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Thai Wai

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Thai society, Thai customized & Thai tradition.

What is wai?

“Wai” is a variety of Thai tradition which signifies a variety of elements of Thai honorific program. For case in point, it displays Thai politeness, respect, honor, and friendship. Thais wai when greeting or leaving. Alongside with a wai, Thais ordinarily say “sawasdee,” which implies “hi there” in English. The tradition has been succeeded to the present generation considering that Sukhotai Period of time, approximately A.D. 1238). Wai can also be used in articulating apology or gratitude. For these uses, a man or woman who wais typically states, “khor-thod” or “khob-khun,” respectively.

How to wai

1. Place the palms collectively. In accordance to Buddhism, Thais call phase “pra-nom-mue” or “unchalee”. Put your palms alongside one another, straighten and push your finger recommendations jointly. Increase your palms to your upper body and preserve your elbows near to your human body. When talking to clergymen and the royal spouse and children, Thais normally “pra-nom-mue.” When leaving these respectful people today, the more youthful usually “unchalee” them.

2. Bow your head. This form is identified as “wan-ta.” In so executing, Thais bow their heads and significant their palms up until the index fingers contact their mouths or noses, based on the human being who they wai.


There are several forms of Thai wai, based on the social position, electricity, age, and prestige of a man or woman/people who get the wai. There are 3 important groups of people of greater status in the classic Thai modern society.

1. Monks/monks/royal loved ones

To wai individuals in this group, bow one’s head and raise one’s arms right up until the thumbs contact the forehead.

2. Teachers/moms and dads

As an alternative of owning the thumbs contact the forehead, bow the head slighly until eventually the index fingers contact the nose. This is very similar to a lifestyle in which people elevate their index fingers to touch their nose when paying out regard to mom and dad and touch their mouths when spending respect to the teacher.

3. Regular individuals/acquaintances with more mature age.

To wai another person who is older, only raise the pressed palms to the lips/mouth.

For all these 3 sorts, retain your hands and elbows close to the physique.

Do you know?

The most significant issue when waiing someone is that the waier must wai from their whole hearts. In other words and phrases, the waier really should sincerely shell out regard to the waied or the wai receiver both of those mentally and bodily.

How to return/receive the wai?

If anyone gives the other a wai, it normally indicates that they shell out regard toward him or her. To return their fantastic manner, the wai receiver typically wai again. That is, the wai receiver does the identical to the waier (i.e. place their palms jointly in front of their chests), but they do not bow their heads.