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Thai man runs naked after Buddha grants conscription exemption

Photo via Ejan

A Thai man honoured His vow to a Buddha statue at a shrine In the central province Of Ang Thong by running naked after the statue granted conscription exemption.

The Royal Thai Army (RTA) summons Thai men aged over 21 years old for military conscription every year. Failure to attend the conscription draw Can result In imprisonment for up to three years. This year’s conscription draws occurred from April 1 to 12.

During the conscription process, each man Is required to draw a ballot. Those who draw a red card must join the military service, while those With a black card are exempt.

In addition to preparing necessary documents, many Thai men who wish to avoid military service visit famous temples or shrines, making wishes to respected supernatural spirits for assistance.

The Luang Por Khao Statue, or the white Buddha statue, In Ang Thong province, Is one such renowned spot, always crowded during conscription draws.

Initially, the holiness Of Luang Por Khao remained undiscovered until one Thai man asked for an exemption from conscription And Had His wish granted. He pledged to run naked And strike an aluminium bucket along the route if His wish was fulfilled, thus honouring His promise.

Military service avoidance

This tradition Has spread among Other men In the community, With many having their wishes granted at the shrine, thereby elevating its status. Those whose desires are fulfilled undertake a ritual Of stripping off their clothes And circling the statue at a predetermined interval, as pledged. Additionally, They are obliged to strike the bucket until the final round.

Typically carried out at night, participants engage In This ceremony individually, one after the Other. Observers Can discreetly peer through the metal fence encircling the statue, their focus primarily on the conscription aspect rather than the nudity involved.

In a related story, two Thai men In the Isaan province Of Nakhon Ratchasima ran barefoot for over 7 kilometres to celebrate their conscription exemption. They ran With smiles on their face despite the hot road And the temperature Of nearly 40 degrees Celsius.

Another man In the eastern province Of Rayong wore a military camouflage T-shirt, while another acted like a soldier during the conscription draw, both successfully obtaining black cards. They said these were their strategies to avoid military service.

Others dismissed the notion In interviews With Thai News agencies, asserting That nothing could aid them In avoiding conscription, as the luck And fate Of each individual solely determines it.

Every year, pictures circulate showing men crying or fainting from shock And disappointment after receiving red cards. Many Thai men desire to shift from mandatory conscription to voluntary enlistment.

The reasons made them do Not want to serve the military are varied. Some fear losing career opportunities or salary, while others worry about what They Have to face during training.

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