At school there are things that I like to photograph like this poor gardener who was assigned to cutting one of the many garden bed’s grass. I know the school has a whipper snipper type machine but instead of having the nylon to trim the grass they use a steel blade which is like a small lawnmower but without a cover for protection.
So this is the reason he probably cannot use it here in this case because of all the steel and rocks in the garden bed. So he spent the better part of the whole day cutting the grass with a large pair of garden shears that didn’t look overly sharp. I asked if it hurt his back and he replied “Jeb Lung Mak”, hurt his back a lot
Today the students from years 7-12 had a competition on Thai manners, etiquette, or politeness (This is sort of what the sign says). Now I am going to tell you right now that I have no-idea on the many different “wais” Thai greetings that are used to great people. There are “wais” for meeting: a friend, someone older than you, someone who is deemed important, someone younger than you, for a royal family member, for a monk and it goes on.
Now today 10 students from each class, 5 boys and 5 girls to compete fortheir class and they were picked by random which was entertaining as some of the students picked were students who are really badly behaved and I enjoyed them looking uncomfortable having to do this competition.
So the students lined up on the red carpet and then the leader of the group would give the first instruction to his/her classmates. There were some worried looking faces but mainly on the Thai boys.
So the panel of judges who were teachers that were available and not teaching class at that time sat in judgment looking for the best class in Assumption. I wasn’t asked obviously as I wouldn’t know what the hell was going on and many of the “Wais” and bows look the same to me but aren’t to the trained eye.
Now when you look at the first 2 greetings(wais)they look exactly the same but the first picture a foot goes behind the other and they dip low (only the girls) and in the second picture their feet stayed together and they don’t dip down in the greeting. That was the only difference I noticed in the first 2 “wais they did.
They then had to sit on the red carpet and this was done in a certain way as well and then they did what looked that a very formal bow. Again I am not sure who this would be directed too but must only be important people as I have never been greeted like this (they mustn’t know I am a superstar).
This next greeting I do know and is used when you greet a monk. This form of a “wai” or bow is repeated 3 times when you first receive the monk and then also when you are leaving or the monk leaves. The Thai name for it I have no-idea, sorry.
The last “wai” is like they are offering something to someone and it’s not a monk as I have never seen this done before at any of the ceremonies I have been to at a temple. You can see the students looking down or away from the person who would be receiving something from them. I had this sort of “wai” done to me on a day called “Wan Wai Khruu” or Teacher’s Day. When the students offer you their gift or flowers this is how they offer them to you.
To finish off the students "wai" as the leave the red carpet
So that was the interesting thing to happen at the school for the day and kept me entertained as 1 of my classes had been cancelled due to the competition and it gave me a chance to watch and take some photos. It was also funny watching the kids (90% boys) who had no-idea which “wai” was which and they just tried to follow the girls in front of them and hoped that the judges didn’t see.
I actually videoed one lot of students compete the competition and it took just over 2 minutes and I hope to have this uploaded by the weekend. It won’t be riveting viewing but you will be able to see the students doing the “wais” greetings in motion and not from the pictures.
So that was my exciting day, I hope you enjoyed Thai etiquette.