TEFL Trainees / ESL Teachers
Known as the ‘Land of thousand smiles’, Thailand has been fascinating tourists for decades now. The warmth and love, people of Thailand bestow upon their visitors is unfound in the world. Thailand is gifted with a unique culture, which came from a blend of various religious and enriching from its neighboring countries. Thai culture is not similar to the western culture. Thai culture is intricately related to Buddhism and some aspects of Hindu beliefs have also influenced the Thai culture significantly.
The culinary journey of Thailand can be extraordinary. The blend of some extraordinary spices, sauces and ingredients gives Thai cuisine its unique texture and taste. The factor that has enhanced popularity of Thai food is the amalgamation of all five flavors in a dish, sour, salty, bitter, hot and sweet.
Like Thai culture, Thai language has also been derived from the various languages and one can find a significant influence of Pali, Sanskrit and Old Khmer in the Thai language. Most people in Thailand speak Standard Thai, or Siamese language, which is also the official language of this country. Some of the other languages spoken in Thailand are Isan, Southern Thai, Phu Thai, Lu, Lyaw language and Galung language.
Some do’s and don’ts of Thai culture:
- Please smile, while you meet people in Thailand. Thais smile while greeting people, saying thank you and even apologizing
- Thais show great respect to the king and any insult and joke about the royal family is not well accepted.
- Buddhism plays a significant role in Thailand. Shoes or improper clothing are not allowed inside the temple. Women are not supposed to touch a monk.
- Touching someone on the head or pointing your feet at anyone or anything is not acceptable.
- Make sure to take off your shoes before entering a Thai house.
- It is a custom to address people elder to you as ‘pee’.
- Getting affectionate in public is not well accepted in the traditional society.
- Noisy arguments and loud conversation should be avoided.
Thailand today is getting more and more inclined towards western culture. The big cities and the beach resorts, due to significant western influence have developed a different character. To get the essence of authentic Thai culture, the tourists can try visiting the more quaint towns and villages.