Connect with us

Thailand

How to Wai like a Thai, with Som | VIDEO

Thaiger

Published 

 on 

How to Wai like a Thai, with Som | VIDEO | Thaiger

The wai, the polite gesture Thais use for greetings, farewells, prayers and even apologies, dates back to the 12th century, where both hands clasped together in front proved that you weren’t holding a weapon. That’s the folklore anyway.

Recently, the greeting has increased in general popularity around the world as a anti-Covid ‘safe’ replacement for the western handshake. So, how, when and with whom should you wai? Here’s a few easy tips to learn how to wai. Today Som teaches us some of the basics of the lovely Thai ‘wai’ (pronounced ‘why’).

As a foreigner you don’t look Thai, dress Thai and you probably can’t eat full-strength Thai curry either. So this means you’re exempt from Thailand’s most nuanced courtesies. There’s a lot of subtlety in the Thai wai so, chances are, you’re not going to get it right. But your best efforts will be appreciated.

How to wai when you’re uncertain? At a minimum, when someone wais to you, return the gesture with a kind smile and an acknowledging nod. In restaurants and shops: You’ll often receive a wai from shop and restaurant staff. It’s not necessary to wai in return to anyone providing you with a service of this nature. Instead, a nice (grateful) smile is plenty. To children / those younger than you:

Also, there’s no need to wai to a child or anyone who’s clearly younger than you – so, baby boomers, you’re increasingly in the clear! The wai is a mark of respect to elders.

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    dee lee

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Probably the most informative and useful video posted here . Thank you young lady

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    Thais tried the western handshake but abandoned it.
    Too many Thais had their watches and rings stolen.

    • Avatar

      Bill

      Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 2:52 am

      hilarious

  3. Avatar

    Sandy Porter

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    I love it! Great video. I need to know this! Khob khun mak krub khun Som!??

  4. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    Now, why didn’t my wife teach me that?

    Simple…but very important, IMO.

    Thanks for a good video.

  5. Avatar

    Anna

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    Good info

  6. Avatar

    Buster Hymen

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 5:17 am

    Don’t you just love it when you see a fat ugly Faland Wai a Thai hooker?? Even Thai people can’t stop laughing when they see that. You NEVER Wai a person whose station in life is below your own. Useless video.

  7. Avatar

    James Pate

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 5:42 am

    Very nice video! Clear and simple. One thing I would like to add: Mind your elbows. Your elbows should be close to your sides; not with your forearms parallel to the ground like the Indian “namaste”. Because the presenter has been doing this all her life, she may have never even thought about this. As my buddy taught me years ago “Tuck in your elbows, man! This ain’t India.”

  8. Avatar

    jackem

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Very useful, BUT you forgot to explain who initiates the wai. Tourists always get this wrong, and wai first to waiters, shop clerks etc.

  9. Avatar

    Maestro

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Important for foreigners to do the Wai properly (and many other things here in Thailand) as Thais appreciate it and like that we make the effort.

    Thanks for a nice and informative video. Not to mention how easy to the eye she is.

  10. Avatar

    Billy

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 9:59 am

    Busterrrrrrr!!
    Sorry,but you are not superior to Som in teaching Thai customs, so just shut it. Gees! the arrogance of many farang know-it-alls

  11. Avatar

    Comicus

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 12:34 am

    @Buster Hymen
    Despite the facthat Som did not get her fact 100% correct e.g.there are five levels, not just three or the level for monks is higher than Kings etc; you definitely are not in the right by any chances.

    Ones’ occupation cannot be the main factor to judge whether a person is good or bad. For example, a good person may not be a good leader. Of course, no one would not hate POTUS even it is Trump!

  12. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Buster and jackem are spot on, although the video’s far from “useless”.

    It’s an excellent video on the “how” and “who”, but completely overlooks the all-important “when” – probably because relative status is so ingrained into Thai culture that she didn’t think she needed to.

    That’s not a criticism in any way – it’s just something Thais take for-granted, like having “elder and younger” siblings rather than “brothers and sisters”, which Thais don’t even have words for.

    Whereas in the West anyone can initiate a handshake (apart from with senior royalty), the Thai wai is all about relative status which is why contrary to the article the wai hasn’t “increased in general popularity worldwide” but the similar but far more egalitarian “namaste”, which has no status significance, has.

  13. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    … and while I’m knocking the article but not the video, the idea that “the Wai … dates back to the 12th century, where both hands clasped together in front proved that you weren’t holding a weapon” is just farang nonsense.

    How is it possible to “prove that you weren’t holding a weapon” when “both hands” are “clasped together” so it’s impossible to see what’s in your hands???

    You could be holding a chain or a knife and it would be impossible to see it!

    You can not only Wai perfectly acceptably holding something in your hands, but it’s often a requirement – for example when holding a candle, flowers, garlands, or incense at a temple.

    You can even Wai with a sword in your hands, as in Wai Kru Krabi Krabong.

    You can Wai with one hand if your arm’s in a sling (or you only have one hand), or if you’re carrying something in your other hand that you can’t put down, from a baby to a knife, even the shopping!

  14. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    … and Comicus, FWIW Buster H is a lot more “correct” than you are 😑

    Som is 100% correct, unsurprisingly- there are three levels of Wai, although there are variations and nuances such as bowing and head height within each level.

    THREE levels. Not, under any circumstances or according to any authorities, “five levels”.

    … and “the level for monks is higher than Kings etc” is plain wrong, end of story. It varies depending on the monk’s position and status – obviously a five year old nen doesn’t merit a high Wai, but neither does an adult automatically even when they’ve been ordained as a bhikkhu. It’s far from that simple, and that’s where the nuances of bowing and head height come in.

    “Occupation” and “whether a person is good or bad” ?

    Completely irrelevant – it’s not about occupation, necessarily, and certainly not about “good or bad”, but about status and hierarchy.

  15. Avatar

    Pete Miller

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 4:42 am

    Shaking is done. The Wai is taking over https://youtu.be/Dtk9hWU6JBQ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Transport

Thailand aims for only electric vehicles by 2035

Avatar

Published

on

Thailand aims for only electric vehicles by 2035 | Thaiger
PHOTO: No word yet on electric tuk tuks.

Thailand has announced an ambitious plan to move to only sell zero-emission electric vehicles by 2035 as it aims to be at the forefront of the electric car market. Right now in Thailand, less than 1% of the vehicles on the road are electric but an advisor to the Energy Ministry’s national policy committee said that it’s clear the world is heading that way and Thailand should grab hold of that market to help recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The country already has a stable supply chain and strong production of conventional automobiles, so it is hoped that the transition to zero-emission vehicles will be successful.

The automotive industry brings in about 10% of Thailand’s economy and supports about 850, 000 employees. Other industries such as plastic, steel, iron, and petrochemicals are all heavily supported by the automotive industry. And 50% of cars produced in Thailand are exported around Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

The ambitious plan to make Thailand an electric vehicle country by 2035 has equally ambitious benchmarks along the way. A previous target of 30% of all vehicles registered to be electric vehicles has been upgraded to 50% by the end of this decade. But phasing out traditional gas guzzlers will require facilitation by the government to make the transition. Creating the appropriate infrastructure, developing regulations for EV manufacturing, and offering both tax incentives to manufacturers and consumer incentives to purchase electric cars will be necessary to push the public and the manufacturing sector to achieve this goal.

The Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand pointed out that letting the transition occur naturally with the growing popularity of electric vehicles may take too long, and that an ambitious target such as this is a good way to attract investors in these new technologies and manufacturing sectors. While zero-emission vehicle adoption is still low in Thailand with only about 1% of vehicles on the road being electric, the EV market has handled the economic ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic much better than the traditional automotive market. Gas-hungry traditional cars saw depressed sales down 26% in 2020, but zero-emission electric vehicles recorded an increase of 1.4% during that same period. With the right implementation and incentivisation, Thailand’s dream of becoming Southeast Asia’s electronic vehicle production hub may be possible.

SOURCE: Bloomburg

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Thailand

New Covid-19 wave could cause the Thai economy to lose 100 billion baht per month

Thaiger

Published

on

By

New Covid-19 wave could cause the Thai economy to lose 100 billion baht per month | Thaiger
Photo via National News Bureau of Thailand

With more than 18,000 Covid-19 cases in 22 days, the new wave of infections may have a dramatic impact on the Thai economy… possibly a 100 billion baht loss per month, according to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

They say the outbreak is likely to primarily impact the service sector and the number of workers is expected to drop. With pay cuts and layoffs due to the outbreak, household debt could rise to 92% of GDP, according to the university president Thanavath Phonvichai. At the end of 2020, debt hit a record high of 89.3% of GDP.

Thanavath says gross domestic profit is expected to drop by 1.2% to 1.8%, but with economic stimulus measures, the economy could grow 1.2% to 1.6% this year.

“If there will be economic stimulus measures, the economy may grow 1.2% to 1.6% this year.”

The number of active cases making up a third of Thailand’s total reported cases since the start of the pandemic last year. The new wave of cases is expected to be under control within the next 2 to 3 months.

SOURCE: Reuters

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Thailand

37 inmates at Chiang Mai prison test positive for Covid-19

Thaiger

Published

on

By

37 inmates at Chiang Mai prison test positive for Covid-19 | Thaiger
Chiang Mai Central Prison/ Photo via Facebook/ เรือนจำกลางเชียงใหม่

At least 37 new inmates at Chiang Mai Central Prison have tested positive for Covid-19 in routine testing during the quarantine period for new inmates before they enter the general prison population. Provincial public health chief Jatchuchai Maeerat said the inmates who tested positive for the virus were sent to a field hospital at the prison in Chiang Mai’s Mae Taeng district.

The Chiang Mai public health office is now urging other prisons in the area, particularly the Chiang Mai Women Correctional Institution and the Fang District Prison, to follow similar protocols as the Central Prison to prevent the spread of the coronavirus among the general prison population and the staff, Jatchuchai says.

“We test new inmates after they have been monitored for symptoms during a 14-day quarantine and then sent to the inner zone… All infected prisoners are separated and sent to a field hospital within the prison.”

Since April 1, there have been 2,448 Covid-19 cases reported in Chiang Mai. So far, 134 patients have recovered and have been released from the hospital. The Chiang Mai public health department has 16,000 tablets of the antiviral medication Favipiravir. He says it’s enough to treat the patients in Chiang Mai.

Earlier this month, there was a Covid-19 outbreak at a prison in the southern province Narathawit. The outbreak prompted prison officials to cancel visits to contain the virus.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | Thaiger
Phuket2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow Thaiger by email:

Trending