Monking around: Buddhist livestream double act has youth joining ...


Monking around: Buddhist livestream double act has youth joining in

The two Thai monks’ weekly Facebook livestream mixes Buddhism and jokes but not all are laughing

Patpicha Tanakasempipat and Panu Wongcha-um

Two Buddhist monks in Thailand have become social media stars with Facebook livestreams that combine traditional teachings with non-traditional jokes and giggles. Some of the country’'s religious conservatives, however, are not so amused.

With an impressive fluency in youth slang, Phra Maha Paiwan Warawanno, 30, and Phra Maha Sompong Talaputto, 42, have captured the imagination of a generation who find the formal temple decorum and Sanskrit chanting of traditional Buddhism outdated and inaccessible.

On a recent Friday night, the bespectacled Paiwan set his phone up on a tripod and clipped a microphone onto his saffron robe, sitting alongside Phra Maha Sompong in a small study in Wat Soi Thong temple in Bangkok...

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