bamboo rockets

“…I found myself thinking, ‘okay – what will I do if one of those things comes shooting through the window at me?’ – I decided that I would duck.” (a roommate who shall remain nameless)

This isn’t the kind of statement that you really ever think will go through your mind. I mean really – when you live in place that’s not ravaged with war or internal strife, you just never think about these things. But, yesterday, this was exactly what my roommate thought to herself. With good reason too.

Around this time of year, the Thai-yai (and possibly other people groups too – I haven’t investigated too much; I just know that this applies to a lot of the villages in my area) have a festival called “boi ja tii.” During the festival, sacrifices are made to the spirits in hopes that there will be good weather for everyone’s crops and that it will be a good agricultural season. As a part of this festival, long bamboo poles of about 6-8 metres in length are fired up into the air as an offering to the spirits. They’re fired into the air like rockets – missiles really – and create almost as much noise as terror in the hearts of farang who begin to think strange thoughts about “what to do if.”

Even though I knew that they weren’t aiming the bamboo rockets towards the village and I knew that it was highly unlikely that one of them one fly in through my window, I still half expected one to suddenly appear after each rocket launch. I felt better though when my roommate voiced her thoughts in how she’d actually prepared herself for such an event. Just in case.

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