Last week our school held its annual "Wai Kru" ceremony and it was one of those special Thailand moments that makes me happy to be living and teaching in this culture. A "Wai" is the traditional Thai greeting of respect with hands together and a bow of the head, and "Kru" in Thai means teacher. Therefore, the ceremony was essentially a chance for the students to show their respect to the teachers of Sa-nguan Ying School.
The ceremony began with a Buddhist prayer and the students singing several songs in Thai, they made quite the choir, and even though I couldn't understand the songs it was a really nice way to start off the ceremony. After a moment of tribute to the King, including the students singing the Royal Anthem (love this song!) the students bowed in greeting as the director walked in. According to someone who translated the ceremony for me, the students were chanting their appreciation for teachers and pledging their respect.
For the Wai Kru ceremony, each class makes an offering that they present to the staff, and they pretty much have creative freedom - some of my favorite offerings included a Doraemon replica, a duck, and a 3-tiered floral display that was just barely able to stay together. The offerings are mainly composed of flowers, and supposedly each flower represents something different, such as respect, patience and discipline.