At times, Thai people can be very superstitious. Not only do they wait for auspicious times to do things, but they also rely heavily on spirits to help protect them. I guess the longer I stay in Thailand, the more in-touch I become with Thai culture and start to become assimilated. This morning, I finally bought myself a statue of Nang Kwak. This spirit is supposed to bring wealth to the household and is particularly popular with shopkeepers. The spirit is dressed in traditional Thai dress. In her left hand is a money bag and her right hand is beckoning Thai style – palm down. She is either beckoning customers to come into the store or asking for wealth to come her way. Either way, hopefully it will bring good luck to our own book store.
This spirit is known throughout Asia, though she manifests in a different form. In the same shop where I bought this statue of Nang Kwak, there was another version though this one was a beckoning cat! To me, it looked too much like Hello Kitty so I decided to stick with a more traditional image. Now all I have to do is fix up an alter and make sure I give her some offerings of things like a glass of water and maybe some peeled fruit.
Mention of “good luck” and “wealth” reminds me of a Chinese God that I once saw in a temple. This statue (see above) depicts a fiery looking Chinese man holding a large money bag in his right hand. People who want to be wealthy have to stroke the money bag with their left hand, directing it to their opened wallet in their right hand!