Tradition and Culture of Thailand
Thailand Culture with almost 95 percent of Thai’s being adherents of Theravada Buddhism it should come as little surprise to anyone that the country’s culture is heavily influenced by Buddhism.
This is particularly true when it comes to Thai visual art, which traditionally is rich with images of Buddhism. Everywhere you go in Thailand Buddha images from different periods and of distinctive styles can be found.
Contemporary Thai art often combines traditional Thai elements with more modern techniques.Having an understanding of Thai culture will greatly enhance your visit to Thailand.Hand-in-hand with Thai culture are customs unique to Thailand that every visitor should be aware of and practice respectfully while in the kingdom.
One of the most distinctive Thai customs is the wai, which is used for greeting, farewell,or acknowledgment. The wai comes in several forms reflecting the relative status of those involved and consists of a prayer-like gesture with the hands, and a bow of the head. It is considered very polite behavior to reciprocate when a wai is offered, though for children this is not expected.
Arts and Crafts in Thailand
Traditional visual arts in Thailand bear a great influence of Buddhism but contemporary Thai art is a combination of the modern techniques along with the traditional styles. Crafts include textiles and decorative items that bear the distinct Thai style.
Architecture of Thailand
Classical Thai architecture is found in the temples and royal palace buildings and the best examples of Thai architecture are the Grand Palace, the Wat Benchamabophit, Wat suthat to name a few.
Thai cuisine is extremely popular due to the blending of the four fundamental tastes of salty, sour, spicy and sweet. Most of the dishes combine all of these and there are innumerable spices and herbs used to achieve this.
Music and Dance in Thailand
Music consists of both the folk music and also the classical traditions along with pop or string music.The Ram Thai or Rabam is the main art form while the dance forms can be divided into the high art or classical dance and low art or folk dance divisions.
Religion in Thailand
Thailand is predominantly a Theravada Buddhist country but there are the minorities like the Phra Nyanasamvara Suvaddhana Mahathera and the Muslims as well.
Thai Customs and Traditions
The most distinctive Thai custom is the Wai that bears resemblance to the Indian namaste demonstration of affection amongst friends are common in public. It is considered rude to put the feet above someone's head or step on a Thai coin as it has the King's head engraved upon it.
Thailand Hill Tribes (Akha, Karens, Lahu, Lisu, Meo, Yao)
In Southeast Asia, there are dozens of mountain-dwelling semi-nomadic peoples that are collectively known as hilltribes. These people live across the borders of five countries: Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and China, particularly Yunnan province. These peoples are collectively known by the name "hilltribes" as they have all subsisted in the mountainous jungle for generations. However, beyond their characteristic montagnard lifestyle, it is difficult (and incorrect) to lump these people under a general heading. These peoples represent a myriad of languages, cultures, styles of dress and belief systems. The tribes of the Akha, Karen, Hmong, Yao, Lisu had migrated to Thailand about a 100 years back from the southern part of China and they have their own religion, art, culture and dress.
Fashion in Thailand
Thailand is a land where the latest styles and traditional crafts have been well blended and there is some thing or the other for every buyer irrespective of the budget.
The behavior of the Thais is well controlled by etiquette based on the Buddhism. The society is non- confrontational in nature and so disputes need to be averted at all costs. Thais prefer proper behavior and dress. Revealing clothes and behaving rudely in public needs to be avoided at all costs.