The Royal Thai Embassy, Vientiane participated in Lao-Thai Offering Ceremony at Ong Teu Mahavihan Temple, Vientiane
On 6-7 May 2023, Ms. Morakot Sriswasdi, Ambassador of Thailand to Lao PDR, Mr. Thamnong Pholthongmak, President of the Thai Business Association in Lao PDR, members of Team Thailand, Embassy staff and representatives of Thai private sector in Lao PDR participated in Lao-Thai Offering Ceremony at Ong Teu Mahavihan Temple, Vientiane. The Most Venerable Maha Bounma Simmaphom, President of the Buddhist Fellowship Organisation of the Lao PDR presided over the ceremony. Also presented, the Most Venerable Maha Veth Masenay, Vice President of the Buddhist Fellowship Organisation of the Lao PDR, Venerable Phouangprasert Poumavong, Director of Ong Teu Sangha College and abbot of Ong Teu temple, and community of Buddhist monks. At this ceremony, the representatives from the Lao side are Mrs. Naly Sisoulith, spouse of H.E. Mr. Thongloun Sisoulith, the President of the Lao PDR, together with families of high-level government officials, namely Mrs. Vandara Siphandone, Spouse of H.E. Mr. Sonexay Siphandone, Prime Minister of Lao PDR and Dr. Viphavanh Phomvihane, spouse of H.E. Mr. Xaysomphone Phomvihane, President of the National Assembly. Devotees both from Thailand and the Lao PDR together attended and made donations at the ceremony.
The purpose of this auspicious Lao-Thai Offering Ceremony is to raise funds for the restoration of the first Sangha college’s building in Lao PDR, which is located at Ong Teu Temple and currently in dilapidated condition. Activities included prayer ceremony and listening to Dhamma teaching, offering the donation to the temple, and alms giving ceremony. The temple also organized a lecture on Buddhism Education in Thailand and Lao PDR by the Sangha of both countries. The Sangha from Maha Chulalongkorn Raja Vidyalaya, Khon Kaen College, led by Phra Maha Dao Siam Vajira Panno, was invited to participate in the lecture.
Ong Teu Mahavihan temple is one of the oldest temples in Vientiane with historical significance. It is home to the Ong Teu Sangha College, the largest Buddhist college in Lao PDR. The College is under the supervision of the Lao Buddhist Fellowship Organisation and the Ministry of Education and Sports of the Lao PDR and has approximately 250 student monks. At present, the college offers a bachelor's degree in Buddhism along with general subjects.