Hi there! Let’s resume our unfinished business: getting to know Thais alphabetically. We’re at the second lot of another 11 alphabets now. Let’s go!
Cher is not Thai language but it’s derived from Khmer, meaning tree. When it comes to trees in Thai context, I always think of the trees bound with several colorful cloths. Are you familiar with this kind of trees? They’re not street art nor an accident. But the decorated trees hold our believe in deity. We do believe that some ancient trees are resided by deities. To show our respect to the deities, we adorn the specific trees with multicolor cloths.
ญ (Yor Ying)
Ying represents females. Well, girls at Patpong or Soi Cowboy are just the tip of the iceberg for you farang guys. The diversity of what thai women is far beyond you can imagine. Staying away from “Thai girls’ stereotypes” you have in mind will be most appreciated.
Chada is not a common thing you’ve seen in everyday life. It’s a pointing hat made of gold or silver and decorated with jewels and flowers. If you’ve seen Thai traditional masked performance Khon, then you’ll spot chada on some actors or actresses. If you haven’t experience how marvellous Khon is, visit http://www.salachalermkrung.com/khon.php
ฏ (Tor Patak)
Patak is boring to talk about. This device is a combination of wooden stick and a pointing metal at the tip. It is used to control animals.
ฐ (Tor Santan)
Base or foundation is called santan. It’s quite a formal Thai word. You can simply call it tan.
Monto is a name of a lady but not a lady in real life. She appears in ancient Sanskrit epic called Ramayana. Monto is a wife of antagonist Rakshasa. Ramayana is most-selected epic adapted to Khon performance. (If you have no idea what Khon is, it’s clear that you miss my Dor Chada.)
ฒ (Tor Putao)
This alphabet means older people. In Thai culture, olders are put in a higher echelon than the youngers. This means we have to respect them, act politely with them, and put ourselves inferior. For example, when we walk pass them, we have to bend our backs a little. This day, most youngsters don’t do something like this anymore. But I think the sense of superiority and inferiority between the two classes still exists.
A buddhist novice is what we call “nen”. The age of people who wants to be ordained as nen is below 20. Nen have to hold ten precepts, including no make up or any other cosmetics. Here’s the surprise. A couple of months back, there was a news story: some nen appeared with rose-colored cheeks and pink lips! Is this any kind of Buddhist revolution in Thailand?
ด (Dor Dek)
Dek are our future. Yes, they’re our seeds, the children. Every year, on the second Saturday of Fabruary is their day, the National Children Day. On this day, everything is free for children. They’re privileged. I miss those days. Do you?
ต (Tor Tao)
Tao means turtle. I don’t know why I think of TMNT when I reach this topic. Maybe because it’s the cartoon I grew up with. Have to stop right here before I go too far.
Let’s talk about tao in Thai context. I bet you already know that we’re Buddhists. Being Buddhists in Thailand is always relevant to making merit. And you know what? Turtle is a mean for our merit making. We do buy turtles and release them in the water. That’s how we do good deeds!
ถ (Tor Tung)
Tung is bag and… Umm. I think I should talk about plastic bags. When we go grocery shopping at 7-11, Tops, or whatever supermarkets. Apart from contents inside, what we left behind, ton of them in fact, is plastic bags. So next time, when we do some shopping, I think we have to bring our own canvas bag. There. Quite a perfect ending. Talking green!
I have two more lots to go! See you next time.