1. in some places the level of commitment of a monk is not so big, it is just a matter of doing some acts (like shaving your head and taking robes). not so Burma? 2. I have heard indian budhist robes refered to as safron, and I believe their was a term for the orangy color in Thailand (but for the life of me I don't remember). did they use the term "crimson" in Burma, or did they refer to it as something else?
Re 1. What I observed outside of the monastery was to a great degree different from what happened on the inside. Â Up in Mandalay, for example, I saw monks acting pretty much like anyone else (i.e. smoking, younger ones played football, etc). Â Still, the presence of monks and the monasteries in that society is important. Â One example: many of the Burmese believe that honoring the monks with dana (food, clothing, etc) ensures them a better position in their next life. Â Another: the priesthood is a way for parents to deal with at least some of their children's educations. Â Another: I knew an orphan who was being raised by one of the monks in charge. Â Another: I witnessed Burmese couples receiving marriage counseling at the monastery. Â Another: many Burmese take their "vacations" at monasteries (usually a 10-day intensive meditation course). Â Another: newly-wedded couples held receptions at the monastery, received blessings, and left donations. The monks at the monastery in Rangoon were on a 3-month intensive meditation course just prior to beginning several years of book study (scripture, Pali) at the religious university downtown. Â Most of these men and women were from Burma. Â A handful came from Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and S. Korea, primarily to take advantage of the training in the Burmese system that is so much more rigorous than in their home countries. Â Also, it might have been cheaper to study in Rangoon. Â I stayed at the monastery for 3 months and was never asked to pay a dime (I left a donation of money). Re 2. No idea. Â I did a lot less communicating in those days, and when I did, it never concerned details such as those. Â Sorry I can't be of more help.