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Children and the wai - Page 3
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  1. #21
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    Thanks for asking that. I always feel embarrassed when I have to wai someone with my hands full of stuff.
    No need to Sparky, it's very common to see Thai people waing each other in the street while carrying a book or documents and such like. you would have to be careful when waaing someone with an ice cream cone in your hand however

  2. #22
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Now I have a question.

    When I wai my father in law, hes obviously alot older then me and father of my wife, isnt he supposed to return my wai with his hands lower?

    First time I met him I put my thumbs just below my lower lips, meaning my fingers pressed together covered the top of my nose and I was surprised when he did exactly the same. My wife and me werent married at that time, if that matters.

    Since then I gradually been increasing the height of my hands. My fingers are now between my eyes, with the top of the fingers almost at my eyebrows but he always returns it the same way.

  3. #23
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Quote Originally Posted by Sved View Post
    Now I have a question.

    When I wai my father in law, hes obviously alot older then me and father of my wife, isnt he supposed to return my wai with his hands lower?

    First time I met him I put my thumbs just below my lower lips, meaning my fingers pressed together covered the top of my nose and I was surprised when he did exactly the same. My wife and me werent married at that time, if that matters.

    Since then I gradually been increasing the height of my hands. My fingers are now between my eyes, with the top of the fingers almost at my eyebrows but he always returns it the same way.
    This means he is honoring and respecting you very much. He does notice the increasing height of your hands (Thai people notice everything that is why they're so good in 'wai', their timing seems to always be just right so they don't appear clumsy when receiving/returning 'wai') and is honored by that.

  4. #24
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Great thread! It worries me though thinking how many Thais I have made feel ill-at-ease for waing them in the wrong way, or how many lives I have shortened by waing kids. I wish somebody had come forward to tell me the right thing to do! :(

    Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or an idiot from any direction.

  5. #25
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Thx for clearing it up!!!


    I did wai my daughter once :(

    But I think my wife managed to throw herself in the line of sight before I scared her. I had seen thai people appologize for bumping into each other at the mall with a wai so when slammed a cardoor in her face, by accident, I tried to wai.

  6. #26
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    Re: Children and the wai

    I wish I would see more motorists in Thailand waing each other instead of brandishing dirty fingers! Heheh

    Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or an idiot from any direction.

  7. #27
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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.
    My relatives and I always wai our elder servants, those who took care of us since we were young, even though some of them quitted working in our family, I still wai them whenever seeing them.

    If I get some helps from any strangers and they are older than me, I will wai while saying thank you to them.

  8. #28
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel View Post
    My relatives and I always wai our elder servants, those who took care of us since we were young, even though some of them quitted working in our family, I still wai them whenever seeing them.

    If I get some helps from any strangers and they are older than me, I will wai while saying thank you to them.
    Perhaps this practice is more common in Thai Chinese families.

  9. #29
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Quote Originally Posted by Marie View Post
    I wish I would see more motorists in Thailand waing each other instead of brandishing dirty fingers! Heheh
    LOL! Marie, isn't it bad enough with wai-ing every shrine temple and friendly cop they see.
    I would be far happier if they kept their little mits on the wheel!
    To be happy with where you are, first be happy with who you are.

  10. #30
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    Re: Children and the wai

    Quote Originally Posted by yeows View Post
    Perhaps this practice is more common in Thai Chinese families.
    No, not Thai Chinese family, I would say this is 'typical Thai'. I grew up in boarding school - traditional Thai school (female only), very strict in manners (somebody said the most austere manners in those days - very very long time ago ), we walked on knees in front of teachers and elders, we wai them everytime we met them, speak and walk quietly, etc. all manners must be smooth and gentle not just doing it (most of our teachers had royal and noble titles in front of their long names, I can't imagine their reactions if they see the manners of people nowadays ).

    While doing wai, palm up together between the chest, bend forhead down until the middle fingers touch in the middle between eyebrows, also we must bend knees at the same time, it's a proper manner for children to wai the older ones. We just wai without bending knees when we started studying in university, we were not considered as children anymore.

    Typical Thai manners are very strict in doing wai, the teachers taught us to wai people because we feel good to do that no matter where they come from, rich or poor. Servant is part of our family, not just someone who serve us. My family had many workers so I am familiar with doing wai our elder workers esp. those who live in my house and the workers greet me by doing wai everytime I visit my family.

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