The Thailand cave rescue of 12 boys and their football coach gripped the global community in early July. Associated Press caught up with events and reported yesterday (July 24), that eleven of the boys were ordained as novices in a Buddhist temple. One boy was not ordained as he is a Christian. The coach of the Wild Boars football team, Ekapol Chanthawong, will be ordained as a monk.

The Guardian noted that the families of the boys had arranged for it, as a gesture of thanks to honor the people who saved them. The dedication is mainly to the Thai Navy Seal who died during the rescue efforts inside the flooded cave.

Cave boys ordination ceremony

The boys, aged 11 to 16 had their heads shaved during the ceremony before monks poured water over their heads. The youngsters dressed in white and underwent some Buddhist rites. The boys entered the temple and will remain there for nine days. Coach Chanthawong was already a Buddhist novice and he helped the boys during their ordeal by teaching them meditation. His leadership skills more than likely helped the boys cope with their terrifying ordeal.

It's not unusual for boys to become Buddhist novices in Thailand. Most boys are expected to do so, to honor their parents. In this case, the boys will do it to honor the memory of the deceased diver, Saman Kunan.

Thai boys and the culture behind becoming a novice Buddhist

On Reddit, many Thai readers helped to explain the culture. Most boys enter the temples as ordained novices. Most often they will do so if a relative or a parent dies. In the rural areas, they may stay as long two years. In the cities, Reddit user incee, explained they will more often do it for shorter periods of time, ranging from one to three days.

Many of them enter the temples for a few weeks. Another Redditor noted that when they underwent the ceremony both their heads and eyebrows were shaved.

The most popular period for entering the temples as Buddhist novices in the rainy season. This is the time of the Buddhist Lent and dates back to the ancient Indian mystics.

The tradition is not uncommon in those parts of Asia where they have monsoons.

Protecting the boys from the press

The boys are shielded from the press and right from the beginning, the media were kept well back from the cave. They were taken to the hospital for observation and treatment. They spent time with their families before the ordination. Now they will be inside the Buddhist temple for nine days. Thailand placed a ban on the media from talking to them for a month. Respect for the boys and family privacy is a top priority.

The boys were trapped by floodwater in June and spent nine days on a small piece of high ground before they were found. Divers from around the world gathered to help the rescue operation of 12 boys and their coach from the caves. Volunteers poured into Thailand to assist in an incredible display of selfless humanity. They were finally removed from the caves on July 10 after a three-week ordeal.