Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Thai Custom

There are a number of Thai customs relating to the special status of monks in Thai society. Because of their religious discipline, Thai monks are forbidden physical contact with women. greetmonks with the famous Thai Wai (Thai way of greeting: fold your open hands together and hold them shortly in front of your face so that the finger tops touch your nose).
Women are therefore expected to make way for passing monks to ensure that accidental contact does not occur. A variety of methods are employed to ensure that no incidental contact (or the appearance of such contact) between women and monks occurs.
Women making offerings to monks place their donation at the feet of the monk, or on a cloth laid on the ground or a table.
Powders or ungents intended to carry a blessing are applied to Thai women by monks using the end of a candle or stick.
Lay people are expected to sit or stand with their heads at a lower level than that of a monk.
Within a temple, monks may sit on a raised platform during ceremonies to make this easier to achieve.
Also women should cover shoulders and wear long skirts/pants before entering a temple. This of course doesn't mean that the male part can jump around with no shirt and shorts.

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