top of page
  • Writer's pictureKirk

Worship, Booze, and Lottery

When I was in Nepal, I came across many scenes like the picture below:

Many people lining up to offer their worship.

Nepal is predominantly a Hindi religious country. Over 80% of the country are Hindi. About another 10% are Buddhist, and the remaining various other religions with only a little over 1% being Christian.

Nonetheless, they are very religious. They are dedicated to their religion as you can see in the long lines. They offer their incense or other gifts at their temple worship. They offer in abundance out of their poverty which speaks to their dedication.

Near the hotel where I stayed, I would often visit the temple that was nearby in the early mornings. There, I would find them circling the temple as a form of worship. Often I would join with them, but more as a form of exercise, and immerse myself in the local traditions.

Here you can see them lined up to circle the temple each morning.

Yesterday I posted about payday in Sri Lanka. How the Sri Lankans would form a chaotic line at the liquor kiosks to give their hard earned money to the bootlegger. Worshiping their own god of sorts.

When I put these posts together, I remembered one other scene I encounter often. In my manufactured spending efforts, I’m often at the customer service line at the grocery markets to buy money orders. This is the same place they sell lottery tickets and cigarettes. In fact I’m often asked what will it be today? Lottery or cigarettes? To which I always reply, “What makes you assume I have a vice?”

Anyway, I often find myself in these lengthy lines, especially when the lottery pay out is big. I would estimate 90% of the people in these lines are there for the lottery. I really dislike being in that line. Mostly because I see the people handing over their greenbacks and I know they can’t afford it. But they do it!

I was thinking, what do these three things have in common that people line up for them? The common denominator, I think, is hope and escape.

The lottery player sees it as a hope to escape their boring life to have a better life. They want to quit their job, or maybe they just want more than they have. I’ve heard people overseas in poorer countries speak of their only hope is the lottery. I really hate it because the government feasts on that hope to the further detriment of the people who can least afford to hand their money over.

The alcoholics line up in Sri Lanka for an escape of their life of poverty. It offers temporary hope as they can drink away their sorrows. But it’s not really a hope, or at least it’s only a temporary one, but really just an escape from the reality of their world.

The lines at the temple are also a form of hope and escape. Life can be difficult for many people and a belief in an afterlife that accommodates their hope brings them to these lines of temple worship. It’s another form of escape. One which allows a more palatable life here when one can believe all things will one day equalize. Much as described in Wednesday’s post on Karma.

Seems like an unlikely trio of linked behaviors. But hey, what do I know? Just an observation…..

11 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

The Line for Senior Citizens and Special Needs

Ok I know I just wrote about my difficulty coping with traveling with an old person recently: I talked about my reluctance to give


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Mike Wells
Mike Wells
Apr 30
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I think everywhere people want to dream big . Whether it's through scratch tickets or big payouts of the lottery games. However you find your niche to dream big through alcohol or tickets people like to dream

Apr 30
Replying to

I haven’t played the lottery since my 20’s. I wonder how much the average person who have if they took their lottery money and invested in stocks?

bottom of page