Trip To Swansea In My Husband’s Motherland , Wales – Part 1

Ing and John traveled to Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom on September 25 – October 26, 2017.
Artwork at Newark Liberty Airport in the check in area of Air India.
On the Chinese New Year, one can see the festival and celebration from the Dragon Dancing Parade. The Chinese love the dragon symbol in red, which is a favorite color of the Chinese. This artwork reminded me of a Welsh dragon. We had some time left before we went into the gate for boarding. I enjoyed taking photographs of this artwork. We selected Air India because it was the most economical ticket fare and John loves Indian food, me too.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Sunday, January 14, 2018

Artwork at Newark Liberty Airport, New Jersey, United States

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

 

Ing & John Traveled to Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom on September 25 – October 26, 2017.

We arrived in Newark Liberty Airport, Newark, New Jersey at about 5 p.m. on Monday 25, for checking in which started at 6:30 pm. We saw a scene of nice sunset sky outside area of Air India’s glass windows.

The reflection of the television screen appeared in the sunset sky of the scene looking out of Newark Liberty Airport, Newark in the check in area of Air India.

Beautiful Sunset Sky, the scene looking out of Newark Liberty Airport,  in the check in area of Air India.

John and I were busy packing again. This time we were heading to Swansea, South Wales, the UK. John was born in Swansea, and most of his family lived there for most of their lives. “No Place Like Home”, it is John’s beloved country.

Ing & John Traveled to Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom on September 25 – October 26, 2017.

The route from Newark Liberty Airport, Newark, New Jersey, USA To Heathrow, London, UK
We boarded and the airplane took off at about 10:30 p.m. The flight attendants started to serve the food and drinks, after our bellies were satisfied by Indian food, John enjoyed checking the movies and I enjoyed learning about flight information.
The airplane from Newark passed over Boston, Windsor, Bay Roberts, Montreal and crossed Atlantic Ocean heading to Amsterdam.

At one point, I opened the flight information. It showed that outside air temperature was -540 degrees Centigrade. I thought if any one drops out of the airplane; the body probably be frozen instantly.

“Heathrow Airport originated in 1929 as a small airfield (Great West Aerodrome) on land south-east of the hamlet of Heathrowfrom which the airport takes its name. At that time there were farms, market gardens and orchards there: there was a “Heathrow Farm” about where Terminal 1 is now, a “Heathrow Hall” and a “Heathrow House”. This hamlet was largely along a country lane (Heathrow Road) which ran roughly along the east and south edges of the present central terminals area.
Development of the whole Heathrow area as a very much larger airport began in 1944: it was stated to be for long-distance military aircraft bound for the Far East. But by the time the airfield was nearing completion, World War II had ended. The government continued to develop the airport as a civil airport; it opened as London Airport in 1946 and was renamed Heathrow Airport in 1966. The masterplan[clarification needed] for the airport was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd, who designed the original terminals and central area buildings, including the original control tower and the multi-faith chapel of St George’s.”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathrow_Airport

This flight information showed that the airplane passed through Waterford and Wexford of Island, crossed the Celtic sea passing over South Wales. John said “We should get off here then we do not have to go to Heathrow, London. Save us time and money to ride the bus for five hours from Heathrow to Swansea. For better or worse, we have to follow the system, it was the flight route. We finally reached to our destination, Heathrow Airport, London. The trip duration was about six hours.

“Heathrow Airport is used by over 80 airlines flying to 185 destinations in 84 countries. The airport is the primary hub of British Airways and is a base for Virgin Atlantic. It has four passenger terminals (numbered 2 to 5) and a cargo terminal. Of Heathrow’s 73.4 million passengers in 2014, 93% were international travellers; the remaining 7% were bound for (or arriving from) places in the UK.[9] The busiest single destination in passenger numbers is New York, with over 3 million passengers flying between Heathrow and JFK Airport in 2013.[10]”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathrow_Airport

“Heathrow is 14 mi (23 km) west of central London,[3] near the south end of the London Borough of Hillingdon on a parcel of land that is designated part of the Metropolitan Green Belt. The airport is surrounded by the built-up areas of Harlington, Harmondsworth, Longford and Cranford to the north and by Hounslow and Hatton to the east. To the south lie Bedfont and Stanwell while to the west Heathrow is separated from Slough in Berkshire by the M25 motorway. Heathrow falls entirely under the TW postcode area.
As the airport is west of London and as its runways run east–west, an airliner’s landing approach is usually directly over the conurbation of London when the wind is from the west.
Along with Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Southend and London City, Heathrow is one of six airports with scheduled services serving the London area, although only Heathrow and London City are within Greater London.

Heathrow Airport (also known as London Heathrow)[2] (IATA: LHR, ICAO: EGLL) is a major international airport in London, United Kingdom. Heathrow is the second busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic (surpassed by Dubai International in 2014), as well as the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic, and the seventh busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic. In 2016, it handled a record 75.7 million passengers, a 1.0% increase from 2015.[1]
Heathrow lies 14 miles (23 km) west of Central London,[3] and has two parallel east–west runways along with four operational terminals on a site that covers 12.27 square kilometres (4.74 sq mi). The airport is owned and operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings, which itself is owned by FGP TopCo Limited, an international consortium led by Ferrovialthat also includes Qatar Holding LLC, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, Alinda Capital Partners, China Investment Corporation and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).[4] London Heathrow is the primary hub for British Airways and the primary operating base for Virgin Atlantic.
In September 2012, the UK government established the Airports Commission, an independent commission chaired by Sir Howard Davies to examine various options for increasing capacity at UK airports. In July 2015, the commission backed a third runway at Heathrow and the government”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathrow_Airport

We took the elevator to the Bus Terminal where we saw the Welcome Posters. I wonder after the Brexit, if the British will still welcome foreigners.

“Brexit (/?br?ks?t/ or /?br??z?t/) is the popular term for the prospective withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU).[1]
In a referendum on 23 June 2016, 51.9% of the participating UK electorate voted to leave the EU. On 29 March 2017, the British government invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union. The UK is thus on course to leave the EU on Friday, 29 March 2019.[2]
Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the UK would not seek permanent membership of the single market or the customs union after leaving the EU[3][4] and promised to repeal the European Communities Act of 1972 and incorporate existing European Union law into UK domestic law.[5] Negotiations with the EU officially started in June 2017.
The UK joined the European Communities in 1973,[6][7] with membership confirmed by a referendum in 1975. In the 1970s and 1980s, withdrawal from the EC was advocated mainly by Labour Party and trade union figures. From the 1990s, the main advocates of withdrawal were the newly founded UK Independence Party (UKIP) and an increasing number of Eurosceptic Conservatives.”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brexit

“Brexit Historical background
Main article: History of Britain’s relationship with the European Union
In 1951, the “Inner Six” European countries signed the Treaty of Paris establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), followed shortly by the 1957 Treaties of Rome establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). In 1967, these became known as the European Communities (EC). The UK applied to join in 1963 and 1967, but was vetoed by the French President, Charles de Gaulle.[17] After de Gaulle relinquished the French presidency the UK successfully applied for membership and the Conservative prime minister Edward Heath signed the Treaty of Accession in 1972,[18]Parliament passed the European Communities Act later in the year[19] and the UK became a member of the EC on 1 January 1973 with Denmark and Ireland.[20]
The opposition Labour Party contested the October 1974 general election with a commitment to renegotiate Britain’s terms of membership of the EC and then hold a referendum on whether to remain in the EC on the new terms.[21] After Labour won the election the United Kingdom held its first ever national referendum on whether the UK should remain in the European Communities in 1975. Despite significant division within the ruling Labour Party[22] all major political parties and the mainstream press supported continuing membership of the EC. On 5 June 1975, 67.2% of the electorate and all but two[23] UK counties and regions voted to stay in[24] and support for the UK to leave the EC in 1975 appears unrelated to the support for Leave in the 2016 referendum.[25]”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brexit

“Brexit: Comparison of results of 1975 and 2016 referendums
The Labour Party campaigned in the 1983 general election on a commitment to withdraw from the EC without a referendum[26] although after a heavy defeat Labour changed its policy.[26] In 1985 the Thatcher government ratified the Single European Act—the first major revision to the Treaty of Rome- without a referendum.
In October 1990, under pressure from senior ministers and despite Margaret Thatcher’s deep reservations, the United Kingdom joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), with the pound sterling pegged to the deutschmark. Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister the following month, amid Conservative Party divisions arising partly from her increasingly Eurosceptic views. The United Kingdom and Italy were forced to withdraw from the ERM in September 1992, after the pound sterling and the lira came under pressure (“Black Wednesday”).[27]
Under the Maastricht Treaty, the European Communities became the European Union on 1 November 1993,[28] reflecting the evolution of the organisation from an economic union into a political union.[29]”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brexit

We saw a lot of sparrows at the bus terminal welcoming the food given to them. Hopefully they were also welcoming us.

“Brexit: Consequences of withdrawal for the United Kingdom[edit]
Immigration[edit]
Long term[edit]
Immigration was cited as the second-most important reason for those voting to Leave. However, some forecasts indicate that immigration ?ows to the UK will remain relatively high after Brexit.[141] KPMG – based on a survey of 2,000 EU workers in UK – estimates that about a million of EU citizens working in the UK, see their future in Britain as over or hanging in the balance[142].
Immediate effects[edit]
Official figures in March 2017 indicated that EU immigration to the UK continued to exceed emigration, but the difference between immigration and emigration (“net migration”) had fallen to its lowest for three years.[143] The number of EU nurses registering with the NHS fell from 1,304 in July 2016 to 46 in April 2017.[144]
Economic effects[edit]
Main article: Economic effects of Brexit
During the referendum, the economic arguments were a major area of debate. Most economists, including the UK Treasury, argued that being in the EU has a strong positive effect on trade and as a result the UK’s trade would be worse off if it left the EU.[145][146] Others argued for the benefits of being free of EU “red tape” regulations and from going the full route of complete free trade. Additionally, not contributing to the EU budget would improve the budget and allowing tax cuts or higher government spending.[147]
After the referendum, the Institute for Fiscal Studies published a report funded by the Economic and Social Research Council which warned that Britain would lose up to £70 billion in reduced economic growth if it didn’t retain Single Market membership, with new trade deals unable to make up the difference.[148] One of these areas is financial services, which are helped by EU-wide “passporting” for financial products, which the Financial Times estimates indirectly accounts for up to 71,000 jobs and 10 billion pounds of tax annually,[149] and some banks have announced plans to relocate some of their operations outside the UK.[150]
On 5 January 2017, Andy Haldane, the Chief Economist and the Executive Director of Monetary Analysis and Statistics at the Bank of England, admitted that forecasts predicting an economic downturn due to the referendum were inaccurate and noted strong market performance after the referendum,[151][152][153] although some have pointed to prices rising faster than wages.[154]
Brexit requires relocating the offices and staff of the European Medicines Agency and European Banking Authority, currently based in London.[155] The EU is also investigating the feasibility of restricting the clearing of euro-denominated trades to Eurozone jurisdictions, attempting to end London’s dominance in this sector.[156]
Effect on academic research[edit]
Main article: Brexit and arrangements for science and technology
The UK received more from the EU for research than it contributed[157] with universities getting just over 10% of their research income from the EU.[158] All funding for net beneficiaries from the EU, including universities, was guaranteed by the government in August 2016.[159] Before the funding announcement, a newspaper investigation reported that some research projects were reluctant to include British researchers due to uncertainties over funding.[160]
Currently the UK is part of the European Research Area and the UK is likely to wish to remain an associated member.[161]
Scotland[edit]
As predicted before the referendum,[162] the Scottish Government announced that officials were planning a second independence referendum on the day after the UK voted to leave and Scotland voted to stay.[163] In March 2017, the SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon requested a second Scottish independence referendum for 2018 to 2019 (before Brexit is expected to take effect).[164] The Prime Minister immediately rejected the requested timing (although not the referendum itself).[165] The referendum was approved by the Scottish Parliament on 28 March 2017. Sturgeon is calling for a “phased return” of an independent Scotland back to the EU.[166]
After the referendum, Nicola Sturgeon also stated that Scotland might refuse consent for legislation required to leave the EU,[167] though some lawyers argue that Scotland cannot block Brexit.[168]
International agreements[edit]
The Financial Times approximates there to be 759 international agreements, spanning 168 non-EU countries, that the UK would no longer be a party to upon leaving the EU.[169] This figure does not include World Trade Organisation or United Nations opt-in accords, and excludes “narrow agreements”, which may have to be renegotiated as well.[169]
Options for continuing relationship with the EU[edit]
Main article: Continuing UK relationship with the EU
The UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the remaining EU members could take several forms. A research paper presented to the UK Parliament in July 2013 proposed a number of alternatives to membership which would continue to allow access to the EU internal market. These include remaining in the European Economic Area,[170]negotiating deep bilateral agreements on the Swiss model,[170] or exit from the EU without EEA membership or a trade agreement under the WTO Option. There may be an interim deal between the time the UK leaves the EU and when the final relationship comes in force.
Relations with the Republic of Ireland[edit]

The UK/Republic of Ireland border at Killeen marked only by a speed sign marked in km/h
The Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom as a whole share, since the 1920s, a Common Travel Areawithout border controls. According to statements by Theresa May and Enda Kenny, it is intended to maintain this arrangement.[171] After Brexit, in order to prevent illegal migration across the open Northern Irish land border into the United Kingdom, the Irish and British governments suggested in October 2016 a plan whereby British border controls would be applied to Irish ports and airports. This would prevent a “hard border” arising between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.[172]However, this agreement was never official and was met by opposition from political parties in the Republic of Ireland,[173] and there is still great uncertainty in relation to a ‘hard border’ between the Republic and Northern Ireland.[174]
On 23 March 2017, it was confirmed that British immigration officials would not be allowed to use Irish ports and airports in order to combat immigration concerns following Brexit.[175] A referendum for the reunification of Ireland was suggested by Sinn Féin leader Martin McGuinness immediately after the UK EU referendum results were announced.[176] Creating a border control system between Ireland and Northern Ireland could jeopardise the Good Friday Agreement established in 1998.[177] In April 2017 the European Council agreed that, in the event of Irish reunification, Northern Ireland would rejoin the EU.[178]
Border with France[edit]
The President of the Regional Council of Hauts-de-France, Xavier Bertrand, stated in February 2016 that “If Britain leaves Europe, right away the border will leave Calais and go to Dover. We will not continue to guard the border for Britain if it’s no longer in the European Union,” indicating that the juxtaposed controls would end with a leave vote. French Finance Minister Emmanuel Macron also suggested the agreement would be “threatened” by a leave vote.[179] These claims have been disputed, as the Le Touquet 2003 treaty enabling juxtaposed controls was not an EU treaty, and would not be legally void upon leaving.[180]
After the Brexit vote, Xavier Bertrand asked François Hollande to renegotiate the Touquet agreement,[181] which can be terminated by either party with two years’ notice.[182] Hollande rejected the suggestion, and said: “Calling into question the Touquet deal on the pretext that Britain has voted for Brexit and will have to start negotiations to leave the Union doesn’t make sense.” Bernard Cazeneuve, the French Interior Minister, confirmed there would be “no changes to the accord”. He said: “The border at Calais is closed and will remain so.”[183]
Gibraltar and Spain[edit]
Main article: Gibraltar after Brexit
During the campaign leading up to the referendum[184] the Chief Minister of Gibraltar warned that Brexit posed a threat to Gibraltar’s safety.[185] Gibraltar overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU. After the result Spain’s Foreign Minister renewed calls for joint Spanish–British control of the peninsula.[186] These calls were strongly rebuffed by Gibraltar’s Chief Minister[187] and questions were raised over the future of free-flowing traffic at the Gibraltar–Spain border.[188] The British government states it will only negotiate on the sovereignty of Gibraltar with the consent of its people.[189]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brexit

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Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 14

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Worshiper and the Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thai land

Culture of Thailand

Thailand’s culture has evolved greatly over time, from the country’s pre-globalization time in Sukhothai era, to its more contemporary Ayutthaya era, which absorbs influences from all over Asia. Strong Indian, Chinese and other Southeast Asian influences are still evident in traditional Thai culture up until the modern Rattanakosin era.[1] Buddhism and Animism also play a significant role in shaping the culture.

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

A Worshipper and Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“People offer prayers and seek blessings at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand. The Erawan Shrine is a Hindu shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, that houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu creation god Brahma. A popular tourist attraction, it often features performances by resident Thai dance troupes, who are hired by worshippers in return for seeing their prayers at the shrine answered.”

For more information please visit the following link:

Travel & Events

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeZF_mpFbgM

“Thai folklore is a diverse set of traditional beliefs held by the Thai people. Most Thai folklore has a regional background for it originated in rural Thailand. With the passing of time, and through the influence of the media, large parts of Thai folklore have become interwoven with the wider popular Thai culture.

Phraya Anuman Rajadhon (1888–1969) was the first Thai scholar to seriously study local folkloristics. He took copious notes on humble details of his culture such as the charms used by Thai shopkeepers to attract customers. He also studied in depth the oral literature related to different village spirits and ghosts of Thai lore.[1]

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_folklore

Thai folklore: The core of Thai folklore is rooted in folk religion. Until they were recorded, folk beliefs were handed down from one generation to the next.

Village shamans are known as phram, a word that has its origin in Brahma, from a general and vague historical Vedic background. The phram conducts exorcisms and performs marriages, among other ceremonies.”

Thai folklore: Another important figure in Thai folk religion is the mo phi  shaman who would also conduct rituals. To invoke spirits of the dead, four sticks are planted at equal distance from each other on the ground near the burial or cremation place. A thread is tied around the sticks forming a protective square and a mat is spread in the middle, where the mo phi sits down. In front of him, outside of the square there is a mo khao terracotta jar with a yantra painted on the outside containing the ashes or bones of the dead person. Beside the jar there is also a plate of rice as an offering and a stick or switch to keep the spirits at bay.”

Thai folklore: In order to be protected against bad luck, charms and amulets for bringing luck or for protection are popular in Thailand. Some of these are tied around the body or worn as a necklace, while others come in the form of yantra tattooing. The yantra endows the wearer with supernatural protection, love, health, and wealth. In order to bring luck and provide protection, yants are also drawn in the receptions of multinational companies, the entrances of supermarkets, and the interiors of taxis, trucks, and airplanes.[2]

Thai folklore: In shops and houses, often next to a shelf with a Buddha statuette, charms for attracting customers are hung. These include printed pieces of cloth of fish-shaped figures, as well as streamers or framed pictures of a crocodile or of Suvannamaccha, the mermaid character of the Siamese version of the Ramayana. Some of these charms have their origin in the culture of the Thai Chinese, as Phraya Anuman Rajadhon observed, but they have been adopted by the Thai people, often with changes.[1]

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_folklore

Thai folklore:

Miscellaneous folk beliefs

Superstitions of the Thai people include:

  • Auspicious dates. Identification of auspicious dates and moments is common in Thai culture. This is especially important when setting a wedding date, as well as when building a house or purchasing a car.[1]
  • Lucky numbers. Divination techniques are often used to predict numbers before buying a lottery ticket.”

Thai folklore:

  • Cutting one’s hair or fingernails. Wednesday is regarded as a highly inauspicious day for having a haircut.
  • Shapes on the moon. In Thai folk belief the dark spots on the moon, the lunar maria, form either a rabbit shape or the shape of a man and a woman pounding rice.”

Thai folklore:

  • Little fish hanging. A poor person who cannot afford to buy fish may hang a little fish, or a picture of a fish, from the ceiling of his home while eating rice.
  • Gecko. The chirping sounds of different species of geckos native to Thailand have different interpretations according to the moment and occasion. Also, if a gecko happens to fall on or near someone in a home or veranda, it has a meaning which is auspicious or inauspicious depending on the side on which it falls.”

Thai folklore:

  • Auspicious colors. Since certain colors may be auspicious for certain persons, much thought is given to the color of a car before acquiring it. Also in the case of taxicabs certain colors that are deemed unlucky will be avoided. Taxicabs in Bangkok come in various colors and formerly a number of taxis were violet, but these have been repainted in recent years for violet was considered an unlucky color, both by cabdrivers and customers.
  • Rainbow. A rainbow is held in high regard and it is important to avoid pointing at it because one would lose one’s finger.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_folklore

Thai folklore:

Deities

  • Nang Kwak  is a benevolent female deity that brings luck to business owners and attracts customers. She is widely considered the patron of traders and shopkeepers and can be seen in almost every business establishment in Thailand.[3]
  • Phi Fa  is an ancient deity of Isan folklore. In her malevolent aspect she is related to Phosop.
  • Phosop  is the traditional and ancient rice goddess of Thailand. She is part of very ancient Thai folklore rather than of the mainstream Buddhist religion.[1] In order to propitiate her during the different stages of the harvest, ritual offerings known as Cha Laeo used to be periodically made in villages and hamlets in rural areas.[4]
  • Kuman Thong, represented as the effigy of a young boy, is believed to bring good luck.

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

Spirits or ghosts are known generically as phi (??) and they may be found, among other places, in certain trees, burial grounds near Buddhist temples, some houses, as well as mountains and forests. The Phi Pan Nam Range , “The mountain range of the spirits dividing the waters” that divides the Mekong from the Chao Phraya watershed, is named after the ancient spirits believed to dwell in the mountains.”

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

Spirit houses, known as san phra phum  in Thai language, are small shrines to provide a home for the tutelary spirits of a place. They are common near trees and groves and in urban areas, close to buildings. It is considered a bad omen to neglect these spots and offerings are regularly made by people living nearby.[5]

The local beliefs regarding the nocturnal village spirits of Thailand were studied by Phraya Anuman Rajadhon. Most spirits were traditionally not represented in paintings or drawings, hence they are purely based on stories of the oral tradition.[6]

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

Thai cinema, Thai television soap operas and Thai comics have contributed to popularize the spirits and legends of the folklore of Thailand. Phraya Anuman Rajadhon established that most of the contemporary iconography of folk ghosts[7][8][9] has its origins in Thai films that have become classics.[10]

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

Most of the spirits or ghosts are so popular they appear regularly in comic books as well as in films, including the Nak animated movie for children. The most well-known are the following:

  • Chao Kam Nai Wen, the spirit of a person with whom one has previously interacted, usually appearing as a spirit who sitting on someone’s back
  • Krahang, a male ghost that flies in the night
  • Krasue, a woman’s head with her viscera hanging down from the neck”

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

  • Mae Nak, a female ghost who died at childbirth and that can extend her arms
  • Phi Am, a spirit that sits on a person’s chest during the night
  • Phi Hua Khat, a headless male ghost that carries his head”

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

  • Phi Phraya, a female ghost living in the water
  • Phi Phong, a malevolent male ghost having an unpleasant smell. It lives in dark places under the vegetation
  • Phi Pop, a malevolent female spirit that devours human entrails”

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

  • Phi Song Nang, female ghosts that first lure, and then attack and kill young men
  • Phi Tai Hong, the ghost of a person who suffered a sudden violent or cruel death
  • Phi Tai Thong Klom, the wrathful ghost of a woman having committed suicide after being made pregnant and subsequently betrayed and abandoned by her lover”

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_folklore

Thai folklore: Festivals

Some traditional celebrations, including Buddhist festivals, provide an opportunity for the expression of local folk beliefs.

Thai folklore: Folk tales

Folk tales and legends in Thailand were used by elders to instill beliefs in the younger generation. Most stories contain moral lessons teaching the importance of following traditions and to display reverence to elders, parents, and superiors. The stories of the spirit world taught children to be cautious, to stay at home at night, and to respect customs regarding death rituals and the importance of offerings.”

Thai folklore: Folk tales

Many Thai folk tales are based on the texts of Buddhism. Also some of the stories of classical Thai literature, such as Khun Chang Khun Phaen and Lilit Phra Lo, a story about young lovers with a tragic end,[11] originated in folk tales. Phra Aphai Mani is a Thai epic poem that has inspired local folklore.

Throughout Thailand there are also local folk stories connected with particular geographic features, such as the story of Doi Nang Non, the “Mountain of the Sleeping Lady” and the legend about the formation of Khao Sam Roi Yot mountains and islands.[12]

Thai folklore: Buddhist folk tradition

See also: Buddhism in Thailand

The Jataka tales, such as the Vessantara Jataka, the Twelve Sisters, and Prince Samuttakote (Samuddaghosa), have provided inspiration to Thai traditional storytellers. These Jatakas have been often retold, abridged, and adapted to fit local culture in Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Indonesia. As a consequence, they have become so familiar to average people that they fully belong to the folklore of their respective country. Often each country claims the story as its own cultural achievement. Thailand is no exception.[13]

Thai folklore: Buddhist folk tradition

Sang Thong (Suvannasankhaj taka), where the marriage between a man and a woman of different social status is the main subject of the story,[14] and Honwichai and Kawi are also long traditional stories. The “Woodcutter who lost his Axe” is a well-liked Thai tale with a moral lesson promoting honesty.[15]

Sri Thanonchai is a trickster which tricks people with his word.”

Thai folklore: Buddhist folk tradition

Many figures of the Buddhist tradition have been fully incorporated into Thai lore, among these are the yaksa, ogres (yaksha), and ogresses (Pali: Yakkhini), the tall and scary Prets,[16] Ongkhuliman, the violent criminal named after the garland of the fingers of his victims he wore around his neck, as well as Nariphon, the mythical tree of Buddhist literature bearing fruits in the shape of young girls.

Vivid descriptions of the torments of hell,[17] sometimes in the form of garish sculptures, are to be found in some Buddhist temples in Thailand.[18] These representations are so popular that, along with figures of local spirits, they have become a regular feature in present-day Thai comics.[19]

Thai folklore: Animals in folklore

The mynah is featured in some tales for its ability to talk and imitate sounds. The “Hen and her six chicks”, explaining the origin of the Pleiades, “The White Crows” and tales with elephants such as “The Elephant, the Monkey and the Quail”, and “The Elephants and the Bees”[15] are common folk tales, some of which are based on the Panchatantra.[20]

Thai folklore: Animals in folklore

Snakes are part of the Thai popular lore, and depending on the background of the tale or myth, they have different meanings. Nak, Nagas figure in some stories of local folklore and are represented as well in Buddhist temples as architectural elements. Male lust is often popularly represented as a snake growing on top of the head of the lustful man.[21] Thai folk mythology also includes the idea of a link between snakes and women. Some stories based on snakes have been made into Thai movies.[22]

Thai folklore: Folk art and craft

The articles listed below are an essential part of Thai folklore. Some were articles of daily household use in rural areas.

  • Kan Tam Khao, the long wooden pestle of a traditional manual rice pounder.[23]
  • Mo Khao. A traditional Thai clay pot widely used formerly to cook rice. It is also used in ceremonies to invoke spirits as well as to capture evil ghosts and banish them.[24]

Thai folklore: Folk art and craft

  • Kradong, a round rice winnowing basket. The large ones are known as Kradong Mon.[25] Phi Krahang uses two large winnowing baskets to fly in the night.
  • Prakham, the Buddhist prayer beads. Witch doctors usually wear a necklace of beads.”

Thai folklore: Thai Buddha amulet

Thai Buddha amulet is a kind of Thai Buddhist blessed item. It is used for raising funds in order to help the temple producing the amulets. Worshippers can obtain an amulets or Thai Buddhist monk blessing by simply donating money or offering oil to the temple. After the donation, Thai Buddhist monk will give amulet as a gift to them. With the change of time, amulet no longer simply means as a “gift” , but a kind of tool to help enhance luck in different aspects, some people use amulets to improve marriage, wealth, health, love and people relationship.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_folklore

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Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 13

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Worshiper and the Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thai land

Culture of Thailand

Thailand’s culture has evolved greatly over time, from the country’s pre-globalization time in Sukhothai era, to its more contemporary Ayutthaya era, which absorbs influences from all over Asia. Strong Indian, Chinese and other Southeast Asian influences are still evident in traditional Thai culture up until the modern Rattanakosin era.[1] Buddhism and Animism also play a significant role in shaping the culture.

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

Sport in Thailand:

Muay Thai (Thai: ??????, RTGS: Muai Thai,  [muaj t?aj], lit. “Thai boxing”) is a native form of kickboxing and Thailand’s signature sport. It incorporates kicks, punches, knees and elbow strikes in a ring with gloves similar to those used in Western boxing and this has led to Thailand gaining medals at the Olympic Games in boxing.”

Sport in Thailand:

Association football has overtaken muay Thai as the most widely followed sport in contemporary Thai society. Thailand national football team has played the AFC Asian Cup six times and reached the semifinals in 1972. The country has hosted the Asian Cup twice, in 1972 and in 2007. The 2007 edition was co-hosted together with Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. It is not uncommon to see Thais cheering their favourite English Premier League teams on television and walking around in replica kit. Another widely enjoyed pastime, and once a competitive sport, is kite flying.”

Sport in Thailand:

Takraw (Thai: ??????) is a sport native to Thailand, in which the players hit a rattan ball and are only allowed to use their feet, knees, chest, and head to touch the ball. Sepak takraw is a form of this sport which is similar to volleyball. The players must volley a ball over a net and force it to hit the ground on the opponent’s side. It is also a popular sport in other countries in Southeast Asia. A rather similar game but played only with the feet is Buka ball.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

“Architecture:

Phra Maha Chedi Si Ratchakan at Wat Pho, Bangkok.

Main articles: Architecture of Thailand, Thai temple art and architecture, and Traditional Thai house

The Major part of the country’s cultural legacy and reflects both the challenges of living in Thailand’s sometimes extreme climate as well as, historically, the importance of architecture to the Thai people’s sense of community and religious beliefs. Influenced by the architectural traditions of many of Thailand’s neighbors, it has also developed significant regional variation within its vernacular and religious buildings.”

“Architecture:

Buddhist temples in Thailand are known as “wats“, from the P??i v??a, meaning an enclosure. A temple has an enclosing wall that divides it from the secular world. Wat architecture has seen many changes in Thailand in the course of history. Although there are many differences in layout and style, they all adhere to the same principles.”

“Architecture:

As the phrase “Thai stilt house” suggests, one universal aspect of Thailand’s traditional architecture is the elevation of its buildings on stilts, most commonly to around head height. The area beneath the house is used for storage, crafts, lounging in the daytime, and sometimes for livestock. The houses were raised due to heavy flooding during certain parts of the year, and in more ancient times, predators. Thai building and living habits are often based on superstitious and religious beliefs. Many other considerations such as locally available materials, climate, and agriculture have a lot to do with the style.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

Traditional games of Thailand:

“Kratai kha deow” or “one-legged rabbit” is a type of catch game. The catcher will call the rabbit, and the rabbit must stand on one leg and jump or tiptoe to catch the other players and switch to rabbit instead. This game will exercise your legs and practice balancing on one leg. The number of players are divided into two teams, or may not have a team at all. Normally, there are two or more players. At the first time, the player will select the rabbit or team by “rock-paper-scissors”. The loser would have to be a rabbit.

In the case of solo player, the rabbit must stand on one leg, then jump to chase and touch any part of the body of other children who have run away. Everyone must stay within the designated area. A player who runs out of space loses the game and must be switched to rabbit, but if the rabbit is exhausted and cannot stand on one leg, it was that defeated and must be punished.

In team play, the rules are similar to the solo player, but the rabbit team will send a representative to catch the other team to all the people. Those arrested will have to wait outside until the rabbit team can catch all of the rival teams. Rabbit team can switch to teammates to catch on until they are exhausted, and if the all of the members in rabbit team are exhausted and cannot stand on one leg, the rabbit team lose the game and must be punished too.”

Traditional games of Thailand:

Banana stalk hobby horse riding

Banana stalk hobby horse riding or “khee ma khan kluay” in Thai is a traditional game of Thailand that Thai kids frequently played in the past. They use a banana stalk to make the parts of a horse such as head, ear, and horsetail. The materials for making a banana rib hobby horse are banana stalk, knife, small bamboo pin, and string. First, find a banana stalk around 1.5 m long. Cut it in the form of the head, neck, and ears, then use a small bamboo pin to connect the ear to the head of a horse. The remaining part of the banana stalk becomes a horsetail. Attach a string between the head and the tail of this banana stalk horse and place on the shoulder of the rider.

Kids sit on the horse and pretend they are riding a real horse, shouting “hee hee” or “yee haaah”, sounds typical of people on horseback. They may race with friends if they have more than two players. The team that runs faster is the winner.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

Public holidays in Thailand:

Important holidays in Thai culture include Thai New Year, or Songkran,[16] which is officially observed from 13–15 April each year. Falling at the end of the dry season and during the hot season in Thailand, the celebrations notoriously feature boisterous water throwing. The water throwing stemmed from washing Buddha images and lightly sprinkling scented water on the hands of elderly people. Small amounts of scented talcum powder were also used in the annual cleansing rite. In recent decades, water fights have been increasingly industrialised with use of hoses, barrels, squirt guns, water-filled surgical tubing, and copious amounts of powder.”

Public holidays in Thailand:

Loi Krathong is held on the 12th full moon of the Thai lunar calendar, usually early-November. While not a government-observed holiday, it is nonetheless an auspicious day in Thai culture, in which Thai people “loi”, meaning “to float” a “krathong”, a small raft traditionally made from elaborately folded banana leaves and including flowers, candles, incense sticks, and small offerings. The act of floating away the candle raft is symbolic of letting go of all one’s grudges, anger, and defilements so that one can start life afresh on a better footing.”

Public holidays in Thailand:

National Elephant Day or Chang Thai Day is a holiday in Thailand, held on March 13, which celebrates the cultural and historical significance of the elephant in Thailand.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

The Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

A Worshipper and Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“People offer prayers and seek blessings at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand. The Erawan Shrine is a Hindu shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, that houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu creation god Brahma. A popular tourist attraction, it often features performances by resident Thai dance troupes, who are hired by worshippers in return for seeing their prayers at the shrine answered.”

For more information please visit the following link:

Travel & Events

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeZF_mpFbgM

The Worshippers offer flowers and others items to Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

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Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 12

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Culture of Thailand

Thailand’s culture has evolved greatly over time, from the country’s pre-globalization time in Sukhothai era, to its more contemporary Ayutthaya era, which absorbs influences from all over Asia. Strong Indian, Chinese and other Southeast Asian influences are still evident in traditional Thai culture up until the modern Rattanakosin era.[1] Buddhism and Animism also play a significant role in shaping the culture.

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

Thailand is nearly 94 percent Buddhist, mainly of the Theravada school (which includes the Thai Forest Tradition and the Dhammayuttika Nikaya and Santi Asoke sects) and an unknown minority belonging to the Mahayana school. In addition there are minorities of Muslims in Thailand (5-6 percent), Christians (1 percent), and other religions.[2] Thai Theravada Buddhism is supported and overseen by the government, with monks receiving a number of government benefits, such as free use of public transportation.

Buddhism in Thailand is strongly influenced by traditional beliefs regarding ancestral and natural spirits, which have been incorporated into Buddhist cosmology. Most Thai people install spirit houses (Thai: ??????????; rtgssan phra phum), miniature houses outside their dwellings, where they believe household spirits live. They present offerings of food and drink to these spirits to keep them happy. If these spirits aren’t happy, it is believed that they will inhabit the household and cause chaos. These spirit houses can be found in public places and on the streets of Thailand, where the public make offerings.[3]

Prior to the rise of Theravada Buddhism, both Indian Brahmanic religion and Mahayana Buddhism were present in Thailand. Influences from both these traditions can still be seen in present-day Thai folklore. Brahmanist shrines play an important role in Thai folk religion, and the Mahayana Buddhist influence is reflected in the presence of figures like Lokesvara, a form of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara sometimes incorporated into Thailand’s iconography.[3]

The traditional customs and the folklore of Thai people were gathered and described by Phya Anuman Rajadhon in the 20th century, at a time when modernity changed the face of Thailand and a great number of traditions disappeared or became adapted to modern life. Still, the striving towards refinement, rooted in ancient Siamese culture, consisting of promoting that which is refined and avoiding coarseness is a major focus of the daily life of Thai people and high on their scale of values.[5]

One of the most distinctive Thai customs is the wai. Used in greetings, leave-taking, or as an acknowledgement, it comes in many forms, reflecting the relative status of those involved. Generally the salutation involves a prayer-like gesture with the hands, derived from the Añjali Mudr? of the Indian subcontinent, and it also may include a slight bow of the head. This salutation is often accompanied by a serene smile symbolizing a welcoming disposition and a pleasant attitude. Thailand is often referred to as the “land of smiles” in tourist brochures.

Public displays of affection are not overly common in traditional Thai society, especially between lovers.[6] It is becoming more common, especially among the younger generation.

A notable social norm holds that touching someone on the head may be considered rude. It is also considered rude to place one’s feet at a level above someone else’s head, especially if that person is of higher social standing. This is because the Thai people consider the foot to be the dirtiest and lowliest part of the body, and the head the most respected and highest part of the body. This also influences how Thais sit when on the ground—their feet always pointing away from others, tucked to the side or behind them. Pointing at or touching something with the feet is also considered rude.

Since a serene disposition is valued, conflict and sudden displays of anger are eschewed in Thai culture. For these reasons, visitors should take care not to create conflict or to display anger. Disagreements or disputes should be handled with a smile and no attempt should be made to assign blame to another. In everyday life in Thailand, there is a strong emphasis on the concept of sanuk; the idea that life should be fun. Because of this, Thais can be quite playful at work and during day-to-day activities. Displaying positive emotions in social interactions is also important in Thai culture.

Often, Thais will deal with disagreements, minor mistakes, or misfortunes by using the phrase mai pen rai, translated as “it doesn’t matter”. The ubiquitous use of this phrase in Thailand reflects a disposition towards minimizing conflict, disagreements or complaints. A smile and the sentence “mai pen rai” indicates that the incident is not important and therefore there is no conflict or shame involved.

Respect for hierarchy is a very important value for Thai people. The custom of bun khun emphasizes the indebtedness towards parents, as well as towards guardians, teachers, and caretakers. It describes the feelings and practices involved in certain relationships organized around generalized reciprocity, the slow-acting accounting of an exchange calculated according to locally interpreted scales and measures.[7] It is also considered rude to step on any type of Thai currency (Thai coin or banknote) as they include a likeness of the King of Thailand.

There are a number of Thai customs relating to the special status of monks in Thai society. Thai monks are forbidden physical contact with women. Women are therefore expected to make way for passing monks to ensure that accidental contact does not occur. A variety of methods are employed to ensure that no incidental contact (or the appearance of such contact) between women and monks occurs. Women making offerings to monks place their donation at the feet of the monk, or on a cloth laid on the ground or a table. Powders or unguents intended to carry a blessing are applied to Thai women by monks using the end of a candle or stick. Laypersons are expected to sit or stand with their heads at a lower level than that of a monk. Within a temple, monks may sit on a raised platform during ceremonies to make this easier to achieve.

When sitting in a temple, one is expected to point one’s feet away from images of the Buddha. Shrines inside Thai residences are arranged so as to ensure that the feet are not pointed towards the religious icons, such as placing the shrine on the same wall as the head of a bed, if a house is too small to remove the shrine from the bedroom entirely.

It is also customary to remove one’s footwear before entering a home or the sacred areas within a temple, and not to step on the threshold.

Traditional Thai clothing is called chut thai (Thai: ?????? Thai pronunciation: [t??út.t?aj]) which literally means “Thai outfit”. It can be worn by men, women, and children. Chut thai for women usually consists of a pha nung or a chong kraben, a blouse, and a sabai. Northern and northeastern women may wear a sinh instead of a pha nung and a chong kraben with either a blouse or a suea pat. Chut thai for men includes a chong kraben or pants, a Raj pattern shirt, with optional knee-length white socks and a sabai. Chut thai for northern Thai men is composed of a sado, a white Manchu styled jacket, and sometimes a khian hua. In formal occasions, people may choose to wear a so-called formal Thai national costume.

Cuisine

Thai dining etiquette refers to the traditional and proper behaviors of Thai people while eating. Since Thai society has a lot of big families, so having a meal together and sharing the food between members of the family is Thai traditional dining style. Generally, Thais eat rice as the main food and share the rice side dishes with one another.
Traditionally, in Thailand, people have a meal on the floor mat and eat the food with their right hands. The rice dishes are on the outer circle while the shared dishes are in the center of the circle with shared spoons to transfer the side dish food to their own rice dish.

In the reign of King Mongkut (Rama IV), King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V), Prince Chulalongkorn at that time, was educated by an English woman, courted Western diplomats and leaders and travelled abroad, observe and learn the western dining and he found out the fork and knife are not suitable for Thai food (no need to chop anything, he introduced the fork and spoon and so began the use of cutlery in Thailand. Thais use the fork to push the food onto the spoon (right hand), which then goes into your mouth instead of making the meat stable for the knife function.[8] Nowadays, Thai dining is mixed with various countries’ dining cultures, so Thai people use a lot of styles to eat not only with spoon and fork one but also chopstick, knife and bare hand as well.

Regional Thai dining[9]

  • Central part of Thailand

In central Thailand, sitting on a chair, eating at a table and using a fork, spoon and shared spoon are longstanding customs (Rama IV). For Thai rich family dining, variously shaped napkins are added on the table and also employ waiters or waitresses to serve the food and beverages beside the table. For some poor people the shared spoon is not used.

Northern part of Thailand

Thai northern people still preserve their traditional culture by using small food bowls and putting them on a “Kan tok” (Thai northern small table). They are decorated with wood, pearl or yellowish gold. Sticky rice, glutinous rice is the main food eaten with shared dishes. It is contained in “Kratip Song Soong”, high-height container for sticky rice. Beside “Kan tok”, there is “Kon Tho Din”, jar made from the soil and “Kan ngeaun” silver cup. After finishing the main course, the desserts are served and also “Buri Chai Yo”, the cigarette, which is end of the meal.

  • Northeastern part of Thailand, “Isan”

Typically the food is served on a large flower-patterned circular zinc tray. The sticky rice contained in ”Kra Tip Song Taei” (low-height container for sticky rice). Then the desserts are served.

Southern part of Thailand

The local people eat on a floor mat. The dishes are placed on the center of it. They sit in the circle and traditionally eat with their bare hands. The drinking water is contained in “Kan”or”Jok”, (little Thai cup.) Nowadays, fork and spoon are used instead of bare hands. Sitting on a chair and eating at a table now predominates. There are only few local people who still preserve the original dinning style.

Ways of serving food in Thailand

There are two main ways to serve Thai food, “Raad Kao”, individual dish and “Gap Kao”, separate dish.[10]

Individual Dish

In the past, Thai people had large families. Due to the difficulty of eating together at the same time, placing the rice side dish and the rice on the same dish and serving individually is to some extent supplanting the traditional Thai dinning style.

Separated Dish

The rice side dishes are separately served with the rice (not same dish). Normally, this style is suitable for eating with others. The shared rice side dishes are in the center of the circle. Each has their own rice while the side dishes are shared by transferring them with the shared spoons to the individual rice dishes.

Table setting

  • Individual dish

The spoon is on the right and the fork is on the left side of the dish.

  • Shared dishes

For rice dishes, the spoon is on the right and the fork is on the left side of the dish. Shared dishes are placed in the center of the table with the serving spoons.

Manners and customs

  • Ordering

For shared dish style, let the senior of the group order their rice side dish first and then another select the menu which everyone can eat and try to order balance of dish, ordering fish or seafood, pork, shrimp, chicken and vegetarian dishes which encompass a full range of tastes. Spicy, sweet, salty and bitter will all be represented, often all in one dish. When the dishes are served, all of them do not come at once. The food keeps coming and coming.

Dining

Thai people eat using the fork and spoon combo method. The spoon acts as the main tool and the fork is the supporting tool pushing the food onto the spoon and the shared spoon is the main tool to scoop the food from shared dish to rice dish. Some people use their own spoon to scoop the food from the shared dish directly but it is not a good dining manner for Thais because they concern about sanitation issue. If the shared dish is curry, it is transferred to an individual little cup first. Then they sip the soup from the spoon. Sipping it from the cup directly is not proper, Moreover, making noise during eating and sipping is impolite in Thailand. On the other hand, talking during eating is not prohibited. However, Thai food menus include a lot of fish and spices of which some parts are not for eating—splitting the food is the general behavior for Thais. Splitting on the spoon, and put them on the edge of the dish or provided dish for the trash is Thai general practice.
After finishing eating, placing the spoon and fork down close together on the bowl/plate, gathering the trash to one side of their dish and stacking the empty plates at the side of the table makes the waiters realize that customer(s) require them to clean the table.
Since there are a lot Chinese families in Thailand, the Chinese culture is mixed with the Thai culture. Sticking up sticks, poking a stick or skewer into food on a plate and having it stick straight upwards, is impolite. To be polite using a toothpick, block the mouth with one hand before you pick with the other.

Bill

The bill is usually picked up and paid by the wealthiest or most important person[11] or inviter or oldest person.[12] If customers are friends the bills are usually paid separately.

Birth traditions and beliefs

Main article: Birth in Thailand

Traditional principles concerning pregnancy and childbirth are largely influenced by folk beliefs, especially in rural areas of central and north Thailand. Modern practices follow the Western medical model.

Nicknames

See also: Thai names,

Thai people universally have one, or occasionally more, short nicknames (Thai: ???????? name-play) that they use with friends and family. Often first given shortly after birth by friends or an older family member, these nicknames are overwhelmingly one syllable[13] (or worn down from two syllables to one). Though they may be simply shortened versions of a full name, they quite frequently have no relation to the person’s full name and are often humorous and/or nonsense words. Babies may be given a nickname of a relative or named for a characteristic of birth, e.g., “little”. Traditionally, nicknames would relate to things of low value, e.g., “dirt”, which was to convince evil spirits lurking in the vicinity that the child was not worthy their attention. Today this folk custom is on the decline.

Some common nicknames translate into English as “small”, “fatty”, “pig”, “little”, “frog”, “banana”, “green”, or “girl/boy”. Though rare, sometimes Thai children are given nicknames in the order they were born into the family (i.e., “one”, “two”, “three”, etc.). Nicknames are useful because official Thai names are often long, particularly among Thais of Chinese descent, whose lengthy surnames stem from an attempt to translate Chinese names into Thai equivalents, or among Thai with similarly lengthy Sanskrit-derived names. In recent years, English language words have become popular nicknames. Examples include: “Ice” (????); “Bank” (?????); “New” (???); “Ball” (???), and even “Beer” (??????).[13]

Marriage

Thai Buddhist marriage ceremonies are generally divided into two parts: a Buddhist component, which includes the recitation of prayers and the offering of food and other gifts to monks and images of the Buddha, and a non-Buddhist component rooted in folk traditions, which centers on the couple’s families.

In former times, it was unknown for Buddhist monks to be present at any stage of the marriage ceremony itself. As monks were required to attend to the dead during funerals, their presence at a marriage (which was associated with fertility, and intended to produce children) was considered a bad omen. A couple would seek a blessing from their local temple before or after being married, and might consult a monk for astrological advice in setting an auspicious date for the wedding. The non-Buddhist portions of the wedding would take place away from the temple, and would often take place on a separate day.

In modern times, these prohibitions have been significantly relaxed. It is not uncommon for a visit to a temple to be made on the same day as the non-Buddhist portions of a wedding, or even for the wedding to take place within the temple. While a division is still commonly observed between the “religious” and “secular” portions of a wedding service, it may be as simple as the monks present for the Buddhist ceremony departing to take lunch once their role is complete.

During the Buddhist component of the wedding service, the couple first bow before the image of the Buddha. They then recite certain basic Buddhist prayers or chants (typically including taking the Three Refuges and the Five Precepts), and light incense and candles before the image. The parents of the couple may then be called upon to “connect” them, by placing upon the heads of the bride and groom twin loops of string or thread that link the couple together. The couple may then make offerings of food, flowers, and medicine to the monks present. Cash gifts (usually placed in an envelope) may also be presented to the temple at this time.

The monks may then unwind a small length of thread that is held between the hands of the assembled monks. They begin a series of recitations of Pali scriptures intended to bring merit and blessings to the new couple. The string terminates with the lead monk, who may connect it to a container of water that will be “sanctified” for the ceremony. Merit is said to travel through the string and be conveyed to the water. A similar arrangement is used to transfer merit to the dead at a funeral, further evidence of the weakening of the taboo on mixing funerary imagery and trappings with marriage ceremonies. Blessed water may be mixed with wax drippings from a candle lit before the Buddha image and other unguents and herbs to create a paste that is then applied to the foreheads of the bride and groom to create a small dot, similar to the marking made with red ochre on Hindu devotees. The bride’s mark is created with the butt end of the candle rather than the monk’s thumb, in keeping with the Vinaya prohibition against touching women.

The highest-ranking monk present may elect to say a few words to the couple, offering advice or encouragement. The couple may then make offerings of food to the monks, at which point the Buddhist portion of the ceremony is concluded.

The Thai dowry system is known as the sin sodt (Thai: ??????). Traditionally, the groom will be expected to pay a sum of money to the family, to compensate them and to demonstrate that the groom is financially capable of taking care of their daughter. Sometimes, this sum is purely symbolic, and will be returned to the bride and groom after the wedding has taken place.

The religious component of marriage ceremonies between Thai Muslims are markedly different from that described above. The Imam of the local mosque, the groom, the father of the bride, men in the immediate family, and important men in the community sit in a circle during the ceremony, conducted by the Imam. All the women, including the bride, sit in a separate room and do not have any direct participation in the ceremony. The secular component of the ceremony, however, is often nearly identical to the secular part of Thai Buddhist wedding ceremonies. The only notable difference here is the type of meat served to guests (goat and/or beef instead of pork). Thai Muslims frequently, though not always, also follow the conventions of the Thai dowry system.

Funerals

Traditionally, funerals last for at least one week. Crying is discouraged during the funeral, so as not to worry the spirit of the deceased. Many activities surrounding the funeral are intended to make merit for the deceased. Copies of Buddhist scriptures may be printed and distributed in the name of the deceased, and gifts are usually given to a local temple. Monks are invited to chant prayers that are intended to provide merit for the deceased, as well as to provide protection against the possibility of the dead relative returning as a malicious spirit. A picture of the deceased from his/her best days will often be displayed next to the coffin. Often, a thread is connected to the corpse or coffin which is held by the chanting monks during their recitation; this thread is intended to transfer the merit of the monks’ recitation to the deceased. The corpse is cremated, and the urn with the ash is usually kept in a chedi in the local temple.

Thai Chinese and Thai Muslim minorities bury their deceased according to the rituals of their respective communities.

National anthem and respect for the flag and king

Twice a day, at 08:00 and again at 18:00, the national anthem is played by all Thai media outlets. Thais stop what they are doing and stand at attention to pay homage to the flag during the anthem. Students in school stand in front of the raised flag and sing the national anthem at 08:00 every school day. The practice dates from 1935 when the regulations for the raising and lowering of the colours was published in the Royal Gazette. The Flag Act of 1979 decreed that those who do not observe the custom by standing in silence during the anthem are subject to a fine of up to 2,000 baht and not more than one year in prison.[14]

In a related practice, the royal anthem of the King of Thailand is played before movies, concerts, and sporting events. All are expected to stand.[citation needed]

Traditional arts

Thai visual arts were traditionally Buddhist. Thai Buddha images from different periods have a number of distinctive styles. Thai temple art and architecture evolved from a number of sources, one of them being Khmer architecture. Contemporary Thai art often combines traditional Thai elements with modern techniques.

Literature in Thailand is heavily influenced by Indian Hindu culture. The most notable works of Thai literature are a version of the Ramayana, a Hindu religious epic, called the Ramakien, written in part by Kings Rama I and Rama II, and the poetry of Sunthorn Phu.

Traditional Thai paintings showed subjects in two dimensions without perspective. The size of each element in the picture reflected its degree of importance. The primary technique of composition is that of apportioning areas: the main elements are isolated from each other by space transformers. This eliminated the intermediate ground, which would otherwise imply perspective. Perspective was introduced only as a result of Western influence in the mid-19th century. Monk artist Khrua In Khong is well known as the first artist to introduce linear perspective to Thai traditional art.

There is no tradition of spoken drama in Thailand, the role instead being filled by Thai dance. This is divided into three categories: Khon, ‘Lakhon, and Likay, Khon being the most elaborate and Likay the most popular. Nang drama, a form of shadow play, is found in the south.

There is also Thai folklore, Sri Thanonchai as an example.

Dance

The first detailed European record of khon and other classical Siamese dances was made during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It described a dramatic tradition and style that are almost identical to the Thai traditions we still see today. Historical evidence clearly establishes that the Thai art of stage plays must have already been perfected by the 17th century. Louis XIV, the Sun King of France, had a formal diplomatic relation with Ayutthaya’s King Narai. In 1687, France sent the diplomat Simon de la Loubère to record all that he saw in the Siamese Kingdom and its traditions. In his account Du Royaume de Siam, La Loubère carefully observed the classic 17th century theatre of Siam, including an epic battle scene from a khon performance, and recorded what he saw in great detail:

“The Siamese have three sorts of Stage Plays: That which they call Cone [khon] is a figure dance, to the sound of the violin and some other instruments. The dancers are masked and armed, and represent rather a combat than a dance. And though every one runs into high motions, and extravagant postures, they cease not continually to intermix some word. Most of their masks are hideous, and represent either monstrous Beasts, or kinds of Devils. The Show which they call Lacone is a poem intermix with Epic and Dramatic, which lasts three days, from eight in the morning till seven at night. They are histories in verse, serious, and sung by several actors always present, and which do only sing reciprocally…. The Rabam is a double dance of men and women, which is not martial, but gallant … they can perform it without much tying themselves, because their way of dancing is a simple march round, very slow, and without any high motion; but with a great many slow contortions of the body and arms.”[15]:49

Of the attires of Siamese khon dancers, La Loubère recorded that: “[T]hose that dance in Rabam, and Cone, have gilded paper-bonnets, high and pointed, like the Mandarins caps of ceremony, but which hang down at the sides below their ears, which are adorned with counterfeit stones, and with two pendants of gilded wood.[15]:49

Today “ram Thai” (Thai: ?????), ‘Thai dance’. Thai dance, like many forms of traditional Asian dance, can be divided into two major categories that correspond roughly to the high art (classical dance) and low art (folk dance) distinction.

Although traditional Thai performing arts are not as vibrant as they once were, suffering inroads from Western entertainment and generally changing tastes, Thai dance drama is not extinct. What survives displays the elegance of an art form refined over centuries and supported by regal patronage.[citation needed]

Aside from folk and regional dances (southern Thailand’s Indian-influenced Menora dance, for example), the two major forms of Thai classical dance drama are khon and Lakhon nai. In the beginning both were exclusively court entertainments and it was not until much later that a popular style of dance theater, Likay, evolved as a diversion for the common folk who had no access to royal performances. Apart from Lakhon nai, Lakhon chatri is also one of the most important Thai dances.

The Music of Thailand includes classical and folk music traditions, e.g., Piphat and Mor lam, respectively, as well as Thai pop music, e.g., “String”. Thai classical music is synonymous with those stylized court ensembles and repertoires that emerged in its present form within the royal centers of Central Thailand some 800 years ago. These ensembles, while being deeply influenced by Khmer and even older practices and repertoires from India, are today uniquely Thai expressions. While the three primary classical ensembles, the Piphat, Khrueang sai and Mahori differ in significant ways, they all share a basic instrumentation and theoretical approach. Each employ the small ching hand cymbals and the krap wooden sticks to mark the primary beat reference.

Several kinds of small drums (klong) are employed in these ensembles to outline the basic rhythmic structure (natab) that is punctuated at the end by the striking of a suspended gong (mong). Seen in its most basic formulation, the classical Thai orchestras are very similar to the Cambodian (Khmer) pinpeat and mahori ensembles, and structurally similar to other orchestras found within the widespread Southeast Asian gong-chime musical culture, such as the large gamelan of Bali and Java, which most likely have their common roots in the diffusion of Vietnamese Dong-Son bronze drums beginning in the first century.

Traditional Thai classical repertoire is anonymous, handed down through an oral tradition of performance in which the names of composers (if, indeed, pieces were historically created by single authors) are not known. However, since the beginning of the modern Bangkok period, composers’ names have been known and, since around the turn of the century, many major composers have recorded their works in notation. Musicians, however, imagine these compositions and notations as generic forms which are realized in full in idiosyncratic variations and improvisations in the context of performance.

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

A Worshipper and Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“People offer prayers and seek blessings at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand. The Erawan Shrine is a Hindu shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, that houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu creation god Brahma. A popular tourist attraction, it often features performances by resident Thai dance troupes, who are hired by worshippers in return for seeing their prayers at the shrine answered.”

For more information please visit the following link:

Travel & Events

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeZF_mpFbgM

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