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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wai Kru: or Why It's Cool to Teach in Thailand

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.

The offerings were presented to the Director and the rest of the teachers at SY by selected class representatives who walked up to the stage on their knees with their heads bowed as a sign of respect.  I didn't score a seat on the stage, but I had a really good view of the ceremony from my seat on the side, it was really cute to see the students make their way to the front and present the faculty with the offerings.  Teachers in Thailand have the ultimate respect of both the students and Thai society as a whole, it was refreshing and beautiful to see the students show their respect in such a uniquely Thai way through this ceremony and I'm glad I got to experience it in my time here.

1 comment:

  1. How cool that you teach English in Thailand! Waitressing at a Thai restaurant is about the closest to Thailand I've gotten. I so want to go there someday!

    Notes She Wrote


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