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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Thailand, Lesson 6 – Teacher's Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Thailand Series at ThaiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Thai holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 6, Teacher's Day. In Thai, it’s called วันครู (wan khruu).
In this lesson, we're going to discuss Teacher’s Day, which falls on January 16 every year. Because teachers are regarded as second parents, this day is for students to pay respect to their teachers. Also, it’s an opportunity for teachers all over the country to take a holiday too.
You must be interested by now. If you're ready, let’s listen.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
In Thailand, teaching is regarded as being similar to another profession. Can you guess what it is?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
During General Phiboonsongkram’s tenure as Prime Minister, he spoke to teachers about an initiative for Teacher’s Day. He believed that teachers should be held in great regard because they shine their light into their students lives. With this initiative, many people expressed their opinions via mass media and other means, all asking for the establishment of Teacher’s Day as a commemoration for teachers or ครู (khruu) who have devoted their lives to the profession. Later, the National Cabinet passed a resolution declaring January 16 as National Teacher’s Day.
The day before Teacher’s Day, schools around the nation arrange Teacher’s Day activities. In the morning, teachers and students offer food to monks, and a ceremony is held to pay respect to teachers. Students or นักเรียน (nák-riian) in each class bring a tray of flowers to their class teacher. After that, they all bow at their teachers’ feet to show their gratitude for the teachers’ wisdom and continuous care for them. There is also a contest for Teacher’s Day slogans that offers small scholarships to the winner.
Symbols of Teacher’s Day include four kinds of sacred plants that students use to pay respect to their teachers. These include eggplant flowers, which always grow downwards and represent the fact that students will be humble and ready to study; Cynodon grass, which grows very easily and represents the growth of students’ knowledge; Ixora flowers, which have sharp petals and represent sharpness of the mind; and Tok rice, which is white popped roasted rice and represents the discipline that can lead the students to succeed and shine brightly in the future or อนาคต (a-naa-khót).
It’s not just Thailand that has a national Teacher’s Day; there are sixteen other countries that include a Teacher’s Day on their calendars. Half of them are in Asia and include India, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, and South Korea.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
In Thailand, teaching is regarded as being similar to another profession. Can you guess what it is?
It is the taxi-boat profession. In the past, Thai people used the riverway as a major form of transportation. The taxi-boat or เรือจ้าง (ruuea jâang) profession was crucial for taking passengers to their destinations. This is similar to what teachers do. They take their students to their desired destinations. And once those students reach the destinations safely, teachers will come back and get a new batch of students. Therefore, it can be said that teachers are the ones who dictate the nation’s future.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do any of you have a Teacher’s Day in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at ThaiPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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Do any of you have a Teacher's Day in your country?