Friday, October 28, 2011

East Influences West

I've come across a number of interesting ways in which the East, particularly Thailand, is influencing my country of origin, the USA. I will keep adding more examples to this article as I come across them. Meanwhile, here are a few starters.
  • The USA is saturated with Muay Thai (Thai boxing) schools; one being less than a mile from my former home in Tacoma, Washington.

  • Human interest story (from a podcast): Thailand's "Sriracha" sauce takes the U.S. by storm. Love those spicy buffalo wings sold at baseball games and popular restaurant chains? Thank Thailand for a hot chili sauce that I thought only I was enjoying in Thailand. Named after a town near Bangkok, where the sauce originates the condiment can now be found on most store shelves in the USA.

    Recently this sauce has beat out tomato ketchup as America's preferred condiment--now THAT is momentous!

  • And in a deeper vein, religious/philosophical influence is reaching significantly into the lives of Americans. Read on . . .

Thai Buddhist Temple at Five Mile Lake, Sumner Washington.
This temple's property adjacent to the former
Glendawn Baptist Bible Camp.
The Baptist Bible camp was disbanded and sold,
but the newly-built Buddhist temple is apparently thriving.

The above photo was taken three years ago and the temple was a total surprise when I visited the site of a summer camp I attended as a child. Here are a few more items of interest on the same topic...
  • News item (from a recent podcast): Alabama's highest-security men's prison institutes two-week Buddhist Thai-style meditation courses for hundreds of inmates. The prison (a Baptist) chaplain comments that it seems to work, so he can't knock it.

  • From an ad in the Seattle Times (below). The type of meditation classes are from a Thai-branch of Buddhism called Theravada.

    Kadampa Meditation Center Washington
    "Everyone welcome! Meditation classes are offered at the Temple in Ballard on Sunday mornings and Monday evenings. We also offer a Learning to Meditate lunchtime class on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. These classes are suitable for all individuals whatever their level of interest, from those who seek simple relaxation to those who wish to find lasting inner peace and contentment through following the Buddhist path.

    Classes in Buddhism and meditation are also offered at over a dozen locations in the greater Seattle area
    , such as Bellevue, Capitol Hill, Burien, and West Seattle.