The work of a gold beater is very hard. Each tiny piece of gold needs to be hammered for hours to achieve the required thin-ness. They can only work for a short time before having to take a rest.
The hammered sheets are then individually packaged ready for use – sometimes to be used in the making of the traditional lacquerware, sometimes to be sold in the temples where the faithful will apply the sheets to the statues of Buddha.
In some of the temples, Maha Muni for example in Mandalay, only the men may apply the gold leaf to the Buddha statues. Images of this are broadcast on big screens around the shrine. Lesser mortals like women and foreigners have to watch from afar.
Do handmade things appeal to you? Do you make a point of buying handmade things rather than mass-produced? Do you make things by hand yourself?
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