Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Favorite Holiday: Wan Wai Krue






"Wan" = day
"Wai" = the hands-together showing of respect
"Krue" = teacher

The day we show respect for our teachers!

Notice that the professors in the pictures herein are all very young (except me, that is). The young ones get stuck coming to all of these things, the Thai prof's my age have better things to do. This year was a big affair though, our Dean of the Faculty of Law was there, as was the President of the university. I always show up, I just want to get into the pictures!

Notice the students crawling on their knees before us, showing their respect. That took a little while for me to get used to, but now I accept it with a sense of humility as a quaint local custom.

The students lined up around the room for the privilege of kneeling before us. They gave us flowers and we tied ceremonial strings around their wrists, a small benediction beyond the gift of our knowledge. Good luck! And in my case, when some of you end up as officials in the Immigration Department, please don't forget your old friend, Ajan Fred!

2 comments:

Cletis L. Stump said...

Fred, this is a bit different than the way I was generally "respected" when teaching in the DC area.

fred c said...

It's different over here alright. Teaching is a very respected position, and the pay is well up the scale too. I have some reservations about how "status" is used in general, but as far as teachers go I think Thailand has it just about right.