Category Archives: Cultural Insights

Cultural Insights – The Origin of the Name Thailand

Some of you will know that before ‘Thailand’ the South-East Asia Kingdom was known as ‘Siam’. However, the historical background of the change of names goes deeper than what we may assume and is at times even a little confusing. That is why today we will give you a brief and concise history of how ‘Thailand’ came to be. Continue reading Cultural Insights – The Origin of the Name Thailand

Cultural Insights – The Importance of Colors

In our Western society, we don’t pay that much attention to the color of our clothes, besides wearing black at a funeral. Thailand, however, superstitious as it often times is, has a multi-faceted culture that revolves around colors. It is deeply ingrained in their lives and the choice of clothing is only one part of it. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be about superstitions, religion or the monarchy, but it includes the more mundane aspects as well as the coloring of the busses in Bangkok. 

We will give you a rundown of everything you need to know about their affection for the colorful and the important role that it can play. Continue reading Cultural Insights – The Importance of Colors

Cultural Insights – Gold in Buddhism and Thai Culture

For many civilizations throughout history, the value of gold was mainly of a materialistic nature. It was a symbol of power, wealth and influence, and a lot of unspeakable crimes were committed in order to accumulate more of this shiny metal. On the other hand for people like the Aztecs, Incas and, of course, Buddhists it had, and still has a symbolic meaning. So, for this part of our ‘Cultural Insights’ series, we will talk about the importance of gold in Buddhism. Continue reading Cultural Insights – Gold in Buddhism and Thai Culture

Cultural Insights: Ghosts and Spirits

We have touched on the subject of spirits briefly in our first post about cultural insights, but today we want to talk a little more about the animistic beliefs in Thailand. Despite being mainly influenced by the Buddhist religion, the belief in spirits and ghosts (known as Phi) never left the minds and hearts of the local people. It is said that spirits reside everywhere around us; may it be in rocks, trees, the wind, the rice, the threshold of houses – there is no place, where they can’t be found. A good example, where you can “find” a spirit is when you see a tree with colorful cloth wrapped around it. This is a sign that a ghost resides in it.  Continue reading Cultural Insights: Ghosts and Spirits

Buddhism in Thailand

Ever since Siddhartha Gautama sat under a Bodhi tree and reached the state of Enlightenment after seven days of meditating in the 5th Century BC, the teachings of the Buddha (= The Awakened One) are one of the most widely spread philosophies in the world, particularly in Asia. The specific branch of Buddhism practiced in Thailand is called TMap Theravada Mahayana buddhismheravada, which originated on the small island of Sri Lanka, just south of India.

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The significance of rice in Thailand

In Thailand, as in other Asian countries, rice plays a significant role in the country’s identity. Rice (khao) is not simply food. It represents an entire culture. There are historical, social, agricultural, economic and spiritual roots attached to this tiny grain. In Thailand, the day begins with “morning rice” and ends with “evening rice”. Continue reading The significance of rice in Thailand