Survey shows Bangkok residents retain religious traditions

TNA, Feb 22, 2005

BANGKOK, Thailand -- The Thai society may in some ways be becoming increasingly westernized, but the majority of Bangkok residents are continuing to cling to religious traditions, with nearly 70 percent saying that they intend to engage in merit-making activities to mark the Makha Pucha Day tomorrow.

According to an ABAC poll of 1,794 residents of Bangkok and its environs, 67.9 percent of Bangkokians will offer alms to monks on the Makha Pucha Day tomorrow in recognition of the birth, enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha.

The survey also showed that the public intended to take part in candlelit temple processions and listen to Buddhist sermons.

While 45.7 of the respondents spoke of a range of personal problems, including financial and marital difficulties, the majority also indicated a belief in the Buddhist principle of ?good reaps good and bad reaps bad?.

By acting in accordance with Buddhist ethics and engaging in meditation, suffering could be eliminated, the respondents said.

Nonetheless, the survey indicated unease over the apparent lack of interest in religion among young people, with respondents calling on the government to encourage the nation?s youths to take part in religious activities and promote religious teaching in the school curricula.