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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Thailand, Lesson 7 – National Children'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 7, National Children's Day. In Thai, it’s called วันเด็กแห่งชาติ (wan dèk hàaeng châat).
In this lesson, we're going to discuss Children’s Day, which falls on the second Saturday of January each year. This day was established to recognize the importance of children, as children will one day grow up and become the adults of the future. They will be an important resource for the nation and a driving force for the country’s prosperity and stability. Children’s Day is a day many children look forward to, because there are many activities and privileges reserved especially for students on this day.
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 the past, Children’s Day was held on the first Monday of October, along with International Children’s Day. Why was it changed to the second Saturday of January?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
On Children’s Day, the incumbent Prime Minister gives a new motto or คำขวัญ (kham khwăn) to children each year. This is a tradition that has been held since 1959. The mottos are often short, easy to remember, and very practical, such as “Good children are blessings to the nation. Clever children make the nation prosper.”; “United, disciplined, and with integrity”; and “Lifelong learning, creative thinking, keeping pace with technology”.
On the Friday before Children’s Day, schools will arrange various activities to celebrate the day. Some let students show their talents to support their self-confidence. Some hold a quiz contest or การแข่งขันตอบปัญหา (gaan khàaeng-khăn dtàawp bpan-hăa). Some organize a sports event or การแข่งขันกีฬา (gaan khàaeng-khăn gii-laa) to unite students and help them understand losing, winning, and forgiving. In addition, schools usually provide a lunch that is a little more special than normal. In general, there will be food or snacks that children love such as fried chicken, spaghetti, and chocolate cake.
On Children’s Day, children are given special privileges. For example, many places are opened to children free of charge, and popular attractions and theme parks offer discounts. The parliament is open so that children can freely visit – even the Prime Minister’s office is open! This is the only day of the year where the general public can access parliament. In addition, the military will display real battle equipment such as tanks, aircrafts, battleships, and artillery, so that children can experience them up close.
Here is a little secret that foreigners may not know. Thai students usually have to study 7-8 hours a day. Thai students need to line up, pay their respects to the national flag, and pray every morning. They have to wear different uniforms depending on each day’s timetable. Thai students also don’t change classrooms when a class or เวลาเรียน (wee-laa riian) finishes. They stay in the same room while the teachers rotate according to the timetable.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
In the past, Children’s Day was held on the first Monday of October, along with International Children’s Day. Why was it changed to the second Saturday of January?
In Thailand, October is the rainy season, which causes inconvenience to the children trying to attend activities. Also, Monday is a work day for parents. Therefore, it’s not easy for them to bring their children out to play. So the organizer of the national Children’s Day agreed to move the date to the second Saturday in January.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you have a Children’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 you have a Children's Day in your country?