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Tag Archives: Thai culture

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The Thai don’t shake hands, they wai each other; putting their hands together in a prayer-like fashion. They do this for greetings, thanking, apologizing and taking leave. They also wai statues of Buddha, temples and other things that don’t wai them back. Who wais who first and how high you put your hands are all part of an unwritten social hierarchy, so it can be confusing at first, but it also offers insight into how people relate to one another in a Buddhist culture. Continue reading

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No “I” in Thai

As I pick up bits and pieces of the Thai language each day, I’ve found that the Thai people have a unique way of talking about themselves: they omit the “I” and refer to themselves in the 3rd person. This is the first time I’ve encountered this kind of disassociation in a language and made me think about how often we use the word “I” in American English, and by comparison, how self-centered we are as a culture. Continue reading

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