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Bangkok Culture

Bangkok’s culture dates back to many centuries that it is said that archeological excavations in the area north of Nakorn Ratchasima indicate that there were people living here over 4000 years ago. Monarchy played a major role in the medieval times. But now Thailand has a rich bout of democracy with its own constitution. The Bangkokians are a bunch of warm and friendly people, usually too polite to show offense. Yet, as with any nation, there are borders of behavior that should and should not be crossed. They take great pride in their monarchy. Visitors are well-advised to respect the reverence in which devoted Bangkokians hold their royal family. The Buddhist religion is considered sacred by Bangkokians. Monks, temples, and Buddha images are everywhere and most of the people treat them with great respect. It is expected that appropriate clothing be worn in temples, and shoes removed when entering certain areas in the temples.

For Bangkokians, the maintenance of surface calm and harmony is crucial. Loss of temper, arguing, or direct criticism are best avoided among them, because they feel it serves little purpose in any case. The famous wai is a used as a gesture for both greeting and respect. Wai requires the person to use both of his hands as if praying in front of his face. In general, it is considered to be a mark of respect to try to keep the head at a lower level than that of a senior or older person when talking to or passing them. On entering a private chamber or house, it is customary to remove your shoes. The polite form of address when talking to or about people of similar or older age are to use the title “Khun” and the person’s first name. Many Bangkokians will be too polite to comment on behaviour that is disrespectful of a fellow Bangkokian, but you should be aware that it is still offensive. Looks and appearances are important to Bangkokians. When meeting them, dressing smartly, or at least appropriately, reflects the degree of respect you hold for them.

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