Welcome to Wat Buddhapradeep Temple and Thai Cultural Center


Thai Culture

The Thai culture is rooted in the ancient Siamese culture and is a mixture of strong Indian influences, Chinese traditions, and elements that are uniquely Thai. The Thai culture consists of promoting that which is refined and avoiding coarseness. This is a major focus of the daily life of the Thai people and high on their scale of values

The Thai greeting of a smile is an important symbol of refinement in Thai culture, such as the Thai custom of the wai. The wai is used in greetings, leave-taking, or as an acknowledgement, it comes in many forms. Generally, the salutation involves a prayer-like gesture with the hands, and it also may include a slight bow of the head. This salutation is often accompanied by a serene smile symbolizing a welcoming disposition and a pleasant attitude. The wai is one of the reasons Thailand is often referred to as the "land of a thousand smiles".

Values

Thai culture is deeply influenced by religion. With a greater portion of the country being Theravada Buddhist, the belief system and values of Buddhism play a huge role in day-to-day life. Throughout the country, the most important values that Thai people hold to are respect, self-control, and a non-confrontational attitude. Losing face by showing anger or by telling a lie is a source of great shame for Thai people.

In general, Thai people always strive to maintain a positive and friendly attitude, a sense of humor, and a smile.

Respect for elders and for those in higher social positions is also important. Children are expected to respect their parents and teachers. The young learn to show reverence to the elderly, and all ages show reverence to the monks.

Be happy

Be happy, have fun ("sanuk"). Maintaining a "cool heart" (jai-yen). A person who is jai-yen is patient, forgiving, accepting of the circumstances that life brings, easy-going and can stay calm and collected even in the face of provocation or distress.

Help others

well-wishes upon others as well as being generous and sharing

Respect Others

nahm-jai, "water that flows from the heart." This refers to the genuine, unconditional generosity that come straight from the heart, without agenda, without ulterior motivation for gain or expectation of return. This includes being tolerate different kinds of people

Customs

There are many Thai customs, but two valued ones are:

  • It is customary to remove one's footwear before entering a home or the sacred areas within a temple, and not to step on the threshold.
  • When sitting in a temple, one is expected to point one's feet away from images of the Buddha.

Thai Arts

Graphic Arts

The Thai graphic arts include art forms associated with Buddhist temples such as sculpture in wood, stucco, and stone; mural painting; and bronze castings of images of Buddha. Other forms of graphic arts include lacquerware, mother-of-pearl inlay, gold work, nielloware, silverware, wood carving, ceramics, basketry and plaiting, weaving, and painting on paper or canvas.

Paintings were traditionally done in tempera in the form of murals on temple walls as well as on cloth and paper. While Buddhist themes were predominant, temple murals often included depictions of secular objects. Artistic styles initially were influenced by Sri Lanka and southern India and later were influenced by China and the West. The Italian-born sculpture Corrado Feroci became a central figure in creating modern art in Thailand. As director of the Fine Arts University (Silpakorn University), he is widely viewed as the father of modern art in the country. The university held the first National Exhibition of Art in 1949, and this annual event became central in defining the state of contemporary art.

Performance Arts

The Thai performance arts include the Thai classical dance. The Thai classical dance was developed from folk dances and incorporates elaborate Indian hand gestures and arm and leg movements. Various forms of dance, including masked dance dramas, are shown on Thai stone inscriptions. These Folk dances are regional in character. Each dance style is accompanied by different musical instruments.


Thai Cultural Images

Thai Greeting

Thai people greet each other with a gesture, the Wai (pronounced more like '' why '' in English). They place the palms and fingers of both their hands together as in a prayer position in the center of their bodied and at different levels depending upon the level of gesture. The greeting gesture is also accompanied with a slight bow.

Thai Graphic Art

One of the types of Thai art is the Thai murals. The Thai murals contain many small, almost tiny individual scenes, landscapes and figures in contrast to the large wall space on which they are painted. They are two dimensional in form, and they are also continuous and flowing sets of panoramas of places, palaces, towns, events and country landscapes with real and mythical people or creatures.

Thai Performance Art

Thai performance art boasts with unique performances in both modern and traditional, such as the Thai traditional dance. The Thai traditional dance is truly graceful and is quite symbolic of the Thai character itself. There are few words that really describe the Thai dance performances better than “elegant”, with its graceful movements, its brilliant color, its soft rhythm and its radiating presence.