“It is a country proud of its independence, rich heritage and tradition, but it has also adapted and embraced the rapid change brought about by globalisation.”

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Things that begin with a gong are generally fun
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The traditional Thai band

After the elephant demonstration, ST and I got to see a Thai cultural show that demonstrated various aspects of Thai rural life through the centuries. There were also sections on Thai fighting and dancing, but I’ll cover those in separate posts.

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Farmers’ procession

The cultural portions of the show started with showing rice farming, a huge part of the agriculture in the country, followed close on by market scenes. I was struck by how colorful all the clothes were throughout the performance: beautiful and richly colored fabrics worn by everyone.

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Thai market
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Thai market
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Thai market

Next, a monk novice and his procession entered the stage. The monkhood is significant in Thai culture as most men become monks at some point in their lives, whether for a week or years. One can robe and disrobe up to 7 times throughout a lifetime. The family and friends in the monk’s procession carry the few things he will need in his new ascetic life.

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Monk’s procession
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Monk’s procession
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Monk’s procession

Later in the performance, a typical Thai wedding procession entered the stage. These celebrations usually start at sunrise when the groom’s party proceeds to the bride’s house. They carry with them gifts and gold. The groom then passes through chain gates set up by the bride’s family. Then the adults talk through the dowry details. Gifts are exchanged. Then the ceremony itself takes place in which the couple are linked with a holy thread placed across their heads. Then all of their relatives anoint their hands with holy water.  Check back tomorrow for more details about Thai fighting styles: traditional and modern.

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Wedding procession
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Wedding ceremony
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Wedding ceremony

Title quote: Description of Thailand from its own Ministry of Culture

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Adorable kids
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Adorable kids tumbling

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