In traditional Thai culture, believers will put offerings of food or gifts out as a means of thanks or respect. Bangkok based photographer Akkara Naktamna has always noticed these humble displays on the street corner or in front of a spiritual place, but it wasn’t until later in life did he began to take an interest in them. With the swift modernization of society in Bangkok there seems to be a departure from this tradition. His series The Spiritual Offering captures this practice of hope and faith.
Each spiritual offering is reflective of a way of life and an indication of the various financial statuses of the believers. People give what they can afford; you might find a luxurious serving of food displayed on a gold plate, while another is simply rice and water. The offering also depends on religion and culture; Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims all participate in this tradition. It’s common for the Chinese to give a pig head or a Chinese cake, while Thai people may offer rice, water and Thai food.
The offerings are placed on a street corner, a place of worship and occasionally in an area where a loved one has died. In hopes of having good health, wealth or business is a common wish for those who offer up food and goods. They could also hope to send food and good wishes to relatives who have passed away.
All images © Akkara Naktamna