Traditionally, ordination in the Sangha is considered a rite of passage for young Thai men, as an essential part of maturity or becoming “ripe” (suk). Ordination can be done on short notice and is not considered a lifetime commitment. Although this pattern of ordination becomes more distorted as one moves towards the urban areas, it is still largely intact in the countryside areas. Boys who are under the age of twenty years may be ordained as novices (Thai, nen; Pali, samanera) and those over this age may receive higher ordination as a full-fledged monk (phra, bhikkhu). The loss of the transmission of the full-fledged female order (bhikkhuni) is being reconsidered by some women in Thailand; this dialog and reconsideration of female roles in the order could be viewed as a modern form of Buddhist feminism.

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