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   I am JanssenIsabel and I would like to have a deeper understanding about the differencesand similarities of my culture to the others. Culture is the identity of agroup of people living in a specific place that have their own way of lifewherein whatever it says, people tries to follow that. I do understand thatdifferent people of diverse societies have dissimilar culture but also haveconnections at the same time.

            In thisreport, I’ve decided to study more about Thailand’s culture because it isconsidered to be a very diverse country and it is highly influenced by theirreligion which is Buddhism. And I wanted to make a comparison to Philippineculture. Through this study, it helped me a lot in my journey in exploringdifferent cultures and allows be to have a better connection to my client as aDiversional Therapist someday. Socio-Cultural Identity             The people of Thailand are fairlyhomogenous and identify them as Thais. Cultural identity is primarily based onthe royal family, politics, the Thai language, Buddhism, and food, which isquite distinct and a source of pride in Thailand. Those aspects of Thai cultureseem to define the Thai way of life. It has a constitutional monarchy and theyadmire and respect their royal family especially the King. The King’s image islocated everywhere and they always stand whenever the King’s anthem is beingplayed.

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Tourists should avoid making bad comments about the royal family as well.On the other hand, Buddhism is the official religion in Thailand,followed by Islam as the highest minority religious group. Thai or Siamese isconsidered to be the national and official language of Thailand. In terms offood, Thai cuisine is a fusion of sour, sweet, salty, spicy and bitterflavours. Rice plays a significant role to them and consider the words “rice”and “food” as the same.

“Chut Thai” is their traditional dress and only wornduring celebrations and formal occasions. Also, Pad thai is being considered astheir national food due to its popularity all over the world.              Filipino people are known to be inany parts of the world because we easily adopt to diverse environment. Majorityof Filipinos are Roman Catholic, hence religion is highly influenced in ourculture. Unlike Thailand, we have a republican kind of government and beingruled by our President. Filipino is our national language. Same as Thai people,we can’t live without rice in our meal. We are famous for having a variety offood and deserts like “lechon”, “adobo”, “balut”, “halo-halo” and “puto”.

“Barong-Tagalog” and “Baro’t-saya” is our national dress.  Cultural Values             Belief and values system of Buddhism play a huge part on the day-to-daylife all throughout the country of Thailand hence, respect, self-control andnon-confrontational attitude is vital to them. A great respect to the elderlyand those in higher position is also important. They also consider theimportance of family, though nuclear family set ups are the norm, extendedfamily is also common to them and children are projected to always respecttheir parents, preserve close ties even well into adulthood. Although Thailandis a bit male-dominated country, women are granted considerable respect aswell. “Sanuk” is also another important concept which is referred to asunplanned and ecstatic meeting with someone whether on the street or anywhere.

Theyalso encourage institutionalized patriotism, one example of this is daily broadcastsof their national anthem twice daily wherein pedestrians, commuters andstudents are obliged to stop and or stand whenever it is being played.               The FilipinoHospitality is makes the Philippines a leading tourists destination for howmany years. Unity through our “Bayanihan Spirit” makes as maintain closerelationship to our neighbors. We are also known for being thrifty in a way that we spendwisely for our future needs. We also have a great respect to the elderly andfamily as our main priority. We also practice nuclear and extended type offamily. Greeting are done by simply saying “Magandang Umaga” (Good Morning) or”Kumusta ka?”  (How are you?) Or just ahandshake with a welcoming smile will do. And lastly, we need to stand and singwhen our national song is being played as an honor to our country.

Cultural Attitudes            Showing an angry face and telling a lie is a greatshame for Thai people. No matter how frustrated and upset they are, they willalways be optimistic and display friendly attitude, a good sense of humor and asmile. The “wai” is their traditional way of greeting and a sign of respect aswell, being given by a person with lower status to a higher status. They do itby simply raising both hands, palms linked with the fingers pointing up as ifin a prayer, lightly touching the body someplace between the chest and theforehead as the standard form. It can be made by standing, sitting or walking. Theterm “Khun” followed by a first name is how they usually addressed a person.Thus, a person with importance like teachers or monks are headed with “Ajarn”.Using hand gestures can be used to improve communication skills however it isimportant to keep it composed and not aggressive because they are placid peopleand easily get insulted.

It is also vital not to upset someone’s ‘face’, if youreally need to say something, then do it in private because face is veryessential to them.  Thais are alsoconsidered as indirect speakers, they use unclear responses or try to changethe topic to understand their true feelings. They also observe a personal spaceof about one meter to strangers, and maintaining eye contact is fine, but whento talking to higher positions they must bow their head as a sign of respect. Ifbeing invited to their home, giving gifts is much appreciated like flowers,chocolates or fruits but avoid giving marigolds and carnations, even green,black or blue gift wrapper as they are being linked with funerals.

Gold andyellow are their royal colors. Money is the usual gift for weddings andordination. Fork and spoon are the usual utensils and they use chopsticks ifthere is noodles. They don’t leave rice in their plate as it is consideredwasteful to them. Lastly, being on time is also essential to them since itsignifies respect to the person you’re meeting.              Filipino culture arevery unique because of the influences of colonization and the surroundingcountries. We are also known for being hardworking and do our utmost effort forour future generation and family.

Thai people and we Filipinos, are soimportant not to lose face. We value the concept of “Hiya” or ‘a sense of shame’ hence,social approval, acceptance by a group, and also belonging to a group are majorconcerns. Concerned about what people think, say or do, are so vital to us.   Being corrected in a public placeis also considered unacceptable.

We walk hand in hand with relative and friendsas a sign of care or acquaintance. Non-verbal communication are being use suchas raising eyebrows as a key element in communicating. When eating, we also usefork and spoon but to get food first is considered to be rude. We also believein the concept of “utang na loob” or sense of gratitude. For us Filipinos, toavoid such conflict “pakikisama” is important or to obey.

If invited to aFilipino home, gifts is appreciated like sweets and flowers and should be wrappedelegantly. And unlike Thai people, time consciousness is not consideredimportant.   Cultural Experiences            Thailand is celebrating 16 public holidays in ayear.

There are a lot of things to do in Thailand like visiting museums, get aThai massage, visit historical places, try “Batik” painting, see Thai dancingand try Thai cooking class.              Philippinesis celebrating 24 public holidays in a year, and considered Christmas as themost loved celebrations. There are also a lot of things to do like riding a”calesa” and jeepney, try traditional tattoo, and visit historical landmarksand other famous tourist destinations. And lastly, experience watching a lot ofdifferent festival activities.  Strategies                                       

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