Daily Archives: July 9, 2005

Superstitions from Thailand

Here are some more Thai superstitions and old wives tales which have shaped Thai people today.

(1) Do not wear your amulet when you go to the toilet. If you do so it will no longer be sacred.
(2) Do not tap repeatedly with a spoon or chopsticks on a bowl of rice. Because you are inviting a ghost to come and eat with you.
(3) The same goes for the top of the rice cooker. You will upset the rice goddess.
(4) Do not kill yourself. It is a very bad sin.
(5) Do not taste food with a large serving spoon. It will make your child look ugly.
(6) Do not point your finger at a monk. You will lose your finger.
(7) Do not point your finger at a rainbow. It will make your finger fall off.
(8) Do not cut the wood for the stairs with a knife. Because the ghost will make you fall down the stairs.
(9) Do not place a plate on top of another while you are eating. It will make you unable to pay off your debts.
(10) Do not sell a needle in the middle of the night. Your shop will not be profitable.
(11) Do not smell the flowers that you are going to offer to the monk. Something bad will happen to your nose.
(12) Do not say bad things to your parents. It is a really bad sin.
(13) Do not insult or say bad things to a monk. In the next life you will be deaf and dumb.
(14) Do not insult sunshine, wind or rain because mother nature will make something bad happen to you.
(15) Do not let toddlers who cannot talk yet eat fish. It will make their gums bleed.

Source: Translated from “Boran Oo-bai” by Sanom Krutmeuang

Show me the Money!

Today I had a nice surprise at work. I work in a corporate bank building in Maryland and coincidently my boss is Thai! Her name is Nott and she is pretty cool. She’s like this little ball of energy always laughing and happy and a lot of fun to be around all day in the office. I liked her from the start and I am sure I shocked the daylights out of her when we first met and I spoke to her in her native language 😉

Occasionally we will say a few words to each other in Thai but mostly we chat in English unless I have a question about a Thai word or expression. The past few weeks Nott’s parents have been here visiting from Thailand and today Nott brought them to the office to meet everyone. I was so surprised when I turned around from my cube and was introduced to them. Without even thinking about it I shook her fathers hand then bowed and gave a deep Wai to them both welcoming them in Thai and we chatted for a bit. Not too long ago I would be so nervous to try and speak Thai I would break out in a sweat before I even uttered a sound 😛

Nott had told her parents all about me and I am sure they were curious to meet this crazy farang their daughter worked with that knew so much about Thailand! I showed them all around my 6 by 8 feet cubical with my ‘Suriyo Thai’ poster on one wall and my lucite block ‘statue’ laser etched with an image of a Buddha on the shelf above my computer. They thought the Buddha was very nice and complimented me on Him because he is a very famous Buddha but I can’t remember exactly how to pronounce his name at the moment 🙁

Nott’s mom was so nice and she had a present for me. At first she gave me a wooden keychain of a little Hill Tribe girl and then she said she had something else too..money!

She reached in her purse and gave me a 100, then a 50 and then a 20 Baht note! That was so cool! Thai Baht looks so much cooler than plain old green US currency 😛 Recently we tried to get with the program and colorize our currency here in the States but I think it looks more ugly than anything else.

As you can see the 100 Baht note is in red with a portrait of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the reigning monarch and the Royal Initial Emblem of H.M. the King “Phor Por Ror”. The blank space on the right is where you can see a watermark of HM the King

The back of the Baht note shows scenes of Thai life with monks and school children and a portrait of the monument of Their Majesties King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and King Vajiravudha (Rama VI), together with their Royal Initial Emblem

The 50 Baht note is my favorite because I like blue and it is very colorful. It is also cool because it’s made of plastic! The clear window next to the Kings portrait has a polarized water mark of His portrait

I am not sure but I think on the back is a portrait of King Rama the III. The globe and telescope on the back seem to me to represent the period in King Rama III’s reign when Thailand began to modernize by studying Western science and culture. Does anyone know for sure if I am correct? Please send me an update if I have anything wrong.

This 20 Baht note is an older version with the same Royal Portrait of His Majesty and watermark on the front

On the back of this note is a portrait of “Pra Chao Tak Sin Maharaj” พระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช- (NOT the current prime minister but our former king who won back indepedence from Burma right before King Rama I. His name phonetically in English is spelled like PM Thaksin but in Thai it’s pronouced differently). During his short reign he established a new capital called Krun Thonburi กรุงธนบุร&#3637 but was replaced by the Chakri Dynasty (King Rama I) who established Bangkok as the capital soon after.

The 20 Baht note given to me is a newer version with the same, but updated portait of HM King Bhumipol Adulyadej on the front and on the back there is a picture of HM the King and some of his wonderful accomplishments like the new Rama bridge in Bangkok and His Majesty on one of his many walking tours in Thailand

My thanks to my friend Dew for filling me in on the information I was missing earlier regarding King Taksin Maharaj and his portrait

Nott’s mom thought I would like the Baht notes to maybe put in a nice frame and she’s right that would look cool on my shelf or on the wall. This was so nice that she gave these to me I was really thrilled to get such a thoughtful gift. Hard to believe I was never that excited about getting US money as a gift lol. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Ramakomud!

You can find out more about Thai currency from our sister web site http://www.thailandlife.com . My thanks to Richard for providing a better link and to Panrit as my source for more updated information on the Baht notes 😉

Till next time

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