Why is Thailand so popular? How do you know Thailand? A land of pristine beaches or exotic nightlife? Or the Thai women? Yes, you know Thailand because of its gorgeous women. You must have noticed around you how more and more western men are dating Thai women and even settling with them. A huge number of interracial marriages involve Thai women – more than ever before. But have you ever wondered how they adjust so well in a foreign land? How do they overcome the cultural differences? The answer lies in Thai culture and its family values.
It’s not easy to get into an interracial relationship and make it work. Differences in culture and lifestyle create a lot of obstacles. Harmony in a relationship can be achieved only if you are open to new ideas. Respect towards each other and a strong belief in the relationship can make the task easier. Thankfully, Thai girls come loaded with all these. They imbibe the inherent properties of Thai culture which make them great life partners. Are you interested to know more about Thai women and their family values?
This article this dedicated to Thai culture and everything that makes it special. It would also reveal the family values of Thai women and what makes them such good wives.
Typical Thai lifestyle
Buddhists comprise around 94% of Thailand’s population. The culture of Thailand is greatly influenced by Cambodia, China, India and other southeastern countries in Asia. Thailand is a favorite tourist spot of western people because of its climate, beaches, and temples that showcase the best of Thai tradition and culture. Perhaps, you know all this. In fact, there are chances that you know more than this as Thai culture and tradition receive a great amount of attention because of all the western men dating Thai girls.
When discussing Thai lifestyle you have to consider the urban and the rural areas separately. While the highly cosmopolitan cities like Bangkok, Pattaya and other cities frequented by tourists have adapted well to westernized lifestyle, the life in villages is hugely different.
The first thing you would notice about the Thais is their smile. They have the sweetest smile. Most of them are helpful and cordial. They are never rude to anyone and do not talk in raised voices. The age-old Thai culture is behind this behavior and we would come to that later on.
Pubs, nightclubs, and shopping malls are a common feature of the cities. Most people here, both men and women are into jobs. Life is fast here. People throng the bars to relax. You would find the restaurants and shopping malls overflowing with young people. Women are educated and adept in western lifestyle. The young people love to mingle with foreigners which have lead to the phenomenal growth in interracial relationships.
Thailand is also famous for its vivid night-life. If you are in Thailand with the intention of dating pretty Thai girls, you must know where to meet them. If you have marriage in mind never choose a girl you meet in a shady bar.
Thailand is a developing country. The cities are going through changes in terms of new buildings, hotels, and shopping malls being added every year. Cities like Bangkok go through a continuous process of change and affect the lifestyle of the people.
Being a country of the eastern world, Thailand is conservative when it comes to displaying emotions. Seldom would you find people kissing or hugging each other on the streets. Nowadays, due to exposure to western culture, the young people may engage in PDAs in the cities but that is restricted to certain areas. Moreover, in the villages, you cannot expect anyone revealing their tender emotions in public places.
The history of Thailand dates back to several centuries. Thailand has seen an amalgamation of several cultures like Indian, Chinese, Cambodian and other eastern countries. This has made it a melting pot with Buddhist, Hinduism and other religions playing a major role. The architectural wonders of the country, the temples are a fine example of the rich history of the country. The decorated walls of the temples are a proof of the craftsmanship of yester years.
The most popular aspect of Thailand is its food. You may have tested it in a restaurant in London or New York but that doesn’t compare to what is available over here. With varied ingredients like lemongrass, garlic, basil, fish sauce, mint leaves and coconut milk Thai cuisine achieves the balance between hot, spicy, sour and salty tastes. There is a pronounced influence of Chinese cuisine in dishes prepared with meat and stir-fried vegetables. On the other hand, the use of coconut milk can be traced to Indian cuisine.
Food in Thailand is cheap. Open air restaurants, sit-down restaurants and luxury restaurants, you can choose the one according to your taste. You can always experiment and taste local cuisine at the small eateries dotted across the city.
Thais are very particular about what they wear. Maintaining a neat appearance is important to Thais. Clothes are meant not only to cover your body but also to show your rank and status in the society. You may get astonished to see how Thais wear always wear trousers with shirts that too with high sleeves and ties in hot and humid climate. Now you know that it has more to do with their status than comfort.
Dressing well, thus, is a part of Thai lifestyle. Most youngsters are careful about how they look. They wear good clothes, apply makeup and try different hairstyles when they go out. Skirts, shorts, and trousers with tees are the favorite outfits of the young generation. In the rural areas, people still wear the traditional Thai dress called Chut Thai. However, traditional outfits vary across the country with north and northeastern women wearing a different outfit.
Thai culture – what makes the country stand apart?
Thai culture and lifestyle receive a great deal of attention because in certain matters they stand in stark contrast to western culture. Most of the traditions that we still find here are century old and have roots in eastern philosophy. These traditions define the role of men and women in society as well as in families. As we have mentioned earlier the Thai culture has evolved with time and Buddhism has a strong influence on it.
The basic tenet of Thai culture is politeness. The country is known for its gentle and polite people. The name, Land of the Smiles suits it.
Do you know about Wai, the Thai greeting? You must have seen Thais folding their hands and smiling to greet anyone they meet. This is a big part of Thai culture. The smile, the politeness and the proper way of greeting people are very important in Thailand. Most Thais would extend their warm smile to whoever they meet.
Smile has a deeper meaning in Thai culture. It stands for kindness and maturity. So, people would smile even in times of adversity as they are taught to be strong and deal with the situation maturely.
Showing respect is ingrained in Thai culture. You would seldom come across any Thai who shouts in public places. Talking softly, not raising the voice and not showing temper are different ways in which Thais show respect to people and traditions. When Thais enter a house, they leave their shoes behind. It is a widely used custom in Thailand. Showing respect to the people of the house and maintaining hygiene are the two basic reasons behind such tradition.
The royal family is still revered in Thailand. The people do not point fingers at the members of the royal family as a mark of respect.
There is another major difference between the Thai and western culture that you may find surprising. It is the family system. In the west, as soon as the children grow up they leave their parent’s house and fend for themselves. Married children never stay with their parents. Moreover, the children are not expected to take responsibility of their parents.
However, in Thailand, the things are just the opposite. The children stay with their parents well into adulthood and even after marriage. The eldest child is expected to shoulder the responsibility of the family. Even girls continue to provide support to their parents after marriage both financially and physically. Thus the family gets the utmost priority in Thai culture. Most Thais are family-oriented and depend on it even for taking small decisions. Even in marriages and parenting, the opinion of the family is final.
What impression did you get about the Thai society? That it is conservative, old –fashioned and regressive to some extent? Here is one piece of information that may come to you as a surprise. Lady-boys are common in Thailand. Yes, they can be seen in market places, shopping malls, and even university campuses. They are often seen wearing female dresses.
Can you imagine this in the USA or other European countries? No. No matter how advanced these countries are, the idea of being born differently and showing that to the world is still not that common in these countries.
Looking prim and proper in public, maintaining one’s image and following the traditions are very important to Thais. Thai’s are naturally protective about their cultural symbols and cannot stand anyone ridiculing them or using them for commercial purpose. Using images of gods and goddesses on dresses or posing nude for art or photography draws flak in Thai society. This may shock you but you cannot use images of Buddha or other gods on towels, sandals or any other material.
While western people are more liberal towards nudity, appropriating religious symbols to make a statement, these are not acceptable in Thai society.
Thai women – their personality, value system, and attributes
You must have read many wonderful things about Thai women. They are beautiful, feminine, have gorgeous skin and hair, love to take care of their husbands and family, and they make great mothers. On the other hand, you would find people sharing not-so-pleasant experience about Thai girls like they being dumb, impractical and gold diggers. How much of these are true? Whom should you believe? How would you know Thai girls?
Thai girls are beautiful. There is no doubt about it. Most of them are endowed with great skin and hair. They are petite, know how to carry themselves and dress up. There is, however, a marked difference between Thai women who stay in metros and those who are from rural areas. The women of metros are well versed with western culture. They drink, go to parties, are open about interracial marriages and are comparatively well educated.
The women from the rural areas may have limited education, seldom speak English and are far more conservative than their urban counterparts. So, before making any general comment on Thai girls, you must keep in mind their background.
Now, regarding Thai girls, when we talk about dating and marriages, we exclusively refer to proper Thai women from regular Thai families, who are educated, got a good upbringing and are typically into regular and steady day jobs.
In general, Thai girls are not loud. They speak politely, even to strangers. As we have said earlier, Wai is the Thai way of greeting people and showing respect and hence most Thai girls do that when they meet someone. A Thai girl expects the man to take the lead in the relationship. From asking her out to meeting her parents to ask for her hand, you have to take the initiative if you are dating a Thai girl.
The western concept of feminism also doesn’t necessarily work in Thailand. So, forget about splitting bills or expecting your Thai girlfriend to share your worries. You are the man and have to shoulder the responsibility of paying bills and taking care of her. This is an important aspect of Thai society. You are expected to be the provider for your Thai bride.
Thai girls are hard working and those who stay in metros take up jobs to support themselves and their family. The western concept of feminism also does not necessarily appeal to them.
Some westerners complain that Thai girls tell a lot of lies and in most situations for no apparent reason. I have to point out here that, lying has a lot to do with how someone has been brought up and an attribute of an individual and not an entire class. Nevertheless, let’s look at some of the reasons a Thai woman would lie to you, a western man
- Saving face
The Thai society puts strong emphasis on one’s reputation. Your social status in the society is a direct consequence of your reputation and the amount of respect you command from others. While this social construct also exists in rest of the world to some extent, the Thai’s take is a little further. As counterproductive as it may seem, in most cases, when someone is lying to you, it is simply to avoid humiliation and embarrassment that would arise from telling the truth – aka, saving face. What most don’t realize telling these “white lies” does the exact opposite of the original intent.
- Avoiding conflict
In some cases it might just be to avoid the discussion that would follow by telling the truth. This probably has more to do with their lack of self-confidence and also a will to have their say in any situation. This might also be because of the way the Thai families work – the head of the family typically has the last say in all important matters, and she/he knows their point of view will likely fall to deaf years anyways.
- She is a bar girl
We’re now getting onto the slippery slope of making broad generalizations here, nevertheless, it’s important to note that any time you read/hear something along the lines of all Thai women being liars, take a step back and look at their profession. More often than not, you’ll notice that it is in reference to someone who works at a bar. From her point of view, it’s her job to keep her clients happy and avoid any unpleasant situations. Most of the time, you can avoid this situation yourself by trying not to mix her job, with your feelings.
- He/She is a habitual liar
Some people are just that – liars.
Its is understandable that some people may make these generalizations (that all Thai women are liars) because they may have been lied to a lot. However, it’s also important to realize that it is in no way true and is not representative of a vast majority of Thai women who are just regular people
In a nutshell, I can say that Thai girls are simple, hard working, and easy to please and generally polite. They know how to respect their men and take care of them. They make good wives, mothers, and caregivers.
The role of woman in Thai family
Up until a century ago, the gender division was high in Thai society. Women were largely expected to show good manners and take care of the family and other household chores. After marriage, her prime responsibility would be to take care of the husband, be obedient to him and keep him happy. Back then, it was also a matter of social status for men to have several wives and in general, women had an inferior status to men.
Back then, a Thai women’s life for fully devoted to her parents and then to her husband after her marriage. She was taught about her role and expectations at a very young age, and even a matter of pride for some women to be true to expectations others had from her.
With time, the society has changed. Polygamy has been abolished since 1935 and men and women are forbidden to marry by law while one of them still has a spouse (According to some, this practice of having multiple wives is still prevalent and event accepted by society in some parts of Thailand).
Modern Thailand of course, is very different. The modern Thai women enjoys equal status in the Thai society. She gets a good education and plays a more prominent role in a Thai family. Modern Thai women go to work just like their male counterparts and are creating their own identity. They are not only beautiful but confident of their abilities and hence right for making life partners.
The modern Thai women in open to seeking romantic relationships and settle for foreigners. Young Thais don’t mind marrying older men as they consider age to be a sign of maturity. They seek stability in relationships and hence go for men who are established and in need of lifelong partners.
At the same time, many Thai women still maintain their sweet mannerisms. They love to take care of their families and try to live up to their expected role as a good daughter, wife, and mother. So if you find your Thai girlfriend not comfortable with the idea of PDA, understand that it is her ingrained culture that is restricting her.
A Thai bride would support you, be your inspiration and stick to you through thick and thin. Infidelity by women is not approved in Thai culture and thus most women do not commit such mistakes.
The Thai society is changing, albeit slowly. There are families who do not accept dowry or give back a portion of it to the newlyweds for their future life.
If you find the right Thai girl for yourself, you would enjoy a loving married life. You would get happiness, love and true companionship in life.
What is your view of the role of women in Thai society? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.