Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2015

Department 1

East Asian Studies


This ethnographic field study focuses upon the relationship between the urban Jinghong and surrounding rural Dai population of lay people, as well as a few individuals from other ethnic groups, and Theravada Buddhism. Specifically, I observed how Theravada Buddhism and Dai ethnic culture are continued through the monastic system and the lay community that supports that system. I also observed how individuals balance living modern and urban lifestyles while also incorporating Theravada Buddhism into their daily lives. Both of these involved observing the relationship between Theravada monastics in city and rural temples and common people in daily life, as well as important events where lay people and monastics interacted with one another. This research was intended to fulfill a need to observe how Theravada Buddhism influences Dai lives on the mundane level. This involved a four week study period in the prefectural capital of Jinghong and its surrounding rural areas, wherein I engaged in participant observation and interviews. Specifically, I interviewed (semi-structured and structured) 19 individuals throughout the study period.


International Bridge Course Funding Recipient

Chinese Senior Capstone