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Thailand Culture

The country is rich with culture, traditions and heritage, which is also a great attraction for tourists. Along with all traditional rituals and practices, Thailand culture also incorporates characteristics and beliefs, which is indigenous to the present day world. The traditional culture in Thailand is influenced by Cambodia, China, ancient India and prehistoric cultures of the neighboring Southeast Asian countries. Religious influence includes Buddhism, Hinduism and Animism.

Thai culture and society:

The Wai:

It is the popular form of Thai greeting which follows a strict set of rules. Both hands need to be clasped in a prayer like fashion with fingers pointing upwards and touching the body lightly. Thai people show their level of courtesy and respect by holding their clasped hands at varying heights. The higher the hands, the lower should be the bow. The gesture is used both at the time of greeting and farewell. It can also be made while standing, walking or sitting.

A junior, be it in term of status or age is expected to ‘wai’ first which is returned by the senior person by raising his hand.

Buddhism in Thailand:

The country has a predominance of Buddhist people, which approximately amounts to 90%of the total population. Therefore, the ideals of Buddhism are practiced by most people. Such ideals include believing in karma, selflessness and salvation (Nirvana). Because of such noble practices, Buddhist people tend to be very calm, polite and harmless, which are also reflected in their culture and lifestyle.

Hierarchical Society in Thailand:

Thai people respect and believe in Hierarchical relations. It is pre-defined who is superior to who. Like parents are always superior to their children, bosses are superior to their subordinates, people older in age are superior to the young, and teachers are superior to their students and so on. So, when Thai people meet, they try to categorize each other into the level of hierarchy the fit into, in order to treat them accordingly.

Thai Family culture:

Family culture is very strong in the country and is considered to be the foundation stone of the society. Family culture in Thailand follows a hierarchical system, where relations with the parents are placed right at the top. Unlike usual western culture, families are closely knit and every member shares a very strong bonding with each other.

Thai Demeanor:

Thai people are very polite and courteous. They value and believe in public display of courtesy, like being respectful and polite to everyone, warm and friendly behavior, and most importantly self-control for maintaining healthy relations. Their etiquette is influenced by their practice of Buddhist ideals. Thailand society is non-confrontational, where criticism and disputes are strictly avoided.

So to sum up Thailand culture, it can be said that the country has one of the most welcoming and warm cultures, which is practiced and maintained by significant efforts put by every people in the country. People of Thailand are brought up in a way that the principles of such a culture is engraved in their minds and also the practice of Buddhism goes a long way in forming Thailand society.

World Travel Guide offers online information on Thailand Culture.