Here are some more old wive’s tales from Thailand:
(1) Do not look down while you are walking because it will make your life shorter and no-one will love you.
(2) Do not stomp your feet while in the house because you will scare the house spirits away and there will be no-one to look after the house.
(3) Do not walk heavily because this kind of person won’t be able to save money.
(4) Do not step over sharp objects like scissors or knives because you will make it lose its sharpness.
(5) Do not step over a book because it will make you stupid.
(6) Do not step over the piece of wood propping up a banana tree because the bananas will be small.
(7) Do not walk over a charcoal brazier because you will get in trouble.
(8) Do not step over a gun or other hunting weapon because you will make the magic go away.
(9) Do not step over a pole that is used to carry loads on your shoulders because you will get a gallstone.
Source: Translated from “Boran Oo-bai” by Sanom Krutmeuang
There are about 200 Thai families living around Toronto. That’s a very small percentage of Toronto’s population of nearly 3 million people and also when compared to other Thai communities living in US cities where Thai immigrants chose as their landing destination. I moved to Toronto in June 2003 because of my husband’s work. As on observer who doesn’t stay too long in any place, I enjoy learning from different cultures, always asking the question “How is this different/similar to from where I came from?”
Tastes of Thailand Festival, Toronto, 2004. Courtesy of Boyd, President of Thai Students Association, University of Toronto
The tsunami of January 2005 brought me closer to my community. We all pitched in to send what help we could back home. A member of our own community was lost, friends lost friends they knew in Phuket. The destructive forces of nature moves us to realize the fragility of life and brings us closer as individuals to those who were previously strangers. I started becoming actively involved with the Thai Society of Ontario in their fund-raising events. I volunteered to be their representative with the Canadian Multicultural Council-Asians in Ontario. Being small didn’t mean we couldn’t make an impact on the larger society.
This month of May is officially recognized as the Asian Heritage Month in the US and Canada. I am proud to have personally contributed to this celebration in Toronto. There couldn’t have been a more auspicious moment than this to start blogging about Thai people in Toronto with Thai-Blogs.com.
I hope to capture and share with my readers thoughts about how national and cultural boundaries are becoming less tangible. Thais in Toronto, elsewhere, and all things Thai, such as Thai-Blogs.com are real extensions of Thailand. I can feel at home, as if I were in Thailand when I am with the community, sharing common events like Songkran, Thai food, music and dance. I hope you enjoy the journey with me! : )