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Culture


Thais have a wonderful culture and unique traditions. They uphold the most important values such as self-control, politeness, hospitality, and a non-confrontational attitude. 




Below are the most common cultures and traditions that you should respect while you are in Thailand. 


Greeting: "Sawat-dee ka/ krap"
The social form of greeting in Thailand is "wai". It is done by placing the hands' palms to palms and raising them in the face. About the level with the mouth or chin is normal, with a slight bow of the head. Quickly discipline yourself to greet with the "wai", except for younger children, where a smile or nod is enough acknowledgment. When greeting, the younger or socially 'inferior' greets the elder or socially 'superior' first.


Head
Thais think of the head is the most important part of the body. So, you should avoid touching the head and passing anything above someones' head. If you are in the case that you need to, so have to ask permission.




Foot
The foot is recognized to be "grimy" by Thais. It is the least part of the body. Never point your foot (particularly the lowest part of the foot) at somebody. Never move anything with your foot or go after someone assuming that they are sitting on the floor. Sit with folded legs or wrap your legs to the side, when sitting on the floor. Don't sit with your legs amplified out before you. Take off your shoes before getting inside the house if in case you are invited. 


Monks

Buddhist ministers are prohibited to touch or be touched by a woman or to acknowledge one through a handshake. Ladies don't take a seat next to a monk (e.g. on transport). The point when identifying with a monk, make certain to leave space between you and him.



Temples/Religious Objects
Since Buddhism is the national religion in Thailand, all Buddha pictures, vast and little, in great or terrible condition, are viewed as hallowed items. Don't scale for them to take a photo or do anything that will show disregard to Buddhism and in a roundabout way to the Thai people. Indicating disregard to Buddhism and different religions is against the law and could make you be extradited!



The Monarchy
The Thais have a profound regard for the Royal Family. We in this way you need to show your respect. Never discuss any issues about the Royal to the Thai People. Whenever the song of dedication to the King is played in public, you should stand straight for respect. The National Anthem is played at 8 am and 6 pm and everybody stops from working and stands still and sings. 



Displays of Affection
Hand-holding between a man and woman is accepted mainly in the major cities, but not in the village. People in the community find a public display of emotion nontraditional and unethical. Do not be surprised, especially if in the larger cities, you will often see same-sex holding hands. This generally does not infer that they are gay or lesbian, however, rather is an indication of companionship.



Shocking Questions
Thais call any westerners "farangs," determined from the expression of the French people that came throughout the time of French Indochina. Thais love to ask a personal questions to farangs. This is only a form of greeting and recognition. Nothing too personal. Examples, "Where are you going?" or "Where have you been?" or "Have you eaten? " "Do you have a girlfriend?" are truly a sort of welcome and they don't really need a serious answer. Other additionally nosy inquiries, such as "Why are you so fat?" or "Why are you not wedded yet?" or "How much cash do you make?" or "What sort of anti-conception medication do you use?" are very typical inquiries in Thailand and are not acknowledged meddlesome. A clear response is not dependable needed and you can make a spot of a joke about it.




Dress
Thais place a great necessity for tidiness and cleanliness. The better you dress, the more appreciation you will get in any level of social order. One of the major contrasts between Thai society and western society is that long jeans are worn in practically all settings. Shorts are worn just to play sports. The point when doing service, you will be particularly cautious about your clothing and figure you are not polite. So, when you are invited by a Thai friend on any particular occasion, you should ask what dress and shoes you should wear.


Manners
In Thailand, it is not pleasant to show anger in public. Thais are particularly annoyed when one unabashedly shows resentment. So protect your tongue (Psalm 141:3 "Set a gatekeeper over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the entryway of my lips") and figure out how to control your feelings. 


When going to Thais in their home (or when they are going from your home), it is the host's avocation to give the visitor something to drink. If you do not feel like drinking, especially when you are not assured if the water is clean or not, then you can honestly say with thankfulness and humility that you are not thirsty. So it is advisable that you should have your own water wherever you go.


When going to Thai homes, particularly if you are invited, it is accustomed to carrying some apples and oranges or modest sweets. It is a culture for a Thai individual, to welcome you to eat with them. Normally, the Thai person is sometimes courteous and anticipates that you will deny the offer. It is exceptional to amenable say, "No, thank you..." If the Thai person continues, then they truly need you to acknowledge the welcome. If you invited a Thai individual for dining,  typically they will deny the first offer; however, they will accept the second or third.


It is rude to use the index finger to call someone's attention or to point at something. Instead of, use your palm.


Be mindful of the volume of your voice. It is considered rude when you shout at someone in the distance. Talking with a loud voice in any public transportation and any public area is considered unethical.


Sitting Manner
Thais think as of its poor behavior to sit on a seat with your legs crossed. So when sitting on the floor, sit as discretely and comfortably as you can. Sit on the same level as others. If somebody is situated when you go into the room, it is polite to sit at the nearest available space. 



Passing Items
It is rude to give something by throwing it at a person or pushing it to them with the foot. The point when passing something, use your right hand, since utilizing your left hand for moving things has been inconsiderate in light of social can practices. 



 
Social Code
Thais place extraordinary accentuation on neighborliness and regard for older folks and those in power. From an early age, they are taught to respect leaders, parents, teachers, and the elderly. The view of someone is vertical instead of equal. Whenever you are with people of higher status, it is proper to talk with them politely. Recollect grinning and "wai". 


Helping Others
Assistance ought not to be offered verbally. Provided that you see that you could be of help, help! Provided that you ask initially, the person will deny and say "don't worry about it," since they need to be circumspect and don't wish to trouble anybody. Your craving to help is noted and acknowledged if you really take the chance to be accommodating.



The Thai Smile
A snapshot of my smile when I was in Chiangrai  North Thailand with the Akha tribe year 2012 

Thailand is known as the land of smiles. To the outsider who is new to Thai society, it might seem that the Thais are continually grinning. Smiling has an assortment of significance in Thai social order: to show calmness, to apologize for minor offenses, to thank somebody for a little help, to keep away from issues, or to show shame, and so on. Do not be greedy with your smile to people. If someone smiles at you smile back. 



Face
The thought of "Face" is generally imperative in Thai society. Keeping one's "Face" is comparable to keeping one's dignity and poise sound.  Never shame your Thai friend in public or settle issues with him or her sounds like you are arrogant. You have to speak the truth nicely, or you need to use stories or idioms to deal with it with no angry face. Sometimes do it in a joke with a hidden meaning.



For more about culture and traditions click here. 


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Some information is taken from YWAM Thailand. 

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