Protocol


Greetings

  • The graceful, traditional Thai greeting is called a wai. Press your hands together as though in prayer, keeping arms and elbows close to your body, and bow your head to touch your fingers. The height of your hands is related to the leve of defence or respect you are giving to the person you greet. The higher your hands, the more respect you show.
  • A wai is used for both meeting and departing.
  • Younger people are expected to greet an older first, and they may or may not return the gesture.
  • You do not have to wai children.
  • Thais will shake hands with Westerners, but they will be pleased if you greet them with their traditional greeting.
  • When introduced to a monk, never touch him; simply give a verbal greeting without shaking hands. Monks do not have to greet you with the wai.
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