Thainess

 

Thai etiquette, manners, behaviour, vocabulary, dress, presentation and a pleasant disposition all contribute to Thainess. This is not an in-depth list but can give a general idea about the concept of Thainess. I realized that Thainess was all around me quite early in my sojourn but came to understand it only much later.

 

“Swadeekha” the Thai greeting with folded hands is close to the Indian greeting “Namaste” but the dazzling smile and slightly bent torso is an additional gesture. Politeness, courtesy and humble behaviour are part of the Thai makeup. In addition,when crossing in front of a senior person bending one’s body frame is important in Thailand to show seniors that they are at a higher level.

 

Most Thai people speak very softly and Thainess breeds quietness and calmness. Oftentimes I was unable to hear what my co-passenger was speaking on the mobile ‘phone while riding on a ‘bus. Quietness and calm demeanour are taught at an early age. There was pin drop silence in the classroom or hall when a lecture, talk or meeting was in progress at the university. However, if someone wanted to leave the room they would get up, bow to the speaker and leave silently. Scrapping of chairs was minimal. Noise was mostly eliminated on most occasions even when there were a number of people involved for the occasion.

 

In the early years of my stay it was difficult to get used to the stillness around the condominium where I lived. The noise from traffic or neighbours and children is omnipresent in Indian apartments contrary to the atmosphere in Thailand. Thai drivers do not blow horns- they glide past pedestrians or follow them if the pedestrian is walking down a narrow lane even if the pedestrian is unaware of the car following them! This has happened to me on a couple of occasions.

 

Thainess also gives rise to inscrutable faces.  Not many exhibit negative feelings since doing so would break the face saving conduct expected of all. Rancour, anger and discomfort are rarely expressed and to say “No” is considered a breach of good conduct. This has put me in a tight corner on many occasions, especially when acquiescence actually meant ‘no’.

Give and take was almost perfect. A smile deserved a smile, a gift a return gift, a compliment a return compliment. This is a part of the Thai ethos.

Hierarchical on most occasions Thais look upto seniors, mentors and aged relatives. They rarely disagree with them on policy matters and are willing to let things go unopposed. Disciplined and chaste they rarely move away from the straight and narrow path. Thus, Thainess an inseparable part of their culture.

 

Thainess

 

Thai etiquette, manners, behaviour, vocabulary, dress, presentation and a pleasant disposition all contribute to Thainess. This is not an in-depth list but can give a general idea about the concept of Thainess. I realized that Thainess was all around me quite early in my sojourn but came to understand it only much later.

 

“Swadeekha” the Thai greeting with folded hands is close to the Indian greeting “Namaste” but the dazzling smile and slightly bent torso is an additional gesture. Politeness, courtesy and humble behaviour are part of the Thai makeup. In addition,when crossing in front of a senior person bending one’s body frame is important in Thailand to show seniors that they are at a higher level.

 

Most Thai people speak very softly and Thainess breeds quietness and calmness. Oftentimes I was unable to hear what my co-passenger was speaking on the mobile ‘phone while riding on a ‘bus. Quietness and calm demeanour are taught at an early age. There was pin drop silence in the classroom or hall when a lecture, talk or meeting was in progress at the university. However, if someone wanted to leave the room they would get up, bow to the speaker and leave silently. Scrapping of chairs was minimal. Noise was mostly eliminated on most occasions even when there were a number of people involved for the occasion.

 

In the early years of my stay it was difficult to get used to the stillness around the condominium where I lived. The noise from traffic or neighbours and children is omnipresent in Indian apartments contrary to the atmosphere in Thailand. Thai drivers do not blow horns- they glide past pedestrians or follow them if the pedestrian is walking down a narrow lane even if the pedestrian is unaware of the car following them! This has happened to me on a couple of occasions.

 

Thainess also gives rise to inscrutable faces.  Not many exhibit negative feelings since doing so would break the face saving conduct expected of all. Rancour, anger and discomfort are rarely expressed and to say “No” is considered a breach of good conduct. This has put me in a tight corner on many occasions, especially when acquiescence actually meant ‘no’.

Give and take was almost perfect. A smile deserved a smile, a gift a return gift, a compliment a return compliment. This is a part of the Thai ethos.

Hierarchical on most occasions Thais look upto seniors, mentors and aged relatives. They rarely disagree with them on policy matters and are willing to let things go unopposed. Disciplined and chaste they rarely move away from the straight and narrow path. Thus, Thainess an inseparable part of their culture.