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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jatukam amulet fever turned on its head


Jatukam Amulet fever turned on its head
March 17 , 2008
Anyone in Thailand last year should remember how popular Jatukam Ramathep was. Walking everywhere, you would see the replicas of the dark God, which people believed would bring prosperity at times of economic slowdown.

Boosting its popularity were also the accounts of miracles in which God saved people in accidents.

But things turned upside down in less than 12 months.

On Friday, about 200,000 round-shaped amulets that carry the God in the middle were reportedly dumped near a temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat. They were scattered under trees and some were still in fertiliser bags.
It was reported that all the items made in the southern province could have fetched at least Bt200 million if they were offered at the height of the fever.

Certainly, the dumping caused fury among local people. They had a reason to get mad, given that the province was the hottest destination at the time of the fever, particularly Wat Mahathat Woramahawiharn. Buses arrived at the temple on a daily basis, and trucks were ready to upload Jatukam for nationwide distribution. Hotels there were fully booked.
Now local people believe that the traffic eventually caused damage to the ancient pagoda at the temple. This was considered one of the best places to consecrate Jatukam Ramathep amulets, as it is said to house Buddha relics.

I don't know if the damage has been fixed yet, but the province is now in focus again, although not in the way that the locals prefer.

By Achara Deboonme
(Source: The Nation , Nation Multimedia, Thailand)

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