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January 17, 2018, 07:11:41 PM

Author Topic: Thai culture and taboos  (Read 1470 times)

Offline Wind in my breath

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Thai culture and taboos
« on: July 07, 2016, 02:16:20 AM »
It is always important to educate yourself on the local customs before traveling somewhere, out of respect. There are a lot of serious taboos in Thai culture that you should be aware of before you travel, so that you can avoid offending any locals who you meet along the way. Here are some important dos and doníts to keep in mind:

- Donít disrespect the King or the Royal Family in any way, whether verbally or in written communication. This is actually a violation of the Lese Majeste laws and can get you arrested.

- Do be friendly and smile at the local people when you walk by. Thailand is known as the land of smiles and it is a wonderful and friendly place.

- Do stand-up whenever the national anthem is being played. For example, this will happen in the movie theatre before the start of the film, or during a public event when a member of the Royal Family is present.

- Donít deface any of the Thai money, because it has a picture of the Kingís face on it.

- Do be respectful around images of Buddha. All images and sculptures of Buddha are considered to be sacred, so donít pose with them, deface them or disrespect them in any way.

- Donít wear your shoes into a temple where a Buddha statue is kept Ė it is not appropriate. Take them off and leave them at the door, as there should already be a pile of shoes from others!

- Do speak quietly and act calm when visiting a temple. It is not the place to be running around or making jokes.

- Donít wear revealing clothing when visiting a temple, as it is very disrespectful. You should have your shoulders, legs and cleavage covered. If you are unsure, there are usually signs at the temple entrance showing what appropriate and inappropriate clothing entails.

- Do wear the appropriate clothing when visiting a Muslim mosque. Women should wear a long skirt or pants, a long sleeved shirt and a scarf over their head. Men should wear hats.

- Donít touch the Buddhist monks if you are a woman. They are forbidden to touch or be touched by a woman, or to directly accept anything from a woman. If a woman needs to give something to a monk, she must first give it to a man who will then give it to the monk.

- Do remember that the bottoms of the feet are considered offensive in Thai culture and that pointing the bottom of your foot at someone is very rude. Keep this in mind when sitting on the floor or lying down.

- Donít touch a Thai personís head. The head is a sacred part of the body and touching it is a very uncomfortable violation of the personís personal space.

- Do keep calm when you are in difficult situations. You might be tempted to get angry, but losing your temper in public is extremely bad manners. Remain polite.

- Do take a moment to observe what others around you are doing, so that you can see what behaviour is appropriate.

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Offline Wind in my breath

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Re: Thai culture and taboos
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2016, 02:26:33 AM »
I was asked to buy something for a TG and it reminds me of certain gift taboos. So if you want to get something for your TG, GT, Gik or GF, below are some things to take note of.

10 Gifts You Shouldnít Give to Your Loved One

Thai people are grown up with superstitious beliefs and taboos. Some are still believed to be true, and some are now used to tease friends. Giving a gift is a nice gesture but some items have negative meaning especially to your relationship. Here are 10 presents some Thai people might consider bringing bad luck;

1. Shoes รองเท้า /rawng Ė tŠao/

If you buy shoes for your girlfriend or boyfriend, it is believed that it will cause the break up because shoes need to be in pair, a couple who are dating but not living together could be cursed to go different ways.

 2. Black clothes เสื้อผ้าสีดำ /sŻea-p‚a sǐi dam/

This item is frightening. Do not give black clothing because ancient Thai people consider black as the colour of pain and sadness used for mourning. If you give a black cloth to someone, you will go to that personís funeral.

3. Watch / Clock นาฬิกา /naa-lŪ-gaa/

It is believed that if your loved one gives you a watch or clock, your relationship might be over like the clock stops ticking.

4. Perfume น้ำหอม /nŠam-hăwm/

As Thai people like to say if you donít believe it, donít disparage it. Many Thai think giving perfume to your partner could make your love lessen like the scent of the perfume that is fade away over time.

 5. Photograph of Yourself รูปถ่าย /rŻup-tŗai/

Another thing that you absolutely donít want to give to your darling is the photo of yourself because giving a photo for memory when you are apart.

 6. Handkerchief ผ้าเช็ดหน้า /p‚a-chťt-n‚a/

Thai believe that handkerchief is used for wiping tears, so someone who receives a handkerchief as a gift will lose their tears. If you donít want your beloved to cry, avoid giving this item.

7. Sharp objects ของมีคม /kăwng mii kom/

It is believed that giving sharp objects as a gift will bring the receiver danger, bad luck.

 8. Comb หวี /wǐi/

Thai people compare relationship to the teeth of a comb, you donít want to go apart like the combís teeth.

9. Brooch เข็มกลัด /kĕm-glŗt/

A brooch is a beautiful accessory but Thai believe that giving a brooch is like stabbing that personís heart, creating pain and argument.

10. Glassware เครื่องแก้ว /krŻeang g‚ew/

It is a common gift. Superstition has it that if the glassware is broken it means the relationship is also destroyed.

Some Thai people give a small amount of money like one Baht or ten Baht to a person who gives the present as if they purchase it, so it doesnít bring them bad luck.

Gift Giving Tips:

If you are given a gift, it is considered rude to rip the wrapping paper. Carefully remove the wrapping, fold and set aside.
Flowers is appropriate gift. Avoid marigolds or carnations as they are associated with funerals or lotus as it is used for worship Buddha image.

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