Day 5: The Tai Lue People

The Tai Lue people are an ethnic group living in China, Laos, Thailand, Burma, and Vietnam who speak a Tai language. In China, they are officially recognized as part of the Dai ethnic group who live in the southern province of Yunnan, China. The Tai Lue people spread south from China to the surrounding nations of Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia where they adopted Theravada Buddhism.

The Theravada tradition of Buddhism developed in Sri Lanka and was brought to Southeast Asia by monks where it was flourishing by the 12th century. It emphasizes spiritual transformation through one’s own efforts, particularly through meditation, and ideally through life as a monk. However, there are many festivals that are enjoyed by the whole community.

A popular festival is Songkran which marks the new year on the Buddhist calendar and is celebrated in April. As part of the festival, people splash water over each other, symbolizing the cleansing of sin from the previous year and a fresh start for the new year.

The Tai Lue people in the villages can recall the stories told by their grandparents of people who came riding in on elephants long ago in the 1800s; they traveled from village to village sharing stories about Jesus. Some of their stories were even translated into the local languages, but most of the people have continued to follow Theravada Buddhism.

WAYS TO PRAY:
Ask the Holy Spirit to use the awareness of sin in their lives and their need to be forgiven to bring the Tai Lue to salvation. (ACTS 2:38)

Pray for Christian workers and believers who were formerly Theravada Buddhists to be fruitful disciple makers. (MATTHEW 28:19)

Pray blessings on the Tai Lue people. Be inspired by EPHESIANS 1:17-19

Sourced from the Buddhist Prayer Guide

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