Do's and DONT's how to greet

When Thais greet they press the palms of their hands in together, like a prayer-like gesture called a ”wai”. The tip of the fingers touch the nose. The younger person should wai an older person, who will then return it.
Unlike in europe where you shake hand and look the other person in the eyes, it is considered rude to look into peoples eyes. Not only when you are greeting someone….
Its is frowned upon to kiss or even hold hands in public. How ever this is changing and I see more and more thais holding hands. But kissing in public… that’s still very much a taboo.
Usually its to hot to hug anyway lol

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2 Responses to Do's and DONT's how to greet

  1. kind says:

    I spent 4 weeks in Thailand so far and I don’t think I got the wai right yet. First mistake I think was to keep looking up at the person while bowing down with the upper body. I also didn’t realize the fingers touch the nose, I will try that and try to remember to also look down and mainly move the head down.
    Also some foreign people tend to put their feet together when waing, maybe something seen on TV or so .. that does not seem to be required.

  2. Andy says:

    Actually the tip of the nose is only for people you know or you are certainly higher up the (thai) pecking order.

    I read hundreds of posts, blogs and articles about when and when not to wai.

    The anser is simple you can wai ANYONE, yes even a child which many say is taboo. Just use the “strangers” wai ALL the time – that is tip of fingers under CHIN not nose.

    Even if you got it wrong i.e. if you met a high ranking monk or royalty – you would be forgiven for having the good grace to try.

    It is nonsense that you MUST use a particular wai or only to particular people. Just wai everybody in this manner and you will make a lot of new friends.

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