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Lesson Transcript

Ryan: All about Thai lesson 10 - Top Five Thai Dos and Don'ts! Welcome back to our All About Thai series.
Rawinporn: sà-wàt-dii khâ.
Ryan: On All About Thai, we bring Thai culture to you.
Rawinporn: That's right. We are covering the dos and don't in Thailand.
Ryan: This should be interesting.
Rawinporn: Some foreigners, especially Westerners, may find it difficult to navigate many culture norms of Thai culture.
Ryan: I know, but how can we start?
Rawinporn: Well, I'll introduce some five dos and five don'ts in Thai culture.
Ryan: Okay. Let's go!
Rawinporn: First, do smile.
Ryan: Thai smile under any kind of situation; to say hello or thank you, to make a request, to apologize, to smooth over bad feelings, or to show embarrassment.
Rawinporn: Exactly! Only fool lose their temper in public.
Ryan: And second do is
Rawinporn: do show respect for the king and royal family.
Ryan: Yes, as we've learned from the previous lesson ties have a deep traditional reverence for the royal family.
Additionally, when you hear the national anthem theme, you should show respect by standing.
When can we expect to hear the national anthem?
Rawinporn: Normally twice a day at 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM
Ryan: Okay, I see.
Rawinporn: Moreover, before every movie at the cinema, everyone is expected to stand.
Ryan: Lastly, you should never insult or joke about the king or royal family.
Rawinporn: Exactly. The next do.
Ryan: Do dress properly when visiting a temple.
Rawinporn: You shouldn't wear shorts or tank tops. For females, when giving or accepting anything from a monk, you shouldn't make direct contact.
Ryan: When visiting the most popular tourist attractions like the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, you should dress properly. Long trousers or a long skirt are fine.
Rawinporn: The next do is do Wai.
Ryan: Can you tell us again how to Wai?
Rawinporn: Definitely. Wai is the way that Thai’s greet people by holding their fingertips together close to the chest or face and bowing.
Ryan: How about in a business situation? If my partner is Thai, should I do Wai or shake hands.
Rawinporn: I think it is nicer if you do Wai.
Ryan: Okay. Got it.
Rawinporn: The last do for today is
Ryan: Do take your shoes off before entering Thai's houses and temples.
Rawinporn: Yes. I think this one is similar to many Asian countries. We do take off our shoes before entering houses or tempo.
Ryan: Now let's go for don'ts.
Rawinporn: The first don't is don't touch Thai women without permission.
Ryan: So would you say that they are very conservative?
Rawinporn: Frankly speaking, Thai Society nowadays is more and more like the West, but many people are still conservative.
Ryan: Aha. I see.
Rawinporn: So it is impolite and improper to touch hack or kiss Thai females, especially at the workplace.
Ryan: And the next don't,
Rawinporn: is don't show affection in public.
Ryan: Similar to the first point, ties are still conservative. Holding hands is. But try to avoid doing so near a temple.
Rawinporn: Exactly. We really feel awkward when we see foreigners kiss their lovers on the street.
Ryan: I'll keep that in mind. And the third don't, is don't place your feet on the table or point at anything with your feet.
Rawinporn: And don't step over touch anyone with your feet, because we believe that feet are the lowest thing.
Ryan: The next don't is the opposite of the previous. It's about the head, which ties consider to be the most sacred part of the body because it's the highest.
Rawinporn: Yes. Therefore, do not touch anyone on their head or ruffle their hair.
Ryan: In case we didn't mean to touch someone's head. What should we do?
Rawinporn: In that case, it is fine, but make sure you apologize to that person.
Ryan: And last don't for today is
Rawinporn: don't be upset if someone asks you about your age, salary, or marital status.
Ryan: I guess this is quite rude in some cultures
Rawinporn: I know, but it is common for Thai to ask those questions even when first meeting someone.
Ryan: I see. This is quite different though.
Rawinporn: Please join us next time for more information on Thai at All About Thai series.
Ryan: Until next time.
Rawinporn: sà-wàt-dii khâ.
Ryan: sà-wàt-dii khráp.