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Fascinating traditions: Thailand

Known as the Land of Smiles, as you perhaps already know, Thailand is a land filled with colour and fascinating traditions.

Did you know about these fascinating Thai traditions?

1. Shoes off, soles down

Thai people believe the head is the most important part of the body and the feet the least important. Showing the soles of your feet to someone is regarded utterly disrespectful, as is touching someone’s head without permission. For this reason, Thai people will always remove their shoes when they enter someone’s home or even a restaurant.

shoe

2. A colour for every day of the week

Walking down the street in Thailand, you will notice that many people wear the same colour clothes. This is no coincidence. Each day of the week has a corresponding colour: on Sunday, they wear red, on Monday yellow or cream, on Tuesday pink, on Wednesday green, on Thursday orange or brown, on Friday aqua, and Saturday purple or black. Though not everyone follows this dress code, usually those who work for the government will follow the “colour of the day” rule.

pnk

3. Smile a while

You won’t easily find a Thai person who loses their temper. We just don’t know how they manage to always be so kind and friendly! In Thailand “mai pen rai”, meaning “don’t worry”, is one of the most frequently used phrases and actually the reason the country is nicknamed the Land of Smiles.

sm

4. Greetings and thank yous

When you visit Thailand, you may leave your handshakes and hugs at home. Here, the appropriate way to greet or thank is the “wai”. The wai is almost like a small bow – a person puts their hands together and drops their shoulders forward so that their nose touches their hands. And the higher they place their hands on their face, the more respectful the greeting.

wai

5. A title to suit an age

Thai people are extremely respectful of their elders, so much so that people of different ranking and age are given particular titles. As a foreigner visiting, you will come across as respectful if you drop your head when someone older than you enters the room.

Curious about the Land of Smiles? Contact us today on info@ctheworld.co.za to join us on our next trip to Thailand!