The Openness of Thai Culture

There are so many reasons why people travel to Thailand, and many more reasons why they love it. 

But the one thing that really sets the country apart from other tourist destinations (because, let’s be honest, there are a lot of countries with beautiful beaches and mountains) is the incomparably accepting nature of Thai culture.

Ruamrudee, Bangkok

Ruamrudee, Bangkok
(photo by Benjamin Navor)

“Cast your burdens upon Me Those who are heavily laden, Come to Me, all of you who are tired Of carrying heavy loads, For the yoke I will give you is easy And My burden is light, Come to Me and I will give you rest.”

The culture in Thailand is driven by an underlying desire to maintain the peace.  If ever a people truly embodied the notion of taking the middle road, it would have to be the Thais.  The underlying philosophy is that if a thing isn’t directly bothering you, like a mosquito for instance, then there isn’t any need to interfere with its course and you are better off letting it be.

This aspect of Thai culture is evident in the numerous stray dogs that wander freely about the country.  Most countries that are as developed as Thailand have people go around and collect stray dogs, put them in cages, remove them as a potential eyesore.  Thai customs would dictate that it would be rude to hassle one of the poor beasts, unless he was threatening some livestock, or constantly stealing your sandals or something.

But no clearer and broader reaching example of the openness and willingness to accept of Thai culture exists than the peace and harmony in which so many different faiths are able to coexist in one place.

Many countries around the world could learn a few valuable lessons from the kingdom on this point.  While in many places religions are locking horns and causing social problems and even violence, Thai people of many faiths are able to live and work happily together.

Throughout the capitol of Bangkok, churches and mosques are as common as Buddhist temples (Buddhism being the dominant spiritual system in the country). The only inconvenience experienced as a result of religious differences is probably dietary, finding it hard to find a pork free dish at a particular restaurant for instance.  Otherwise, everyone gets along just fine.

Thai culture makes the country a stress free sanctuary for people from every country, race, religion, or sexual orientation who want a chance to unwind and be themselves, without having to worry about what everyone else is thinking.

Note: This post is in honor of our No. 1 winner Photo Contest Amaze me Thailand No. 4 2011

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