Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University

You should see their t-shirt!

Otherwise known as MCU, this is the oldest higher education institute for Buddhist monks in Thailand and the main campus is located on the temple grounds of Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit, one of the ten “royal temples of the highest class” in the country.

The length of the name is interesting and is compounded by the choice to leave no spaces between individual words of which the name is comprised. I had to break it down in the following way to make any sort of sense of it, otherwise it just looks like a keyboard accident:

Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya = Maha / Chulalongkorn / Raja / Vidyalaya

Maha = great

Chulalongkorn = the name of the 5th king of Siam (reign: 1868-1910)

Raja = royal

Vidyalaya = an older-style anglicization for “college”

So a rough translation might be “Chulalongkorn Royal College.” I think that sounds really cool, although “MCU” is easier to remember!

MCU has the coolest official seal:

Some bonus links:

Atlas Obscura article on MCU: Buddhist university that allows English-language speakers the opportunity to study with monks in Thailand

Dhammathai page on Wat Mahathat (temple)

1 thought on “Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University

  1. Interesting how so much Thai vocabulary seems to come straight from Sanskrit. I learned a few Sanskrit terms during my religious studies; I see a root like “vidya” and think of the Buddhist “avidya,” which means ignorance (not-seeing).

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