You both wished to bridge the culture gap, a good thing IMO.Big Boy wrote: ↑Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:18 pmI met with a local dignitary earlier today. He gave everybody an individual wai. When he got to me, I started forming my hands for a wai (with what has been said in this thread already in my mind), when he extended his hand to shake mine - awkward moment avoided .
General chat about life in the Land Of Smiles. Discuss expat life, relationship issues and all things generally Thailand and Asia related.
Absolutely correct, IMO the only reasons for you not to wai are (1) if you are too afraid of getting it wrong and (2) if you don't want to; no Thai should be offended by a farang not giving a wai, so long as you make the effort to be courteous in your culture's customary way. A sincere smile and slight bow is a helpful path through life in any country I think.dtaai-maai wrote: ↑Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:11 pmHmmm, is it? Bowing and curtsying in the UK, yes, the wai in Thailand? I don't think so, it's very much part of daily Thai life.STEVE G wrote: ↑Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:45 amIt's anachronistic nonsense VS, are you going to worry about who to curtsy to when you're back in the UK?Vital Spark wrote: ↑Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:14 pmWhy, oh why, is the wai so complicated? It has always been a bit of a problem for me. I was told, early days, you don't need to wai anyone younger than you. OK, got it. When I started teaching at university a lot of the students would wai to me, and I nodded and smiled. Then I saw some of my Thai collegues returning wais to students. I asked my Thai colleague and she said it was OK to wai back to students. I had a bit of a problem - teaching bag in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other, so I continued my nod & smile. If my hands are empty, then I return with a slightly lower wai but I'm still worried that I do it too high or too low. After 20 odd years here I should have got the wai etiquette sussed - no chance...
Even if you don't wai, if you make a big mistake which causes offence to a Thai, I believe a thumbs to nose wai will always be a good thing to lead off with as an apology!
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