• Culture,  Thailand News

    King Maha Vajiralongkorn Appears to Block Sister

    In less than 24 hours, King Maha Vajiralongkorn appears to have blocked sister’s bid for Thai Prime Minister. Earlier this morning, the Thai Raksa Chart party nominated Princess Ubolratana as their candidate. The one person that could have stopped her bid has done just that. The King released a statement tonight calling it inappropriate for a member of the Royal Family to enter into politics. When accepting her nomination, Ubolratana specifically clarified that she is now a commoner, relinquishing her royal title decades ago after marrying a foreigner. The people of Thailand were electrified with Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana entering the election. Almost as soon as a bright, prosperous future…

  • Princess Ubolratana to run for Thai Prime Minister
    Culture,  Thailand News

    Princess Ubolratana to Run for Thai Prime Minister

    In a political shocker, Thailand’s Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya will run for Thai Prime Minister. The Thai Raksa Chart party officially nominated her Friday. Ubolratana accepted the nomination while reminding media that she is now merely a citizen. She relinquished her official royal title in 1972 after marrying a U.S. citizen and moving to America. However, the Thai people pay no attention to such technicalities. They have always viewed her as royalty being the daughter of the beloved, late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. She divorced in 1998 and returned to Thailand permanently in 2001. Her Royal Highness now holds the title of ‘Tunkramom Ying’, or Daughter to…

  • Sain sin resting on a pa kwan tree
    Culture,  Relationship

    Sai Sin of a Traditional Thai Isaan Wedding

    The sai sin ceremony was my favorite part of the traditional Thai Isaan wedding with my wife, Ping Ping. Sai sin is the name of the white strings that have been blessed and then used during the wedding. Thai people also use these strings in other ceremonies such as house blessings and even funerals. During a wedding, the pa kwan (tree used in weddings and other events) holds the strings until it is time for the sai sin ceremony of the wedding.     Thai Buddhists use white strings due to the significance of white being the color of purity. Sai sin forms a circle around the wrists. The symbolism…

  • Remember These Top Ten Cultural Do's on Your Visit to Thailand
    Culture,  Travel

    Remember These Top Ten Cultural Do’s On Your Visit to Thailand

    What are some of the cultural norms when visiting Thailand? I hear this question often. This is the reason why I compiled a list of ten cultural do’s to remember for those on vacation in Thailand. Some are sort of unspoken rules, while others are just some of my own suggestions. Regardless, when in Thailand remember to do these… 1. Have Fun First off, have fun (sanuk). After all, you are in Thailand now. Enjoy your trip. There’s plenty of fun things to do in Thailand. Relax and take in the experience. Whether it’s the beach, temples, shopping, dining, museums, amusement parks….there’s something for everybody. 2. Smile Thailand is famously…

  • Explore the Wai in Thai Culture
    Buddhism,  Culture,  Travel

    Explore the Wai in Thai Culture

    The wai is an important gesture in Thailand culture. Thai people use the wai to greet one another, to pray, and show respect. The wai may be included with a thank you. It is even performed when apologizing. This aspect of Thailand culture is displayed in all of the aforementioned situations. In addition, the position of the wai relative to the body has different meanings as well.   First, let’s talk about form. Touch hands together at the chest level. You then place the hands and fingers together in symmetry. Elbows should be close to the sides of the body as opposed to out and away in the air. This…

  • Lotus flower in Buddhism & Thai Culture
    Buddhism,  Culture

    Examining the Lotus Flower in Buddhism and Thai Culture

    The lotus flower is a sacred symbol of Buddhism. It is found throughout Thai culture. Found in muddy waters, the lotus rises above to show off it’s beauty. This feat is symbolic in Buddhism as it represents enlightenment. The lovely look of the flower is symbolic of purity. Throughout Thai literature and art it reflects feminine beauty. Known as ‘bua’ in the Thai language, the lotus is one the most important images in both Buddhism and Thai culture. Lotus is symbolic of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. For more on this subject, read Quick Introduction to Thai Buddhism. The murky waters the flower grows in represents suffering. Suffering is the…

  • Ton Phaa paa, or money tree
    Culture,  Relationship

    Songkran Festival 2018 – a Small Village in Isaan

    Songkran Festival 2018 was an amazing time. My wife, Ping Ping, and I traveled from Bangkok to her home, a small village in Isaan. So what is Songkran? Songkran is the traditional new year of Thailand, which takes place in the month of April. All Thai people eagerly look forward to this holiday. Important is returning home to spend time with family. Featured heavily is water. This year, the Thai government extended the festival to 5 days, from April 12th to April 16th. The reason being that so people would have more time for travel. Driving from Bangkok to Isaan and back, it is easy to see why the holiday…

  • Buddha Poses Thailand Culture
    Culture

    Buddha Poses for Days of the Week in Thailand Culture

    Golden statues of Buddha line up in a row at many temples of Thailand. These represent the 7 days of the week. Thai people are especially concerned about the day of the week they were born on. Coins will often be left at the statue of their birthday. However, this practice is not actually part of Buddhism, or the teachings (Dhamma). It wasn’t until the last few hundred years that this became a ritual in Thai culture. In fact, this type of belief would fall under the category of superstition, even mixing in elements of astrology. Yet the belief of these poses throughout the week is now very ingrained in…