Are There Thai Customs I Should Know Before I Move to Thailand?
Thailand is a beautiful country with so much to offer its residents, from white sandy beaches to bustling cities.
However, for Americans and Europeans, the culture can be widely different and hard to get used to. If you are considering a move to Thailand soon, here are a few of the most important customs that you need to be aware of before making your move.
1. Absolute Reverence
Thailand operates under a constitutional monarchy that is run by the King. It is a requirement that the King is always respected.
People should refrain from making critical remarks about him, because doing so is a criminal offense. You even need to be careful about what you say or do on social media such as Facebook because that can also get you in trouble.
You should also not step on money because it has a depiction of the King on it and that would be seen as highly disrespectful. Additionally, people should always stand when the King’s anthem is played – which is not completely unlike the custom of standing for the National Anthem in the United States.
2. Colorful Days
This custom is not a rule or law that must be obeyed, but it is something that you may notice while you are in Thailand.
Locals tend to wear certain colors on certain days because it is thought that it will show respect give them good luck. For example, yellow is commonly worn on Mondays to commemorate the day of the King’s birth.
Other popular days are Tuesday when pink is worn and Friday when people dress in light blue to honor the day of the Queen’s birth.
3. Respect Religious Objects
A majority of Thai people are Buddhists from the Theravada sect. This religious practice warns against material attachment, but many people keep small statues or depictions of Buddha out of reverence.
Additionally, some people build small shrines where sacrifices can be given to spirits. If you see any of these religious objects, then please do not touch them as this may anger local people who may see it as disrespectful and disruptive of harmonious balance.
4. Using Your Body
In Buddhist culture, the head is the most revered part of the body while the feet are the least. Touching someone on the head is a sign of great disrespect and should be avoided at all costs. You should also avoid using your feet to point at people or religious object which will also be seen as offensive. It is also common for homes and places of worship to require people to take off their shoes before entering.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it is frowned upon for a woman to make physical contact with a monk. However, politely talking to one on the street is absolutely fine. To be safe, it may be a good idea to make adequate room for a monk to pass you if you are a woman on the street.
5. The Wai
The Wai is the traditional greeting in Thailand that consists of putting your palms together in front of you and slowly bowing your head slightly. Younger people must perform this ritual to their elders first as a sign of respect before the elders return the gesture. It is also respectful to perform this gesture before a religious icon such as a Buddha.
Thailand boasts a wonderfully vibrant culture with many nuances. The above topics are just a few things you should know about before moving to Thailand.
Use these tips as a jumping off point for your research into the norms of Thai culture. Spending a few hours getting to know the ins and outs of Thai culture will help you to have a wonderfully rewarding experience living there and avoid being disrespectful to the people of your new home.
Now that you know how to behave in Thailand, start planning your move with the help of Property Hua Hin!