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Children and the wai - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    Re: Children and the wai

    I was told that if you're holding something in one hand (like an apple or a bag etc), just do the wai with the other hand only. Unless it's something like shoes etc which you should put down... but then when I did that people started grinning at me and making funny remarks that I behave like a child. So not sure what to do now, when holding shoes in one hand..? Hide them behind your back?
    life is wonderful!

  2. #12
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Quote Originally Posted by maipenrai99 View Post
    I was told that if you're holding something in one hand (like an apple or a bag etc), just do the wai with the other hand only. Unless it's something like shoes etc which you should put down... but then when I did that people started grinning at me and making funny remarks that I behave like a child. So not sure what to do now, when holding shoes in one hand..? Hide them behind your back?
    Drop them?

  3. #13
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Quote Originally Posted by Khun Don View Post
    Drop them?
    Hmmm yes, I did that. And they started laughing. Though I don't know if that was because they were startled because that farang knew the "rules" or because I just looked ridiculous or like a schoolkid
    But I'm quite sure they wouldn't approve if I waied them with shoes in the other hand.
    life is wonderful!

  4. #14
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Probably the first-well, I would like to think so anyway. I guess they found it amusing to see how a farang coped with a problem they had sorted out when a child-and were pleasantly surprised-hopefully one of out Thai members can help here!

  5. #15
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    Re: Children and the wai



    This is a new book that does a pretty good job of illustrating how to wai in different situations. You can buy online at www.buythaibooks.com.

  6. #16
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Quote Originally Posted by maipenrai99 View Post
    I was told that if you're holding something in one hand (like an apple or a bag etc), just do the wai with the other hand only. Unless it's something like shoes etc which you should put down... but then when I did that people started grinning at me and making funny remarks that I behave like a child. So not sure what to do now, when holding shoes in one hand..? Hide them behind your back?
    The one handed wai is perfectly alright if it is obvious your other hand is otherwise occupied. However, for a superior, you would need to make a greater effort to wai properly by putting down what you are carrying. It is true Thai adults don't always do this, but it is the truth when I say that many Thai adults have forgotten how to act properly in these situations. On many occasions I have caught myself giving a look of disapproval to an adult who wasn't behaving properly - for example at a temple. This is because I am so used to teaching the students at school about correct behaviour. And as a teacher we always have to set a good example.

    About the shoes, it is the greatest insult to bring them up to head level and show them to someone. Shoes are low and dirty and the head is far superior. The exact same reason why you should never use a pillow as a foot rest.

  7. #17
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Quote Originally Posted by Betti View Post
    how on earth are you supposed to wai back to a parent for example when you are eating an icecream or your hands are full of stuff?
    Thanks for asking that. I always feel embarrassed when I have to wai someone with my hands full of stuff.

  8. #18
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Also as a General rule, you do not 'wai' servants even if they are a lot older than you.

  9. #19
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Quote Originally Posted by dbm View Post
    Also as a General rule, you do not 'wai' servants even if they are a lot older than you.
    That includes tuk-tuk drivers as well-even if they don't want to take you shopping !

  10. #20
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Barrow View Post
    The one handed wai is perfectly alright if it is obvious your other hand is otherwise occupied. However, for a superior, you would need to make a greater effort to wai properly by putting down what you are carrying. It is true Thai adults don't always do this, but it is the truth when I say that many Thai adults have forgotten how to act properly in these situations. On many occasions I have caught myself giving a look of disapproval to an adult who wasn't behaving properly - for example at a temple. This is because I am so used to teaching the students at school about correct behaviour. And as a teacher we always have to set a good example.

    About the shoes, it is the greatest insult to bring them up to head level and show them to someone. Shoes are low and dirty and the head is far superior. The exact same reason why you should never use a pillow as a foot rest.
    Great advice Richard, and another thing to remember is that a graceful, properly carried out wai can greatly enhance a Thai person's opinion of a farang. The hands should be brought up fairly slowly and smoothly and the hands held straight with the palms and fingers pressed together with the thumbs placed under the chin(or higher depending on the status of the person being waied) and a slight bow of the head. In my opinion learning to wai correctly is very important for Farangs in Thailand.
    Last edited by Surawut; 11-02-08 at 07:29 AM.

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