Spiritual Offerings of Food Photographed On the Streets of Thailand

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In traditional Thai culture, believers will put offerings of food or gifts out as a means of thanks or respect. Bangkok based photographer Akkara Naktamna has always noticed these humble displays on the street corner or in front of a spiritual place, but it wasn’t until later in life did he began to take an interest in them. With the swift modernization of society in Bangkok there seems to be a departure from this tradition. His series The Spiritual Offering captures this practice of hope and faith.

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The offerings are placed on a street corner, a place of worship and occasionally in an area where a loved one has died. In hopes of having good health, wealth or business is a common wish for those who offer up food and goods. They could also hope to send food and good wishes to relatives who have passed away.

Each spiritual offering is reflective of a way of life and an indication of the various financial statuses of the believers. People give what they can afford; you might find a luxurious serving of food displayed on a gold plate, while another is simply rice and water. The offering also depends on religion and culture; Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims all participate in this tradition. It’s common for the Chinese to give a pig head or a Chinese cake, while Thai people may offer rice, water and Thai food.

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All images © Akkara Naktamna