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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thai Character- Jai Dee- culture.


Thai Character- Jai Dee. Learning to greet others respectfully is a sign of Jai Dee

Of all the character traits in Thai People understanding Jai Dee is one of the most helpful. Jai Dee means quite literally, Good Heart and refers to the way a Thai person will conduct themselves in their life. It comes from the Buddhist idea of  Karma and the idea of; if you do good, if you are good, you get good in this life.

Western Jai Dee.
In western or Christian values, the idea has similarities but also key differences. A nice guy, a good hearted fellow is someone who always seems to strive or see the positive side of life, get on with people and spend a lot of their own energy to make the best of what ever situation they are experiencing. In the west, when this characteristic is taught at school, it is considered moral a duty to try to be good hearted. 

Thai Jai Dee.
Thai people are taught to consider being Jai Dee a very favourable state.  In Thai culture the trying is not relevant as, due to Karma, you are what you are. Another way of seeing this idea through western eyes is that the emphasis is good fortune whether you turn out to be good hearted or not.

Buddhist temples, school headmasters and mistresses, friends and family throughout the Kingdom preach from Buddhist scripts and stories of good and bad so that it is not as if there is no moral compass. A youngster will take in a great degree of moral values from society as a base. However the fates of life will shape the character and bring him or her to a view of life that works for them.


Youngsters are taught to Wai at a very early age. This helps them with their understanding of Jai Dee

Thai Character- Jai Dee. Paying respect to a monk, may be making an offering of food for the temple.


Jai dee comes over as generosity of spirit, kindness, not quibbling over small detail or money, relaxed around kids, happiness to wait (patience), respect of others, respect of the Thai King, Thai officials and ones elders.

Jai Dum
If most Thai school children experience the same moral maze it is in part considered ill luck that you end up Jai Dum, bad heart . Thai culture will often feel sorry for the person who has not had a good life however they will make a big attempt to steer clear of people like this. People who haven't learnt goodness at school and are on the wrong path can be dangerous.

Tourists in Thailand
It is an all together different experience for a foreigner if they are considered Jai Dee rather than Jai Dum by the local population. Thai people have a generosity of spirit, second to none, and will go out of their way to help you if you come over as Jai Dee. The opposite happens with Jai Dum and life in Thailand becomes very difficult.

To achieve this positive experience, do read up on Thai culture and customs, do get to understand Thai face, do Smile, don't haggle for pennies like a mad man, do tip reasonably and try to keep a sense of humour about yourself. Not only is this approach disarming on one level it leads to a happier interaction with all people in all countries.

So think on, if you are a westerner  and in a Krabi , Phuket, Phi Phi, Samui, or Bangkok hotel, be nice and the whole world will be nice with you.

Khun Paradon shows respect at then of a Tennis game
Thai Character- Jai Dee. Showing respect to the other fighter, the trainer and audience.

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