Friday, August 19, 2022

Culture Of Thailand

AsiaThailandCulture Of Thailand

Read next

Thai culture has been shaped by many influences, including Indian, Lao, Burmese, Cambodian and Chinese.

Its traditions include great influences from India, China, Cambodia and the rest of Southeast Asia. Thailand’s national religion, Theravada Buddhism, is at the heart of modern Thai identity. Thai Buddhism has evolved over time to include many regional beliefs drawn from Hinduism, animism and ancestor worship. The official Thai calendar is based on the Eastern version of the Buddhist Era (BE), which precedes the Gregorian (Western) calendar by 543 years. Thus, the year 2015 in Thailand corresponds to 2558 BE.

Several different ethnic groups, many of which are marginalised, populate Thailand. Some of these groups span Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia and have mediated between their traditional local culture, national Thailand and global cultural influences. Overseas Chinese are also an important part of Thai society, especially in and around Bangkok. Their successful integration into Thai society has enabled this group to occupy positions of economic and political power. Thai Chinese companies thrive within a larger network, the Bamboo Network, a network of overseas Chinese companies operating in Southeast Asian markets with common family and cultural ties.

The traditional Thai greeting, the wai, is usually offered first by the younger of the two people meeting, with the hands joined and the fingertips pointing upwards, while the head is tilted to touch the fingertips face to face, usually pronounced with the words “sawatdi khrap” for men and “sawatdi kha” for women. The elder may then respond in the same way. Status and social position, for example within the government, also influence who performs the wai first. For example, although one may be much older than a provincial governor, at a meeting it is usually the visitor who pays respect first. When children go to school, they are taught to wait for their parents to show respect. The wai is a sign of respect and reverence for another, similar to the namaste greeting in India and Nepal.

As in other Asian cultures, respect for the ancestors is an essential part of spiritual practice in Thailand. Thais have a strong sense of hospitality and generosity, but also a strong sense of social hierarchy. Seniority is highly valued in Thai culture. Traditionally, elders have the say in family decisions or ceremonies. Older siblings have duties towards younger siblings.

Taboos in Thailand include touching someone’s head or pointing with the feet, as the head is considered the most sacred and the foot the lowest part of the body.

Cuisine

Thai cuisine combines five basic flavours: sweet, hot, sour, bitter and salty. Common ingredients in Thai cuisine are garlic, chillies, lime juice, lemongrass, coriander, galangal, palm sugar and fish sauce (nam pla). The staple food in Thailand is rice, especially jasmine rice (also called “hom mali” rice), which is part of almost every meal. Thailand has long been the world’s largest exporter of rice, and Thais consume more than 100 kg of milled rice per person per year. More than 5,000 Thai rice varieties are stored in the rice gene bank of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in the Philippines. The King of Thailand is the official patron of IRRI.

Media

In recent years, Thai society has been influenced by a widespread multilingual press and media. There are a few English newspapers and many Thai and Chinese newspapers in circulation. Most popular Thai magazines use English titles as a glamour-chic factor. Many large companies in Bangkok operate in English as well as other languages.

Thailand is the largest newspaper market in Southeast Asia, with an estimated circulation of more than 13 million copies per day in 2003. Even within the country, outside Bangkok, the media is thriving. According to the Public Relations Department of Thailand’s Media Yearbook 2003-2004, for example, there were 116 newspapers in the nineteen provinces of Isan, Thailand’s northeastern region, as well as radio, television and cable. Since then, another province, Bueng Kan, has been established, bringing the total to twenty provinces. In addition, a military coup on 22 May 2014 led to strict government restrictions on all media and forms of expression.

Units of measurement

Thailand generally uses the metric system, but traditional units of measurement are used for land area, and imperial units of measurement are sometimes used for building materials such as timber and sanitation. Years are counted in B.E. (Buddhist era) in educational institutions, the civil service, government, and contracts and newspaper dates. In the banking sector and increasingly in industry and commerce, the uniform counting of Western years (Christian or common era) is common.

How To Travel To Thailand

By plane Thailand's main international airports are in Bangkok and Phuket, both of which are well served by intercontinental flights. Almost all airlines flying to Asia also have flights to Bangkok, which means there are many connections and competition on these routes helps keep ticket prices down. There are two...

How To Travel Around Thailand

By plane Thailand is a big country, and if sitting on a bus for 11 hours is not your idea of a relaxing time, you may very well consider domestic flights. Deregulation of the sector, which was never very expensive to begin with (at least by Western standards), has allowed...

Weather & Climate in Thailand

The climate in Thailand is influenced by monsoon winds, which are seasonal in nature (southwestern and northeastern monsoons). The southwestern monsoon, which begins from May to October, is characterized by the movement of warm humid air from the Indian Ocean to Thailand, causing heavy rainfall in most of the...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Thailand

Ordinary passport holders from many Western and Asian countries, including most ASEAN countries, Australia, Canada, most European Union countries, Hong Kong, Japan and the United States do not need a visa if their visit is for tourism. Visitors arriving by air are granted a 30-day permit (with the exception...

Destinations in Thailand

Regions in Thailand Thailand can be divided into five geographical and cultural regions: Northern ThailandChiang Mai, the hill tribes and the Golden Triangle.IsaanThe great region of the Northeast. Get off the beaten track and discover the Thai hinterland, tantalising food and beautiful Khmer ruins.Central ThailandBangkok, the lowlands and historic Thailand.Eastern ThailandBeaches...

Accommodation & Hotels in Thailand

Thailand offers accommodation in all price categories. You should always inspect the room (or better several rooms, sometimes the owners do not offer the best / cheapest rooms first) before agreeing on a price. In smaller establishments, also ask for the price agreed in writing to avoid problems when...

Things To See in Thailand

Historical and cultural attractions Bangkok is at the beginning of many visitors' itineraries, and although it is a modern city, it has a rich cultural heritage. Most visitors at least visit the Grand Palace, a group of highly decorated buildings and monuments. Here is Wat Phra Kaew, the holiest Buddhist...

Things To Do in Thailand

Golf Golf arrived in Thailand during the reign of King Rama V a hundred years ago. It was first played by nobles and other high society elites, but that has certainly changed since then. In the last decade, golf has grown in popularity in Thailand and is now popular with...

Food & Drinks in Thailand

Food in Thailand Food alone is reason enough for a trip to Thailand. Curries, fruit milkshakes, stir-fries, fresh fish have been around the world millions of times - and this is only the beginning. Food in Thailand can be as cheap and easy as fried Thai noodles (25 baht pad...

Money & Shopping in Thailand

Money in Thailand Currency in Thailand Weighty bahts Your new girlfriend asks you for a gold ring of one baht? Be careful, because it's not a cheap piece of jewelry: for jewelers and goldsmiths, the baht is also a measure of weight, 15.244 grams to be exact. So at the 2013 gold...

Festivals & Events in Thailand

Holidays in Thailand Thailand has many festivals, mainly related to Buddhism and the monarchy. Nobody celebrates them all except the banks, which often seem to be closed. Chinese New Year (ตรุษจีน). Chinese New Year 2014 is 31 January and marks the beginning of the Year of the Horse. It is also...

Language & Phrasebook in Thailand

The official language of Thailand is Thai. Like Mandarin and Vietnamese, Thai is a tonal language (think of the difference in your voice when you say "yes" as opposed to "yes? ), which can make it difficult to learn non-tonal languages quickly, but even so, everyone will appreciate your...

Internet & Communications in Thailand

Internet in Thailand The Thai government actively censors internet access. Estimates from 2010 put the number of blocked websites at 110,000 and rising. About 77 per cent are blocked for reasons of lèse-majesté, content (content that is defamatory, offensive, threatening or unflattering to the King, including national security and certain...

Traditions & Customs in Thailand

Thais are a polite people and, although remarkably tolerant of foreigners walking on their beaches and with their women, you will find that you get more respect if you treat them and their customs with respect. The head is considered the most elevated part of the body, the feet the...

History of Thailand

There is evidence of human settlement in Thailand dating to 40,000 years before present, with stone artefacts from this period in the rock shelter of Tham Lod in Mae Hong Son. Like other parts of Southeast Asia, Thailand was heavily influenced by the culture and religions of India, from...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Thailand

Stay safe in Thailand The most common cause of death for visitors to Thailand is motorbike accidents, especially on the often narrow, mountainous and winding roads of Phuket and Samui. Ride defensively, wear a helmet, don't drink and avoid riding at night. Political unrest Long-standing tensions between pro- and anti-government groups came...

Asia

Africa

South America

Europe

North America

Most Popular