Etiquette And Teenager Tips In Thailand
The people of Thailand are well known for their generosity and hospitality. They show a lot of respect to their elders.
When we talk of respect towards elders, I distinctly remember some scenes from the famous film King and I. The movie was considered to be a true story, based on the life and progressive beliefs of the King of Siam. In that movie, people used to lie prostrate on the ground whenever the King of Siam (in the past Thailand was called Siam) stood before them. Even while retreating, it was considered disrespectful for the common man show their back to the king. So they used to retreat while constantly bowing to the king.
There was another funny incident in the movie, where a British governess, hired by the king to look after the royal children, refused to accept such norms. In fact, there was a famous line by the King, “Your head should not be higher than me. When I sit, you sit. And when I lie, you lie as well.”
The culture and norms may not be as rigid now as in the olden days, but it definitely gives you an idea how respectful the Thai are towards their elders and rulers.
The Thai greet people with by joining their palms together and it called Wai. When a person greets you with Wai, it is considered polite to return the greeting with the same gesture.
Books are also highly revered by the Thais and therefore it is considered disrespectful if one slides a book across a table or places it on the floor.
There were various taboos like touching someone’s head or stepping over food but such traditional taboos are slowly fading with time and with the new generation.