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Thailand - Greetings

'Sawatdi' - GreetingsThe regular greeting in Thailand is 'Sawatdi'

Sawatdi is used morning, noon and night. The way to deliver the Sawatdi greeting is to make a lotus flower bud shape with the hands (Left) the hands ar loosely together with the opposing fingers touching. The hands are placed to the chest (by the heart). The head should be bowed.

When Thais bow with the greeting Sawatdi they lower the top half of their body from the waist so that their head is below the head of the more 'senior' - greeter or greeted - seniority is recognised between parents and children a child (even a tall one) will lower their head below the height of the parent. With strangers, age is taken into consideration - the younger Thai will endeavour to bow lower than the perceived elder. It will be obvious to a greeter the seniority of an honoured guest. In the work place - position (or ownership) in the company is the main seniority factor.

Self conscious westerners or Farangs can (and should) make at least a token effort to Sawatdi. The Thai people appreciate their greeting being returned and are even more pleased if the Farang makes the first Sawatdi move.




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