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Tue Jul 24, 2018, 05:52 PM

Boys Freed From Thai Cave Enter Monkhood to Honor Fallen Rescuer.

MAE SAI, Thailand — Three weeks after they emerged from a flooded cave complex, guided to safety by expert divers while their families and supporters around the world awaited word of their safety, the Thais known as the Wild Boars began a ceremony on Tuesday to become novice Buddhist monks.

Wearing white, the boys and their coach walked in a line in the northern town of Mae Sai, holding their heads low and their hands together. Hundreds of fans stood behind them with their phones out, occasionally trying to grab a quick photograph as the team passed by.

“It’s enough!” the acting head monk, Prayut Jetiyanukan, said over the loudspeaker system at the temple, Wat Pha That Doi Wao. Trying to keep a somber and respectful mood as the process to ordain the boys began, he added: “Fans! Please get back! They haven’t had a proper sleep in days and need their rest.”

Hundreds came from all over Thailand to get one of the first public glimpses of the Wild Boars, the small-town youth soccer team whose members survived more than two weeks in a flooded cave, riveting the world’s attention. Just a week after their release from the hospital, all but one of the boys began the ritual to serve as novice monks, or “nen.” Their coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, will become a monk, rather than a novice, having spent almost 10 years in the monkhood.'>>>

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/24/world/asia/thailand-cave-boys-monks.html?

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