To better understand Thai, you need to know their culture and basic pillars, on which everything is holding. A bright reflection of such a union is represented in the flag of Thailand: the red stripes – the color of the nation, the white stripes – the color of all religions, symbolizing cleanliness, and the wide blue strip is the monarchy.
Penate population of Thailand
67 million people live in Thailand. The correct name of the kingdom citizens is Thai, as well as Russian residents – Russians. Thailand – a multinational country, and Thais or nationality "Tai" – dominant population, about 80%. And also there is a lazzha, the Chinese, Malaya, Burmese, Indians, Penakan and many others, including mountain populists ache, Karen, Lahu, Fox and others.
Thais talk among themselves in different languages. Literally. Slang words differ, the number of tones, one and the same subject in different parts of the country. Northerners do not understand South, and the inhabitants of Isana are generally aliens. And only Bangkoks consider themselves the most correct Thais with the classic Thai language. If we consider the features of the Thai language, then there is even a royal Thai language, which onlys 1% of residents. There is a great influence of Sanskrit and Khmer.
The situation is very similar to different dialects in the UK. In Thailand, even some films show on Thai with Thai subtitles that translated on the clear language of the country’s center. I do not know how in Bangkok, and on Phuket, the films about Isan are exactly what. Or when in the film two southerners are found, subtitles are inserted at the central Thai.
Southerners from Hua Hina to the border with Malaysia speak South Thai or Dambro. In speech there are many Malay words, and depending on the province four dialects allocate. Our Southerners are lazy and very fast (here you should laugh). They swallow parts of the word, say three or seven tones instead of five and turn thai very highly.
In all Thailand, the market will be "Tulad", And only Souther "LAD". Southerners Clock Pronounce – "take that" instead of "Nalika", Coconut – "Pohau" instead of "Maphrau". A pineapple on the southern dialect "Janat" instead of well-known "Sap Parot". What is there Thailand, if in different parts of Phuket people speak different languages. Nautical Gypsies the older generation does not understand in Thai in general. And the English in Thais is called Taughish and is very different from the language of Bairon.
Religions in Thailand is also a lot, the main – Buddhism is 93% of the population, Islam – 5%, Christians – just over 1%, the rest of religions – 0.2%. Atheism for Thais is not impaired, each resident prefers to have a religious support. Buddhism in Thailand is a state religion. We can say that mostly you meet in the country of Thai-Buddhists.
The roots of many phenomena go from Buddhism. Buddhist idea of life and death differs from Christian. The main is an infinite series of human rebirths, the accumulation of positive karma for enlightenment and transition to Nirvana. Karma of each Thai is made of merit and bad deeds – from the advantages and minuses. There is no Christian concept of sin in which you can repent and forget. All good and bad things accumulate as on the scales. Therefore, Thais try to add pluses in Karma during the current earthly life, committing good actions. Sacrifice the monk – a good deed or bun, help you get lost a foreigner – also bun. Thais is completely sincere ready to help you if you ask them, and will make every effort to help. But kill mosquito is a bad act.
And first of all, travelers should remember – Religion for Thai Holy. And actions, on our part, looking innocent, sometimes cause indignation in Thai hearts. It is not necessary to insult it in any way, for example, to be photographed in an embrace with the statue of the Buddha or kiss it. Everyone knows that honoring in Christian is expressed in the kiss icons or hands. And in Buddhism everything is different.
Folk beliefs and superstition
In addition to the teachings of Buddhism, the so-called popular buddhism is distributed in Thailand, including superstitions, amulets and idols. It is worth noting that in Tharavada, Buddhism branches in Thailand, Buddha is not deified, he is a teacher. In the people of Buddhism, everything is directed not to the inner contemplation, but on the worship of idols. Various animistic beliefs coexisted with Buddhism for several centuries and now just form what some call "Thai Buddhism". You can meet all the attributes of animism: amulets, perfume houses or protective tattoos Sak Yant. And one more example is the rods on the hand, which monks tie in the temples to protect against misfortunes.
A huge layer of folk beliefs are signs and superstitions. Shit through the left shoulder? Touch wood? Black cat? Do we have many people who seriously belong to this? And in Thailand, everything is serious. In Russia, you will not tell your boss, which was late for work because of the Black Cat, who had overdoned the road? And in Thailand, everything is possible.
Tapet can easily move from the room or even the hotel, saying that he saw the Spirit. Many superstitions are connected with the spirits of Thais. For example, not every tach will buy an apartment in the house where there was a cemetery before. He even approach this house will be with caution.
Life superstitions include the days of the week. On Wednesday it is impossible to start any serious cases, it is impossible to enter into contracts, to buy something, move or go on a journey. Even a hairdresser’s visit to this day may cause misfortune. Therefore, many beauty salons in rural areas are closed – anyway no one goes.
How can the superstitions be used for your own purposes? Gathered to buy some souvenir. Come to the seller and say that they saw in a dream a spirit that literally opened your eyes: an incredible happiness will come to your life if you buy an elephant or something else. In addition, buying will bring good luck and seller. Therefore, you urgently need a discount on souvenir. Works. Just do not need to exercise a stick with trade in order not to lose face.
Another uniting factor for Thais – Monarchy. King and Queen – Father and Mother for the Thai People. There are public holidays, weekends – the birthday of the King and the Queen, who are still called Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. In the cinemas before the start of the session, the royal anthem performs and show the monarch and members of his family. During the execution of the hymn, everyone must stand up to express respect for the king. As for the hymns, there is still a national anthem. It is broadcast in all radio stations at 8 am and at 6 pm. Passely, if he was heard on the street, must stop and listen to the anthem to the end.
Accordingly, any negative statements in the address of the king and his family is taboo. Thais even in their kitchen do not discuss the actions of the king. About it or good or nothing. There are a lot of examples of arrests and imprisonment for insulting the king both foreigners and Thai. In my opinion, the most striking example was 10 years ago, youtube appeared rollers, disclosing the honor of the king. From our point of view, there was nothing in the rollers. The king was depicted with a monkey head, and a big leg. And by Thai standards, this is a very big insult. The head is a holy place, the spirit of man lives in it, to the head of Thai should not be touched, so as not to disturb the spirit, for example, you don’t need to crack the children. Legs – the most dirtiest place in the human body, should not be observed through people or food, and about the coming leg on the head of speech and does not go at all. For such offensive videos all YouTube was banned in Thailand for 8 months.
Family and hierarchy
The king and queen is a father and mother, and the whole Thai people are one big family. As in any family, in Thai society there is its own hierarchy, similar to the pyramid, where the king and his family are at the top. The hierarchy does not come out directly from Buddhism, like a caste in Hinduism, everything is based on merit in the past life – a comprehensive philosophy of karma. The one who is below the hierarchy, respectively, in the past life and sinned more.
Man is a little older than called "Phi" – Senior brother or sister, younger in age or position "Nong" – younger brother or sister. Taxi driver can be called "Lung" – Uncle, and Saleswoman Som Tama "PA" – aunt. Compare some appeals in Russian, unfamiliar person in some situations to name Brother, Aunt or Uncle. In Thai, there are a lot of appeals depending on the rank. The most common respectful form of appeal to unfamiliar people "Khun" – You or dear. Sometimes not very educated Thais can literally translate polite appeal "He Khun" into English as "Hey You". Not everyone will be pleased if they appeal to him "Hey you", As it seems at first glance. In fact, all in the framework of decency, no one wants to insult you. You can translate this phrase "Sorry, dear".
How does the hierarchy manifest in society? First of all – a greeting that is in Thai called Wai. So different wai make thais different people. Starting at the breast level for equal, ending at the forehead level – king. If you come to the restaurant and the waiter makes you Wai, you should answer him the nod of the head and a smile. I do not advise you to do wai, not knowing all the subtleties. The same waiter sees a higher one in you, to answer him the same WAW will be perceived as a mockery above his position. In general, Thais know that Europeans greet handshake. But it is not necessary to stretch your hand, it is quite possible, your interlocutor does not accept a similar greeting. Read more about Thai greeting>>>
In Buddhism there is a special plus in Karma – reading parents and serving them. And the children who casually belong to their parents will suffer punishment in the next life, and they also prepared a separate place in hell. Therefore, there are practically no nursing homes in Thailand, and in hospitals it is allowed to be relatives, because of what the general chambers resemble the Gypsy Tabor – next to the patient’s bed on the mat spent 2-3 people. Even the relationship between spouses is less important than parents and native family. Because spouses can be a lot, and parents are alone. Dad, mom is important, grandparent grandparents, younger subordinate to the eldest. Very reminds the social pyramid, where the king and queen are at the top.
Senior care about younger
And also the pluses in Karma – the concern of the elders about the younger. And the younger, in turn, obey the eldest. In the middle Thai family usually 2-3 children, so there is someone to take care of. All this applies to Thai society. In it, as in Thai family there are senior and younger.
Submission to higher
Thai hierarchy began on the time of the clock, where the king was, his family, approximate and all the rest. In addition, by the end of the XIX century in Siam, there was slavery when submission to the superior was unquestioned. More than 100 years have passed, but submission is still. And all the higher are waiting for submission from the lower. Nowadays include different groups of the population: King, Royal Family, Monks, Teachers, Officials, Police, Senior Relatives and others. For example, rich Thais. No matter where their wealth come from. Nowadays, corruption allows you to buy rights and power.
Attitude to "Neetahs"
Thai society is quite closed. Thais in general is the developed xenophobia. That is why they did everything possible so that Thailand never was colony. Thais at full seriously consider themselves the highest nation. As for internal relationships, "Real Thais" Buddhists are considered. Even the Hindus and Muslims, which hundreds of years ago moved to Thailand, called "Khek" – the guest. There is a proverb: "If I saw the snake and the Hindu, kill first the last". And about the Chinese they say: I hate all the Chinese, except for your grandmother. Because every seventh resident of Thailand – Ethnic Chinese.
European inhabitants of Thailand and all non-naisates are called Faragami. Often it can be heard as "Falang" due to the features of the Thai pronunciation. History of origin Multiple: from "Alien" on Hindi "European" in Arabic and representative of the ancient German tribe "franc". In any case, so called all white, regardless of the place of residence. Dark-skinned foreigners call "Farang Dam" (Black Farag).
In the word Farang there is nothing delicious, you can compare with "Asian" In russian language. True, we do not speak another: "Here Asian asks. " And Thais easily. Sometimes a word "Farag" Serves Fire Sirena: Alarm, here white wants something in English.
In some provinces, still white alien, like an African in the middle of a snowy Siberia. What is there, in some areas of Phuket White in the Dick. And Guava in Thai will also be Farang too. Never guess if you call you a foreigner or fruit. Many products delivered by Europeans have a word "Farag" In the title. For example, "Man Farang" – This is potatoes, "Mak Farag" – gum.
Faragam does not have a place in the Thai hierarchy, with them ancient times retained a distance to defend the integrity of the people and protect it from alien influence. Thais themselves say: Thai can not be, they need to be born.
When you meet Thais, define each other’s position in the Thai hierarchy: by clothes, behavior, the manner of the conversation, the information about education, profession and the situation of the family in society will learn. Assessing the position of the interlocutor, they understand how to behave with him.
With Faragami, of course, in this sense is heavier. A priori for Thaisy all European rich. The indicative example was treated in the 90s to foreigners in Russia. But the troubles in Thai minds bring becpeckers who go to shorts and shirts, and some European women dress up on Thai standards quite defiantly and also behave. Therefore, Thais easily can ask you about salary or the cost of jewelry. These are normal questions to appreciate the rank of Faraga. Public position for Thais is very important, they prefer to show their status with exquisite clothes or expensive things. Have Mercedes and live on a removable apartment – quite normal. Have an iPhone and save on basic needs – too. Thais love to seem to be actually.
I hope my article will help you to understand Thai society more and become "His blackboard". Pleasant travels in Thailand!