Spiritual Offerings: Photographing Faith On A Platter

were to buy prednisone Photographing spiritual offerings in the streets of Thailand

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Food and religion form an inextricable tangle of mores and norms. Religion not only sets down the permissible and impermissible forms of consumption of food but also demands interaction with food that transcends the merely human. Most religions have food as part of the relationship between devotees and the gods.

From the Eucharist in which the wine and bread transubstantiates the body and blood of Christ in Catholicism to the offering of rice to the dead as part of the bereavement processes, there are innumerable examples about the way in which food is used as a form of communication with the non-corporeal and a symbol of different aspects of worship across religions.

And, much like any other part of social and human existence, this too is manifest in diverse forms, with adaptations made by each practising populace.

The pictures are from Thailand, where it is believed that everyday objects such as streets, cars, and lamp posts have spirits, the benevolence of which is necessary for a peaceful and content life.

In order to keep the spirits happy and pleased, food offerings are made at spirit houses placed outside of houses and businesses, and sometimes, even on pavements. These offerings are a myriad mix of what suits the devotee, and what she can afford.

From a simple plate of fruits to an elaborate platter of whole chicken and dumplings, these offerings serve as glimpses into the conceived notions of what is suitable and necessary, in accordance with a devotee’s social standing.

However marked the differences in the contents of the offerings are, one thing is certain: all of them- whether placed on tables or on street corners, whether it is a bowl of broth or includes a bottle of alcohol- are signs of gratitude and modes of seeking blessings and luck from beings considered powerful enough to cause changes in the trajectories of mortals.