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Transcript of Thai Superstitions
From old traditions to modern beliefs
Do you like pink eye?
If you don’t, then make sure to stick your tongue out at someone who has pink eye.
According to Thai superstition, when you see someone with pink eye, you should stick your tongue out at them. This action will prevent you from acquiring the undesirable case of pink eye. This is especially true if the individual with a case of pink eye is getting too close to you.
In Thailand, especially in the more remote regions such as island communities, a belief in the supernatural permeates almost every aspect of daily life. According to Thai spirituality, what happens to us in this life is determined not only by our actions in previous lives, but also by external powers and supernatural forces which are largely beyond human control. As a consequence of these forces, every place is powerful, and has the potential to be dangerous, and it is therefore necessary to continually protect oneself, and others, from harm, sickness, and misfortune.
Most Thai people are very superstitious. Thai people like to go and see fortune tellers, but they also go to the temple to ask the monks for advice. They strongly believe that there is a good day for everything: a good day to buy a car, a good day to build a house, or a good day to give birth. So the monks will tell them what day is the best day to buy a car, and they may also advise on the color of the car.
When building a house, the monks will be able to tell what is the more auspicious day to start the construction. Some women even go the temple to know what will be the best day to give birth, and they make an appointment on the given day to undergo a caesarean section.
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival‘s superstitious ceremonies： Firewalking, body piercing and other acts of self mortification undertaken by participants acting as mediums of the gods, have become more spectacular and daring as each year goes by. Men and women puncture their cheeks with various items including knives, skewers and other household items. It is believed that the Chinese gods will protect such persons from harm, and little blood or scarring results from such mutilation acts
There are spirits that dwell in every corner, and they are thought to control our luck, danger, and calamity, and so it is that even though many Thai people reject the existence of such entities, they do not dismiss them. There is a popular Thai saying which roughly translates: "Even if you don't believe in something, no one is sure. Surely it is better not to ridicule those things that are uncertain".
How did this superstition develop?
As you may already know, pink eye is contagious. Having contact with someone who has pink eye can easily make you acquire pink eye. Perhaps even getting too close to someone with pink eye can make you develop a case of the pink eye.
Sticking your tongue out at someone is sort of a symbol for “I don’t like you, go away.” Therefore, it makes sense as to why/how this superstition developed. You stick your tongue out at someone with pink eye so that they will not get too close. So that they will “go away” in order to prevent you from catching a case of the contagious pink eye
Looking for love?
During a family style meal with others, make sure to consume the last piece of food on the table.
According to Thai superstition, whoever takes the last piece of food on the table is destined to find an attractive boyfriend/girlfriend in the near future.
How did this superstition develop?
No one knows for certain how this superstition developed….However here are some theories:
This may have meant that you were healthier/better fed than others you ate with.
This would lead you to increasing your chances of finding a desirable mate because, you would be healthier/more desirable yourself…
A sign of power/authority/respect. An individual who has power, authority, respect amongst other people will receive preferential treatment. Therefore, during a meal the last piece of food on the table would be offered to this individual with the highest level of power/respect in the table.
Power/respect makes someone more attractive. Therefore, this person would be likely to find a desirable mate…
Do not wear black when visiting
people in the hospital.
Ancient Thai people consider black as the colour of pain and sadness used for mourning, and so must not be worn on festive occasions, especially when visiting friends or family in the hospital. The custom of not wearing black to visit sick people in the hospital is still considered hospital etiquette today.
Do not give handkerchiefs as gifts
This is to your friends or loved ones, on amount for the relationship between you and your friends or loved ones will end in tears.
The superstition about dreams in Thailand
If you dream of a snake, you will meet your soul mate.
If you dream of the King, you will be happy.
Having a dream of your tooth coming out, your family will get hurt or die
If you dream of a snake, you will get something nice.
Having a dream of your tooth coming out, something bad thing will happen to your family
If you dream of Mt. Fuji or Hawk or eggplant (nasu) when New Year’s night, you can get something nice throughout the year.
The superstition about dreams in Japan
Superstitions about eating in Thailand
Do not eat salt under a tree, because it will make tree die.
Do not eat before a monk, because you will be a ghost.
Do not eat all of the rice during your evening meal, because you should leave some for the elves.
Do not eat turtles , because it will make you walk slowly
Don’t grab both of chopsticks, because this style means the will to attack someone.
Don’t use different types of chopsticks as couple, because this style is used when we pick up cremains as well.
Don’t stick and set up chopsticks in the bowl, because we usual use this style bowl when we do funeral.
Superstitions about eating in Japan
The Influence of Superstitions on Business Practices in Thailand
Some companies in Thailand are influenced very heavily in their hiring decisions by superstitious beliefs. Apart from choosing potential employees based on their achievements, education and experience, they also take other factors into account. For example the belief, that facial features can indicate personal characteristics and behaviors such as creativity, diligence, patience etc.
Another practice influencing hiring decisions is the Chinese zodiac system. Each zodiac has its own compliment and “enemy” zodiac. Therefore companies also compare the birthdates of applicants with their direct managers to see whether their zodiacs signs are compatible with each other or not.
Thai-Chinese people strongly believe in Feng Shui. It influences their decision in choosing location and construction of company infrastructure. For example, the direction in which a front gate faces is believed to have an effect on sales. Moreover, layout and decoration within an office can also effect the performance of top management if their personal traits are not compatible with the traits certain decorative elements represent.
Symbols hold great significance in Thai culture, for example each building that is built in Thailand must be built upon a base stone, which is inscribed with a Buddhist prayer. There is of course an accompanying ceremony performed by monks who will bless the building project. This is necessary to secure good fortune, not only for the building, but for the people who will be constructing it and then finally will be working in it. This concept of the base stone securing good fortune for the people working in a company can also be transferred to statues or any other objects of symbolic value.
Symbolism also plays an important role, when a company designs it advertisements, logos and product packaging. For example an animal pharmaceutical company in Thailand, who caters mostly to rural agriculture takes great care when choosing colors (e.g. no black packaging) and designs for their product packaging, because they know their customers are very superstitious.
A great number of thai people live in bad conditions, and superstitions for them is an easy way to get a better life. Also the lack of education makes them believe in them without wondering whether its true or not.
The government and companies most of the times control these beliefs and they know it is an effective way to control people.
Most of the superstitions here in this country come from Religion and another half comes from other countries such as a china and India.
There is still people who like to follow these superstitions just only because they feel proud of being Thai and superstitions are a very important part of Thai culture,
So we can conclude that without superstitions Thailand would nut be the Thailand.