Exploring Thai Culture

Thailand, the gateway to Southeast Asia, draws more visitors than any other country in the region, with its breathtaking natural beauty, ornate temples, robust cuisine, and ruins of ancient kingdoms. Known for its friendly people and tropical landscapes, Thailand is a land of beauty. From the engaging and unique Thai culture to tasty cuisine, Buddhist temples, and lively night markets, Thailand contains much to be discovered!

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Thai People and Community

It’s common in many Thai families for several generations to live together. Families also enjoy spending weekends together at home. Thai families are bound by tradition with a long history. Thai people greet each other with a wai (pressing their palms together as they bow or curtsy) to show respect. Thais try to live with a jai yen (a cool heart), so it’s uncommon to see them expressing extreme emotions. Most Thai families have namjai, which means they endeavor to show generosity without expecting anything in return. In Thai culture, elderly people are higher in status and will receive more respect than others. Usually, people don’t question them much and say “no,” but try to find other ways to tell them that something is not possible.

Language and Communication Styles in Thailand

The official language of Thailand is Thai or Central Thai.

Thai Food

Thai cuisine consists of rice, curries, fish, and vegetables, mixed with spicy pepper and peanut sauces. Typical meats include pork and chicken and a wide variety of fruit, which is available year-round. Most Thai families share evening meals together. Families eat in a communal style: each person has a bowl of rice while other dishes are placed in the center of the table and shared by everyone. Popular dishes include pad Thai (pan-fried noodles), yam (spiced salad), and tom yum kung (lemon-flavored soup with shrimp).

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