Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ronald McDonald knows how to "Wai" Do you?

The universal greeting in Thailand is called a Wai (Sounds like why).  When ever you greet someone you Wai them.  You do not generally shake hands.  If you are in a meeting with businessmen or others who have dealt with westerners you can get away with a handshake.  When you Wai someone you place your hands together in front of you.  The higher you place your hands the more respect you are showing to that person.  I usually place my hands so that my fingertips are just below my lips.  If you are greeting someone older than you, you place your hands higher.  When you greet someone much younger you place your hands even lower (Chest or waist high).  You never Wai a child first - you would wait for them to Wai you and then Wai them back.  Notice that Sister Meeker is also dong a little bow (Head Nod).  that also is done to show additional respect.  If you were to have an audience with the King you would be on your knees with your hands above your head. If you hands are full you can nod or do a one handed Wai. In addition you would also say Sawadee Kraup (male voice) or Sawadee Kah (Female Voice).  This greeting essentially means hello.

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