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A Thai Wai

January 29, 2015


Joey and I spend about forty percent of our time in Thailand, where we wai about fifty times per day. Therefore, as far as foreigners (fahrangs in Thai) are concerned, we can be considered experts. A Thai wai is merely putting the palms of your two hands together, with the fingers raised upward, slightly bowing your head and bringing your hands up toward your forehead. There are a number of outdated concepts about the wai among foreigners such as do not wai younger people or lesser people unless they do so first. However, Thailand has become much more egalitarian so wai when you feel like it as a wai has evolved from a simple greeting to an indication of respect.. As a greeting, accompany the wai with the spoken Thai hello of sawasdii khrap if you are a male or sawasdii kha if you are a female.

Here is our grandson Story Kimura who is giving a wai for being on the head of his first elephant at age seven as a gesture of thanks to those around him.

Below is a wai by the author in respect of the powers of Aacharn Noo as he inscribes a sak yant five line tattoo on his back. At the same time, the author is trying to get his mind in a different place to escape the pain of a having a long bamboo needle repeatedly punched into his shoulder.

Lastly, below the owners of The Elephant Story invite you to visit our store and website to offer your support to our efforts in elephant conservation.