Journals from Jan Term 2014 - NURS 398 Traditional and Modern Healthcare in SE Asia
2014-01-18 Our First Day: Thai Culture and Customs
Girls wearing our Jongkrabane
We made it to Thailand! It took a couple long flights and a long, unexpected delay but we are all so happy to finally be here. We were able to get about four hours of sleep before starting our first day in Bangkok at the Origins Art Center. This beautiful facility teaches newcomers about Thailand's culture, arts, spirituality, language, etc. through hands on experiences. Within a few minutes of arriving, we were already changing into our jongkrabanes, a traditional pant worn by Thai art students. We were taught Thai etiquette, such as how to wai (place palms together at chest and slightly bow) to people in order to pay respect. We learned basic Thai phrases. With demonstrations from Thai Art/Dance professors, we also made traditional flower offerings made from banana leaves and local flowers. I can't forget to mention they also provided us with our first Thai meal, which was delicious and very spicy.
It was such a good day. We couldn't have started off our trip better, learning so much about the country we had just entered hours earlier. Thai people are so kind and welcoming. Known as "the land of smiles", I already feel the warmth from the Thai people. I can't wait to see what all we will experience these next weeks as we delve into Thai culture and health care.