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Thai Culture

We at nightmarketbangkok.com, want to show our deepest sympathies and regrets to the late passing of the beloved and father figure of Thailand, “King Bhumibol Adulyadej.” He was such an amazing person and role model for not only the Thai people but for Global leaders of this modern world. He passed on October 13, 2016 and was born June 9, 1946 in Cambridge Massachusetts of the USA. He was such an artist in every way and had great empathy to everyone he came in contact and supported in life. He will be forever remembered by the Thailand nation.

During the time of mourning, this is a time for foreigners to be very aware of your actions and show great cultural respect for the Thai people. People will be wearing black and dark clothes to show their respect during this mourning process. This will be going on from a month to even a year during this time of healing. Attempt to understand how important the late King Bhumibol was to the Thai people. During this period of mourning, be aware that a lot of events will be cancelled.

Their Majesties, the King and Queen, are sacred to the Thai people. Do not speak anything bad about them even in fun. Pictures of the Royal Family must be treated with respect and are usually hung very high. Refrain from stepping on a coin or paper money, as this is disrespect to the King whose picture appears on both sides of the currency. Do not lick a postage stamp with a picture of the King on it. Use the sponge provided at the post office to stick the stamp on your envelope. At schools and government offices the national anthem is played at 8:00 am with the raising of the flag, and then again at 6:00 pm with lowering of the flag. The anthem is also broadcast on television and radio at these times. Whenever you hear the National Anthem or the King’s Anthem being played at a school or at any public gathering you must stand up with attention and face towards the flag.

Religion in Thailand

Thailand does not have any official religion. Thai constitution provides freedom to every citizen to follow any religion of his/her choice. According to year 2000 official religious demographics figures, 94.6% of Thais are Buddhists of the Theravada tradition. Muslims constitute 4.6% of the Thai population. Other religions in Thailand are Hindu, Christian, Sikh and Jewish.

Thai Culture and Thai Language

The national language of Thailand is Thai also called Siamese or Central Thai. This is also the native language of Thai Chinese.

Thai Culture & Beliefs

• According to Thai belief, head is the most sacred part of the body. Hence, never touch a Thai on the head even as a friendly gesture, especially to adults.

• Thais believe that feet are the lowest and dirtiest part of the body. You must apologize if you accidentally step on someone’s foot or touch one’s head.

• Do not place your feet on a table to relax or put your shoes on a table. These actions show disrespect. It is especially important in temples not to point your feet towards Buddha image or a monk.

• Thais welcome people with a wai, in which you bring the hands together in front of the chin. Younger and low ranking person wai first, but this is not essential when you meet a person who gives value to your wai.

• Thais consider angry behavior as ugly and a sign of lacking self-control. So do not lose your cool in an irritating situation. You will not get any benefit out of anger and loud voice.

• Publicly display of affection by couples is not common in Thailand, especially outside of Bangkok. It is important to maintain personal hygiene and cleanliness. Thais generally take bath at least twice in a day and tend to wear polite dresses. In hot climate, tourists can wear long shorts. It is advised not to take sunbath topless.

• Thais pay respect to foreigners and you might meet people who want to try their English knowledge on you. As per Thai culture, people can ask about your age, salary and marital status. Do not get offended when you hear ‘Hey You’ from a Thai who do not know English language very well.

• The Thais often greet you with sentences like “Where are you going?” and “Have you eaten yet?”. They do not ask ‘How are You?’.

• Thais hold you in very high esteem when you try to follow the local customs.

Thai Culture and Thai Clothing

Western clothing is very common. Modest clothing is recommended. General dress is informal but always neat and clean. Clothing should be stylish and cool.

Thai Culture For Businessmen: Shirts and Trousers (white or colored) with or without a tie. A light suit or jacket adds status. In the evening, dark business suits or formal traditional Thai shirts are worn. Senior executives wear light weight suits to work.

Thai Culture For Businesswomen: Conservative dresses or skirts and blouses (not sleeveless). Simple blouses and calf-length loose pants and long wrap-around or tube skirts are common.

Thai Culture and Temples: Do not wear beach dresses while visiting temples. Both men and women should cover their shoulders and legs while visiting temples. Monitor over your children and do not allow them to climb on Buddha images. Always take off your shoes before entering Thai homes and temples.

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