Novice Bhutanese monks Sangey, 6, and Tenzin, 7, and Tandin, 4, and Pembar, 10, rest after hours of prayer at the Dechen Phodrang monastery October 18, 2011 in Thimphu, Bhutan. About 375 monks reside at the government run monastery that also doubles as a child care facility for under privileged and orphaned males. The monks average about 10 hours of study a day waking up at 5:00am. Mahayana Buddhism is the state religion, although in the southern areas many citizens openly practice Hinduism. Monks join the monastery at six to nine years of age and according to tradition many families will send one son into the monk hood. They learn to read chhokey, the language of the ancient sacred texts, as well as Dzongkha and English.
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