Wat advice in Thailand

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Wat advice in Thailand

Postby withoutcolour » Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:58 am

Sawatdee ka everyone,

This post is sort of directed to Thai speakers and those with experience in Thailand:
Heading to Thailand for a month in two weeks... I will be staying in Phetchaburi province, at Kao Look Chang, which is an animal sanctuary that is on temple grounds... I speak a good bit of conversational Thai (courtesy of Pimsleur and some books and internet lessons), but cannot read Thai yet...
Anyway, my real question is this:
I read in one of my Thai language books that there is a specific way of speaking to monks (ie, more formal), so be careful how you speak to them. I am a Theravadin Buddhist (as you probably know from my membership here), and know some Pali words (and I know some Thai Buddhist words are Pali loan words), but I don't want to seem like an impolite farang when speaking to a monk, if that opportunity arises. I want to let them know how beautiful and peaceful the wat is, and how much I love to meditate, how I am a follower of the dhamma (I've learned the phrase "chan bpen chaao put (ka)" but I realize this isn't the best way to say it necessarily), how nice it is to meet them ("yin dee tee dai ruu jak gun (ka)" = acceptable for someone as esteemed as a monk?). Anyway, I just want to come off as an educated American Buddhist woman who has taken an interest in learning some Thai... and someone is passionate about taking care of the elephants at the animal sanctuary.
Any advice? Experience?
Korb kun mahk ka.

-Brianna
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ
sabbe sattā sukhita hontu
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Re: Wat advice in Thailand

Postby appicchato » Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:02 pm

Hi Brianna,
By the tone of your post, and the examples you've given, I'm sure you will do just fine...I'm also an American (and a monk) and have been in Thailand a long time...feel free to PM or email me with any queries you might have, now or after you have arriven...wishing you a safe and pleasant journey...
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Re: Wat advice in Thailand

Postby bazzaman » Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:32 am

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Last edited by bazzaman on Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wat advice in Thailand

Postby withoutcolour » Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:42 am

Thanks to you both. I will report back to let you know how things go. I'm going to try my hardest to speak correctly...
When I went last year (for 2 weeks), I didn't think to try to learn the language and though it wasn't really necessary for what I was doing, it would have come in handy.
Also, a lot of people (mostly other farangs; Canadians and British) had a real prejudice against Americans in general, saying we were ignorant and what have you. I'd like to change people's perceptions of Americans...

Anyway, thanks again, both of you

-wc
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ
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Re: Wat advice in Thailand

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:54 am

Hi Brianna.Thai can seem so daunting to us farang.So many different ways to say the same thing to different people.Tonal sounds,that I often have problems with.
Lucky for us that the thais are an understanding people who just love the fact that we try to speak a little of their language and try to understand a little of their culture.
I have often noticed that when I go to the market in the morning to give food to the monks on their alms round the approving smiles on the faces of the locals as they watch this farang on his knees,wai-ing the monk/monks who are receiving my offerings.
I am a kiwi and would like to say that many of my american friends speak a fair bit of thai,but even this is not enough to satisfy people of other nationalities who enjoy yank bashing.If you do not speak thai then you are an ignorant yank.If you do speak thai you are a typical smart a--e yank.
Enjoy your time in Thailand.
With metta
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning
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Re: Wat advice in Thailand

Postby withoutcolour » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:00 pm

chiangmaigreg wrote:Hi Brianna.Thai can seem so daunting to us farang.So many different ways to say the same thing to different people.Tonal sounds,that I often have problems with.
Lucky for us that the thais are an understanding people who just love the fact that we try to speak a little of their language and try to understand a little of their culture.
I have often noticed that when I go to the market in the morning to give food to the monks on their alms round the approving smiles on the faces of the locals as they watch this farang on his knees,wai-ing the monk/monks who are receiving my offerings.
I am a kiwi and would like to say that many of my american friends speak a fair bit of thai,but even this is not enough to satisfy people of other nationalities who enjoy yank bashing.If you do not speak thai then you are an ignorant yank.If you do speak thai you are a typical smart a--e yank.
Enjoy your time in Thailand.
With metta


Ha, I suppose you're right. Guess I'll find out what sort of Yank people find me to be! :)
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Re: Wat advice in Thailand

Postby appicchato » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:23 pm

That's one of the advantages of living in Thailand, if one doesn't hang with Caucasians there is no bashing...of any kind...the worst it gets is being ignored...oh, the beauty...
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Re: Wat advice in Thailand

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:39 pm

appicchato wrote:That's one of the advantages of living in Thailand, if one doesn't hang with Caucasians there is no bashing...of any kind...the worst it gets is being ignored...oh, the beauty...

I second that. I've been fortunate to spend almost of my time in Thailand (and China) over the past few year with no foreigners in sight. Quite a different experience to when I used to live in Hong Kong (back in the 80s-90s) and was part of a foreign ghetto. Not that any of these different experiences is "false", just that they are completely different experiences. [Actually, in Hong Kong I found the British expats the most annoying. Americans tended to come with less preconceptions about how the place should function, whereas some of the Brits I were always complaing that it wasn't like UK...]

The tricky thing in Thailand is that outside major tourist areas it is difficult to find locals with good enough English to explain what is going on... But its a useful exercise to become resigned to that... Most half-way famous sites I've been to will have an information board in English somewhere. Take a photo for future reference.

Mike
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