BANGKOK (Reuters) – Buddhist monks in Thailand are too tired to receive early morning alms because they are staying up late to watch the World Cup, a Thai newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The Nation quoted a woman in the northern city of Chiang Mai who said her birthday celebrations were ruined because monks at a city temple were not awake to receive her morning offering, a mandatory religious ritual in the predominately Buddhist country.
The woman, who declined to be identified, said she was told by a senior monk that most of his young colleagues were still asleep because they had stayed up to watch the games which can go on well past midnight.
The Sangha Council, which oversees the tens of thousands of Buddhist temples in Thailand, has not banned monks from watching the World Cup but said it should not interfere with religious activities.
Chiang Mai chief monk Phra Thep Wisuthikhun said he had received complaints about “inappropriate behavior” at seven temples in the province. “It is the duty of the abbot of each temple to supervise the behavior of young monks, making sure that their religious activities will not be affected by the games,” he told Reuters.
In neighboring Cambodia, some 40,000 monks have been warned they could be defrocked if they became too excited while watching the games.
“If they make noise or cheer as they watch, they will lose their monkhood,” Phnom Penh patriarch Non Nget told Reuters this month.