Neydo Monastery, Baktapur, Nepal.
“And you’re very welcome to join the evening ceremony or the morning ceremony with us. Both are at five o’clock in the great hall of the monastery.” The monk said while leaving the room. A few moments later we stood upon the rooftop of the monastery hotel. Both lied on a hill overlooking the surrounding landscape of hills, rice fields, forests and villages. Although the view was amazing, we still had our eyes mainly on the small square before the monastery, where screams and laughter could be heard. They were running behind a ball like any children of their age. Lifting up their long red robes to run. They were young, really young. Some of them didn’t look like they had reached the age of six years old. We turned away and went downstairs, it was nearly five o’clock.
We entered the monastery through a side door. The way was led by the sound of drums and a variety of shoes, standing on the stairs. Quietly we slipped into the great hall, filled with so many colours that I didn’t even know where to look first. In a corner in the back of the hall lied a pile of mattresses. I dragged one to the back wall, so we could watch the ceremony.
The chanting and other practises of the evening ceremony begun (my apologies for not understanding exactly what was done). The combination of sound and colour was mesmerising. But soon we agreed that the children were to most endearing to watch. Although they put their best foot forward, they still couldn’t stay serious the whole time. Playing and whispering under the table, the young monks acted with a innocence fit for their age. Giving it all on their instruments and laughing with their peers playing one. It is here that I realised that although our cultures are so immensely different, at heart we are all the same.
After the end of the ceremony, it took five more minutes before the last little monks had left the hall, chasing each other on the slippery floor. As long as they don’t lose this happiness in life, I’m sure that they will become wise and caring monks someday.
In the mountain hills of the Kathmandu valley, lies the Neydo Monastery. They run a guesthouse that does a great job in giving you a glimpse into the monastery life. A true recommendation! http://www.neydohotel.com/