Thursday, May 3, 2018

Remove those Blinkers

Last week while travelling in Thailand I visited the Doi Suthep Temple in Chiang Mai. As we had been travelling in Asia for five weeks I wasn't too excited about visiting ABT (Another B*** Temple) but I went along as it was on our itinerary.

Doi Suthep
The historic temple was indeed beautiful and filled with precious and valuable religious items. It is a sacred site and place of pilgrimage for Thai people so at times I felt like an intruder as I watched the faithful process and pray solemnly and make offerings in this holy place.

One of the first structures we learnt about was built around the Bohdi Tree at the temple. This structure houses the ashes of many former temple devotees whose families have paid a princely sum for a niche in this holy place.

The Bohdi Tree
What struck me, as a family historian, when I read the plaques on the niches was that several of the niches housed ashes of  people who had died in foreign countries including Brunei and Belgium. Th families of the deceased had taken great pains to have the remains sent to Thailand. I was especially surprised to see the plaque for Pete L E Petersen Jr who had died in Chico, California.

Pete L E Petersen's Plaque
It set me wondering if Pete's descendants in a few generations time would think to look for the resting place of their European named illustrious ancestor in a temple on a hill in Thailand. 

And there is the lesson I had reinforced at the Doi Suthep - As genealogists we must remove our blinkers and search everywhere as we seek our answers.

Doi Suthep

1 comment:

Anne Young said...

When Pete's relatives google they will find some clues thanks to your blog post and the infinite memory of the internet :)



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