|Thailand Travel Information: Thai
Thai national customs are important as they are the
embodiment of the chief characteristics of the nation.
One of the prevalent customs among Thai people is the way of
greeting called "Wai" It is done clapping one's hands
together with all fingers pointing straightforward, and raising
them up at about the chest level while blending one's head down
towards them at the same time. While performing a "Wai",
one says "Sawasdee", meaning "Good morning"
or "Good evening" This action shows respect,
humbleness, friendliness to each other, especially to the
elders. Apart from being used for greeting, "Wai" can
be performed to express thankfulness or the equivalent to an
English word "Thank you". When someone shows us
respects by a Wai, we should do the same to that person. The
performance of Wai is one of the graceful Thai courtesy which
represents the sweet, gentle, and friendly nature of Thai
people. With such a nature, Thai people are then well-known for
the tolerance and hospitality.
The other custom that differs from that of the Western
societies is the social hierarchy. Social ranking is an
important element for all social interaction. Age, social
connections, lineal descent, earning, and education are the
principal consideration for social conduct. It may be surprising
for the Westerners when receiving questions like "How old
are you?" or "How much do you earn?" even in the
first meeting. Note that it is a form of smooth talk or simple
curiosity rather than an invasion of privacy.