This has apparently be a problem in New York for a while now!
A new type of beggar has popped up in the form of Buddhist monks. No not REAL Buddhist monks, it's mainly Chinese nationals who outfit themselves with the right attire to pull off the right look.
Then they spend their days walking around, and asking for money, in exchange for a plastic bracelet and or others just showing a picture of a temple in order to imply that this is where the money is going.
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Don't be fooled though! Many of these "Buddhists" are just the same as your everyday Spiderman or Snoopy walking the streets! The only difference is, someone like Batman will give you a picture with him for your money!
You can imagine that these fakes, aren't making friends with anyone of the Buddhist religion. Rev. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki, the president of the Buddhist Council of New York, is quite upset with what has been happening and said:
"People trust the robe simply because those are monks who practice the teachings, share happiness to the people. If they shake hands and wear the robe, it really disrespects the Buddhists themselves."
These "monks" who use their robes for the ruse are incredibly disrespectful the Buddhist culture by what they do and then representing themselves later by changing on subways before they go off to grab a drink or a smoke at a local restaurant — vices monks would NEVER take a part in!
Well now, the NYC Parks Department is sick and tired of this and Martin Nembhard, the VP of the park of operations for Friends of the High Line, has said
"We recognize that this is an issue and we are in discussions with the NYC Parks Department to address the matter. In the meantime, we encourage anyone who is approached in this manner to immediately report it to a Parks Department officer on site."
Though there will always be beggars in the world, we can't really agree with dressing up as a monk to try and deceive people and help gain fake sympathy. Now if they dressed up as Tony Shalub on the other hand…
[Image via Donavon Smallwood Twitter.]
Tags: etc., tacky and true, wacky