach was ordained as a monk. One boy did not participate because he isn’t Buddhist.

The group prepared for their ordinations on Tuesday with ceremonies that included shaving their heads. The white clothes they donned then were exchanged Wednesday for the traditional orange robes. They prayed with guests and local officials attending the ceremony.

The ordainment ceremony took place at a mountaintop temple in Chiang Rai province. The group will spend a bit more than a week there.

Buddhist males in Thailand are traditionally expected to enter the monkhood, often as novices, at some point in their lives to show gratitude, often toward their parents for raising them. It’s believed that once a person is ordained they gain merit that is also extended to their parents.

Related: After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

Related: Daring rescue saves all 12 boys, soccer coach from Thai cave

In this case, said Praphun Khomjoi, chief of the regional branch of the National Office of Buddhism, the boys were dedicating the act of entering the monkhood to a volunteer diver and former Thai navy SEAL, Saman Gunan, who died while diving during a mission to supply the cave with oxygen tanks essential to helping the boys’ rescue.

“The teachings that we would like to the boys to learn is the awareness of themselves and the importance of their lives,” Praphun said. “It is extraordinary to be born as humans. And as we are given this opportunity, we should use Buddhist principles or principles of any religions as guidance for living. That’s the lesson that we want them to learn.”

Guests included Saman’s family and a doctor who accompanied the team inside cave for nine days while waiting for the divers to bring them out.

The 12 boys and their coach were released from a hospital last week. They became trapped on June 23 and were finally found by two British divers on July 2. They were brought out of the cave in a daring rescue mission that ended on July 10. Doctors say their basic health is good.

Tassanee Vejpongsaa, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Have you seen Cassy Miller?

Friends and family are looking for information about the Kelowna woman

In One Night promises to delve into broken relationships

The New Vintage Theatre play will run late November in Kelowna

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

Recognition for Mazu website founder Janice Taylor

Kelowna woman awarded alumni of distinction honour by Campion College

Kelowna child care centre selected to deliver low-cost universal child care

Kelowna’s Little Scholars program has qualified

Find me my furever home

Noodle is available for adoption from the Kelowna BC SPCA

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Kelowna judge tosses claim over missing ring at Kelowna General Hospital

Judge says plaintiff failed to prove nurse received the $38,000 diamond ring from her

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Mother of missing Shuswap woman holds out hope she’ll be found

Nicole Bell’s mom urges public to report any information that might help

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Most Read