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Low-income earners and others in need receive food and other items donated by fellow citizens at public pantries across the country. (Photo by Akira Kodaka) 

In pictures: Thais pitch in to help others in need

The kingdom's charitable side shines as the coronavirus ravages the economy

AKIRA KODAKA, Nikkei staff photographer | Thailand

BANGKOK -- Thailand is gradually emerging from a government lockdown imposed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The strict emergency measures have undoubtedly helped, but not without a cost. Many people have seen their livelihoods shrink or evaporate entirely, forcing them to struggle to make ends meet.

Their hardships have revealed the deeply charitable aspect of Thai culture that casual visitors to the kingdom often miss: the practice of tum boon, or making merit.

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