Saturday, January 8, 2011

Learning Thai Manners 1

These pictures were taken at Sriwittayapaknam School in Samut Prakan. The students were taking part in a competition for Thai Manners. In this first set of pictures, the students are demonstrating the proper way to show repsect to a Buddha image. This is done in three stages.

In the top picture, the students first kneel down in front of the Buddha image and bring their hands up to chest level. They then bow down bringing their head towards their hands. They pause here for a second. Next they go all the way down placing their hands flat on the surface. This is then repeated three times.

In this second group of photos, the students are demonstrating how to receive a gift from an adult. First they sit on the floor with their left leg tucked under the right one. They then prostrate down to the floor with their hands together in a prayer-like gesture. Notice the position of their elbows on the ground.
This is then held for a few seconds before the hands are clasped together like in a handshake. Next they sit back up straight with their hands on their laps.

To receive the gift, the left hand stays on the thigh and the right hands reaches forward to receive the gift. Like any movement, this has to be done gracefully. They reach out to hold the gift, pause, then bring it back. They don’t just grab it. This gift is then put down on the right-hand side. The students then prostrated to the floor again as in the above photos.

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