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   I am Janssen
Isabel and I would like to have a deeper understanding about the differences
and similarities of my culture to the others. Culture is the identity of a
group of people living in a specific place that have their own way of life
wherein whatever it says, people tries to follow that. I do understand that
different people of diverse societies have dissimilar culture but also have
connections at the same time.

            In this
report, I’ve decided to study more about Thailand’s culture because it is
considered to be a very diverse country and it is highly influenced by their
religion which is Buddhism. And I wanted to make a comparison to Philippine
culture. Through this study, it helped me a lot in my journey in exploring
different cultures and allows be to have a better connection to my client as a
Diversional Therapist someday.

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Socio-Cultural Identity

 

            The people of Thailand are fairly
homogenous and identify them as Thais. Cultural identity is primarily based on
the royal family, politics, the Thai language, Buddhism, and food, which is
quite distinct and a source of pride in Thailand. Those aspects of Thai culture
seem to define the Thai way of life. It has a constitutional monarchy and they
admire and respect their royal family especially the King. The King’s image is
located everywhere and they always stand whenever the King’s anthem is being
played. 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 is
considered to be the national and official language of Thailand. In terms of
food, Thai cuisine is a fusion of sour, sweet, salty, spicy and bitter
flavours. 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 worn
during celebrations and formal occasions. Also, Pad thai is being considered as
their national food due to its popularity all over the world.

 

            Filipino people are known to be in
any parts of the world because we easily adopt to diverse environment. Majority
of Filipinos are Roman Catholic, hence religion is highly influenced in our
culture. Unlike Thailand, we have a republican kind of government and being
ruled 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 of
food 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-day
life all throughout the country of Thailand hence, respect, self-control and
non-confrontational attitude is vital to them. A great respect to the elderly
and those in higher position is also important. They also consider the
importance of family, though nuclear family set ups are the norm, extended
family is also common to them and children are projected to always respect
their parents, preserve close ties even well into adulthood. Although Thailand
is a bit male-dominated country, women are granted considerable respect as
well. “Sanuk” is also another important concept which is referred to as
unplanned and ecstatic meeting with someone whether on the street or anywhere. They
also encourage institutionalized patriotism, one example of this is daily broadcasts
of their national anthem twice daily wherein pedestrians, commuters and
students are obliged to stop and or stand whenever it is being played. 

 

            The Filipino
Hospitality is makes the Philippines a leading tourists destination for how
many years. Unity through our “Bayanihan Spirit” makes as maintain close
relationship to our neighbors. We are also known for being thrifty in a way that we spend
wisely for our future needs. We also have a great respect to the elderly and
family as our main priority. We also practice nuclear and extended type of
family. Greeting are done by simply saying “Magandang Umaga” (Good Morning) or
“Kumusta ka?”  (How are you?) Or just a
handshake with a welcoming smile will do. And lastly, we need to stand and sing
when our national song is being played as an honor to our country.

Cultural Attitudes

            Showing an angry face and telling a lie is a great
shame for Thai people. No matter how frustrated and upset they are, they will
always be optimistic and display friendly attitude, a good sense of humor and a
smile. The “wai” is their traditional way of greeting and a sign of respect as
well, being given by a person with lower status to a higher status. They do it
by simply raising both hands, palms linked with the fingers pointing up as if
in a prayer, lightly touching the body someplace between the chest and the
forehead as the standard form. It can be made by standing, sitting or walking. The
term “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 is
important to keep it composed and not aggressive because they are placid people
and easily get insulted. It is also vital not to upset someone’s ‘face’, if you
really need to say something, then do it in private because face is very
essential to them.  Thais are also
considered as indirect speakers, they use unclear responses or try to change
the topic to understand their true feelings. They also observe a personal space
of about one meter to strangers, and maintaining eye contact is fine, but when
to talking to higher positions they must bow their head as a sign of respect. If
being 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 and
yellow are their royal colors. Money is the usual gift for weddings and
ordination. Fork and spoon are the usual utensils and they use chopsticks if
there is noodles. They don’t leave rice in their plate as it is considered
wasteful to them. Lastly, being on time is also essential to them since it
signifies respect to the person you’re meeting.

 

            Filipino culture are
very unique because of the influences of colonization and the surrounding
countries. We are also known for being hardworking and do our utmost effort for
our future generation and family. Thai people and we Filipinos, are so
important 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 major
concerns. Concerned about what people think, say or do, are so vital to us.  

 Being corrected in a public place
is also considered unacceptable. We walk hand in hand with relative and friends
as a sign of care or acquaintance. Non-verbal communication are being use such
as raising eyebrows as a key element in communicating. When eating, we also use
fork and spoon but to get food first is considered to be rude. We also believe
in the concept of “utang na loob” or sense of gratitude. For us Filipinos, to
avoid such conflict “pakikisama” is important or to obey. If invited to a
Filipino home, gifts is appreciated like sweets and flowers and should be wrapped
elegantly. And unlike Thai people, time consciousness is not considered
important.

 

 

Cultural Experiences

            Thailand is celebrating 16 public holidays in a
year. There are a lot of things to do in Thailand like visiting museums, get a
Thai massage, visit historical places, try “Batik” painting, see Thai dancing
and try Thai cooking class.

 

            Philippines
is celebrating 24 public holidays in a year, and considered Christmas as the
most loved celebrations. There are also a lot of things to do like riding a
“calesa” and jeepney, try traditional tattoo, and visit historical landmarks
and other famous tourist destinations. And lastly, experience watching a lot of
different festival activities.

 

Strategies

           

           

 

           

 

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