Respect for Royalty, Bangkok
Here are just a few, but the most important rules.
Thailand is known as the land of smiles. Thais do not necessarily smile about something like we do in the west. They smile for a variety of other reasons too. To say hello or thank you, to make a request, to apologize, to smooth over bad feelings or to show embarrassment.
Do show respect for the king: Thai people show great respect for their king and they expect visitors to do so too. The national anthem is played twice a day (typically at 8am and 6 pm) and also before every film at the cinema. Everyone is expected to stand whilst it is playing. You should never insult or joke about the king or royal family.
Do show respect for their main religion, for the Buddha, and for monks. Shorts or tank tops should not be worn in a temple, and shoes should be removed before entering. It is considered very improper for women to touch a monk.
Do not touch anyone on the head. The head is considered to be very sacred.
Do not point your feet at anyone or anything. This is quite hard for a westerner to follow as, without realising it, we do in some circumstances seem to use our feet quite a lot e.g closing or opening doors. I never realised how much I use my feet until I was made very conscious of it in Thailand.
Do not step over anyone instead walk around them.
Thai people have much respect for others. There is a hierarchy from the King at the very top to the labourers at the bottom. Everyone knows his or her position on the hierarchy tree and shows their position by way of what you could call the 'height rule'. In any social encounter the social superiors head must always be higher than the social inferiors head. The lower you stoop means you show more respect to the person you meet or are passing by.
In a school situation this is more evident and it can be quite an eye opener to watch. As a white person I am seen quite high up the hierarchy tree. This means that other teachers will stoop as they pass me even if they are much older than me. (Thai people respect their elders like we do). I do find this a bit unnerving so I tend to stoop too, thus giving them as much respect back.
The king of Thailand is much loved as is his wife. They have both supported many projects that have helped ordinary Thai people. You will find displays such as this in many restaurants and public places.
THAILAND AND ITS PEOPLE ARE DEEPLY RELIGIOUS ALLWAYS SHOW RESPECT FOR ANY IMAGE OF BUDDAH,MONKS AND NUNS ARE HIGHLY RESPECTED AS ARE ELDERS IN A FAMILY, AND THE ROYAL FAMILY ARE OF THE HIGHEST, THE THAIS CONSIDER THE KING AS THEIR OWN FATHER AND IS SHOWN ONLY REVERENCE, NEVER TALK ABOUT THE KING OR ROYAL FAMILY UNLESS IT IS WITH RESPECT AND LOVE. I HAVE ON MANY OCCASSION WON A LOT OF FRIENDS SIMPLY BY SAYING THAT THE KING IS NUMBER ONE, HE IS NUMBER ONE TO THE THAIS SO REMEMBER THAT.
THE KING OF THAILAND
The Chakri dynasty has ruled in Thailand since 1782, but the role of the monarchy is limited. The founder of the dynasty was Rama I (r. 1782-1809) and it was in his reign and his successors´ that the Grand Palace and the greatest temples were built. Rama IV (r. 1851-1868) concentrated more on the development of the city. In the reign of Rama V, King Chulalongkorn (r. 1868-1910) the city was transformed through a program of public works, continued by Rama VI (1910-25).
King Rama IV (King Mongkut) opened his country to influence from the west and instigated reforms and modern development. He was the model for the king in the musical comedy, The King and I (1956) starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner, and Anna and the King (1999) starring Jodie Foster and Yun-Fat Chow.
One of the most beautiful aspects of the Thai people is their utmost respect and ENORMOUS love for their monarchy. It is definitely NOT advisable to say anything bad or negative about their King; this act alone could land you in serious trouble!! The Thai ADORE their King and you will never hear a Thai utter a bad word about their monarchy.
If you have seen the movie 'Anna and the King' starring Jodie Foster (as Anna) and Chow Yuen Fatt as the King of Siam... you'd have an inkling of what I mean.
Enjoy Bangkok!! I'm very sure you will! :-)
Photo Below: That's me at the Floating Market (off Bangkok) trying to strike a cool James Bond pose. Haha... Gutsy huh?
The government has invited people to wear the yellow T-shirt every Monday throughout the year to express their loyalty to the King on the occasion of his accession to the throne.
Thai Royal family is held in the highest esteem in Thailand. Negative remarks about the Monarchy are considered offensive and will land you in trouble.
We were in Bangkok for the king's birthday celebration -- there were festive decorations *everywhere*!
Thai people are a friendly and respectful people. Show respect to their religious artifacts and to the royal family.
The people here are proud of their royalty and also go in for uniforms and military paraphernalia in a big way. Make sure you show respect.