Thai thoughts.

Posted by Kasamon Sriburanasorn on October 22, 2008
Story

Thai people are thought to be very helpful and gentle. However, many tourists who come to Thailand d not understand some thai customs and beliefs.

First of all, we believe that the head is the most sacred part of the body because the head is situated of the spirit of that person. Thus, it is not proper to point the toe on the head.

Then, we give a lot of respects to the olders. Conseqently, every time we speak with the olders, we should talk more gently and properly than usual. Also, we should bend our back when walking across them.

Finally, we give a lot of respects to the king and the royal family. It is inproper to talk about them in the bad sides. We believe that the king is the reincarnation of one of the Hindu gods, Vishnu. So, he is the highest person in the society.

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  • Very recognizable. I learned about these rules before I went to Thailand for a year. One day, when I was with my host family, my host mother and a friend of hers were sitting on the floor, right in front of the entrance of the bathroom, in a hotel room. I had to go to the bathroom, so I thought, how am I going to get passed them? I learned that my head should always be lower than the head of the person you should pay respect to. But should I crawl then, to be polite?

    Later, I learned that showing the intention of lowering your head is enough. If it's not practical, your head doesn't actually have to be lower than the other person's.

    I also found it funny to see that my class mates in Thai highschool often 'walked' to the teacher on their knees, out of respect. If I would have done that as a teenager, my mom would have been angry with me, because my clothes would be ruined! I couldn't get myself to walk on my knees to the teacher, but I tried to avoid walking to the teacher at all.

    I must say that, even though the Thai often accepted 'impolite' behaviour from a western girl like me, but it was all the more rewarding when I did do my best to be polite, because they really appreciate it.

  • Once, after my year in Holland, I met one of my Thai teachers and I talked with her. At that time, she sat on a chair and what I did was that I sat down with my knees so that I was lower than my teacher. Then, one foreign teacher saw what I did and asked me why I had to do like that. He said there was no need to sit donm on my knees and what I did was too much. Now, I think about what he said again and it is true. It doesn't mean that I don't respect teachers, but we can do something else that shows our respect, right?

    I also agree with you that we should crawl then, to be polite????

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