Superstitions and Customs from the past

Waiting Room for the King at Hua Hin Train Station

I have for you some more notes I wrote down from the fascinating book called “A Journey in Siam” written by Adolf Bastian. As I mentioned before, the author wrote about life in Siam 150 years ago.

* The Siamese not only avoid stepping over people, but also over books

* The length of time expressed by sak kru (usually translated as immediately), means in fact, as long as it takes to boil a pot of rice

* The Siamese sew seven buttons on their jackets and five on a shorter one. For children three is the norm.

* A staircase must not have four steps, but two, three and six are allowed

* In divorce the children born with odd numbers go to the mother, the even numbered ones to the father

* During a marriage ceremony the thumbs of the newlywed are tied together with the bonds of love

* Most siamese flowers are only fragrant in the morning, when they are open, or in the evening, but not in the middle of the day.

* The Siamese eat the lamphong fruit to get up Dutch courage, in the process becoming slightly mad in the head and very excitable, babbling confused sentences for the slightest reason

* The Siamese like to give their children hideous names to make them unattractive to the demons, thus protecting them

* Admiring a cute little child would make it ill, and so its parents hang a dog’s or pig’s tooth around its neck to blemish the child’s pretty appearance

* A Siamese shakes his head to deny something. He waves with his hand bent downwards.

* If one asks him whether he does not deny something, he nods approvingly that he does not do so

* Instead of kissing, the Siamese press their faces together and breath in

* During an eclipse of the moon, the Siamese make a great din to prevent it from being eaten up

* The Siamese call the rainbow “luster that eats water” and meteors “demons throwing torches”

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