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‘Sawasdee’ to Khantoke dinners: a day of Thai culture

 

BEFORE THE START OF CLASSES in Chiang Mai, the students got an introduction to the language, customs, culture, arts, and food of Thailand.

This term’s host school – Traidhos Three Generations – conducted classes on Thai conversational basics and customs, to enable the students with a better awareness of their new surrounding culture. They teamed up into groups to role play do’s and don’ts around town, including appropriate clothing in temples, public displays of affection, polite responses to hospitality, and so on. All the students perfected their hellos and thank you’s in Thai and learned how to ‘wai as the locals wai‘.

The day evolved from practicing sawasdee to constructing paper lanterns and painting elephants on paper umbrellas. The sunshine dried their creations, as they dressed for the special dinner ahead. Seated on the ground at the school’s amphitheater, they enjoyed a Khantok dinner using their hands as utensils. It was spicy, flavorful, and aroy mak mak (delicious).

Hands washed and dinner tables moved, the TGS community witnessed various traditional Lanna dances under a bright full moon, including a full-body drum performance, an umbrella dance, and a fire-breathing sword exhibition. The black night sky enveloped four massive sky lanterns with the wishes of the students written across their rice paper sides. Fireworks completed a perfect evening.

By the day’s conclusion, the students accumulated great knowledge and appreciation of their new host country and felt prepared for the next three months ahead.

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