16 Jul '11, 6am

Monks teach maleness to Thai 'ladyboys'

The 15-year-old aspiring "ladyboy" delicately applied a puff of talcum powder to his nose -- an act of rebellion at the Thai Buddhist temple where he is learning to "be a man". "They have rules here that novice monks cannot use powder, make-up, or perfume, cannot run around and be girlish," said Pipop Thanajindawong, who was sent to Wat Kreung Tai Wittaya, in Chiang Khong on the Thai-Laos border, to tame his more feminine traits. But the monks running the temple's programme to teach masculinity to boys who are "katoeys", the Thai term for transsexuals or ladyboys, have their controversial work cut out. "Sometimes we give them money to buy snacks but he saved it up to buy mascara," headteacher Phra Pitsanu Witcharato said of Pipop. Novice monks' days pass as in any other temple -- waking before dawn, collecting alms and studying Buddhism -- but every Friday attention turns ...

Full article: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/monks-teach-maleness-thai-ladybo...

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