Hi everybody, next week EC Toronto is hosting a group of Thai students and for that reason we want to share with you some information about their culture and their manners.
1. Thai culture
The main things you need to know about Thai people are:
- Thais do not necessarily smile about things the way we do in the west; they smile for different reasons. For example, to say hello or thank you, to make a request, to apologize, to smooth over bad feelings or to show embarrassment. So, if you see one of them smiling at you, please be friendly and give them a smile back.
- Never touch anyone on the head! Maybe for your culture this is not such a big deal, but for Thais, the head is the most honorable part of the body and it is a great insult for them to be touched on the head. If you accidentally forget and do so, politely beg his or her pardon and even more importantly, if it is necessary to reach for something above someone’s head, say “excuse me” first.
- Never point your foot at someone to refer to it or draw attention, especially the bottom of the foot. The foot is considered to be “dirty” by Thais due to the fact that it is the lowest part of the body.
2. The Thai Wai Greeting
Do you want to know how to say hello in a respectful way? Well, here we have some more information…
- “Sawat-dee” is the usual way to say hello or goodbye, but you should speak slowly and clearly.
- Thai people do not shake hands like people in the west. They place the palms and fingers of both their hands together as in a prayer position in the center of their bodies.
- This Thai greeting gesture is called a ” wai ” and in English it is pronounced more like ”why”and is used to say ‘‘sorry ” or ” thank you ”. However, the “wai” is not necessary for younger children, a smile or nod is sufficient acknowledgement.
The last important things you need to know and keep in mind are…
- The Thai people are very group-oriented, so it means that they like to share everything and they will expect you to do the same with them.
- If you want to call a person, signal them with a palm down, do not use your finger to call someone or to point somewhere or at somebody since it could be disrespectful to them.
- The left hand is considered dirty, as it is sometimes used for ‘functions’ in the squat toilet. Always use your right hand to pass objects and when paying.
Well, we hope you have learned about Thai culture on our blog, most importantly, do not forget to smile. Remember that the smile is famous and essential for the Thai people, since they show it whenever they can.
Be friendly and return someone`s smile!!!