I See the Light

Yes, I really am here. I apologize for such long pauses between posts, but I have 15 poignant reasons: my students. We’re just wrapping up an intense month of reporting on Asia’s booming population of people over 65, and the myriad problems they face. I’ll tell you more about it next week, after graduation.

But for now, revel in the lights. It’s Loy Krathong week, when Thais send tiny rafts of flowers and candles floating downriver, and giant lanterns are released into the sky.

Jerry thinks it looks like 5,000 jellyfish floating through the night. Environmental hazards aside, it’s a riveting sight. But better yet is the idea behind this festival—to release one’s stress and anger and wish for something good through all those floating lights. How fitting, in this historic week of American politics.

How fitting, too, as these bright young journalists from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar prepare to face the challenges that await them back home.

4 thoughts on “I See the Light

  1. We saw a smaller version of these lanterns a few years ago when we were in Chiang Mai. It really is magical. I love how you caught the expressions and excitement of the people as they were lighting the lanterns.

    Look forward to hearing more about your class and students.

  2. Thanks, Audrey.

    Well, Andy, we don’t like to talk about that! Seriously, this festival is far from eco-friendly. Burnt, ripped and exhaust-tinted lanterns fall all over Chiang Mai, in trees and on roadsides, and there they remain for months. In dry years, burning lanterns have started fires, and the festival poses a risk to aircraft flying overhead. But these are details that get in the way of a grand time….

    Hi Laura, thanks for the welcome.

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