Everyone is superstitious to some degree (you know, you knock on wood or avoid black cats), but depending on where you live in the world your superstitions will vary. If you're jetting off for your semester in Thailand, you may be surprised just how different their superstitions are than ours!
Knowing the superstitions in Thailand can save you and your ILP group a lot of awkward moments while you're volunteering abroad with ILP! One major perk about when you spend a semester volunteering with the International Language Programs is we will help you out with this kind of stuff.
ILP helps you in other ways too. Go ahead and check out all the ways ILP will take care of you before and after you leave!
DISCLAIMER: Please be respectful of their culture and superstitions, even if they seem crazy and outrageous to you. Our superstitions don't make any sense to them either and you wouldn't want to be made fun of, right? Actually we don't take it too serious with the number 13 superstition (or do we?) but we still have it. Sometimes superstitions are just fun to know about, but always be respectful of another culture while you are a visitor there. Here are some of Thailand's:
What superstitions are in Thailand?
- Lucky people always finish the last bite
- Eye twitching
- Never say a baby is cute
- Don't point at rainbows
- If you sneeze...
- Dreaming of a snake
- Don't leave if you hear a gecko
- Don't wear black if visiting the sick
- Don't cut your hair on Wednesday
- Don't touch the top of someone's head
- Don't point the bottom of your feet at someone
Lucky people always finish the last bite
Eat the last piece or bite of food and it will bring you a good looking boyfriend/girlfriend!
If your left eye twitches, it's good luck. If you're right eye twitches keep an eye out for bad things the rest of the day.
Never say a baby is cute
This will invite jealous spirits to come in and kidnap it. Always call a newborn ugly (actually ... let's just go ahead and not say anything just to be safe).
Don't point at a rainbow
Unless you're ready for your finger to fall off. Totally your choice.
If you sneeze...
Someone is either talking about you or missing you. All you ILP volunteers better be prepared to be sneezing a lot because we all know your families at home will be missing you. Don't worry though, you can easily stay in contact with them.
Dreaming of a snake
That means you will be finding your soulmate soon! Better do your hair and make up that day.
Don't leave if you hear a gecko
Geckos typically make loud noises only at night. If you hear one during the day before you leave, it's best to stay inside or you'll encounter some bad luck.
Don't wear black when visiting the sick
Black is strictly for mourning in Thailand. It should not be worn when visiting the sick (unless you want it to be awkward) and should also not be worn to anything happy. Pretty much, if you're in doubt, don't wear black.
Don't cut your hair on Wednesday
In the old days, they believed Wednesday to be a day of growth and development. Cutting your hair is kind of the opposite, so just don't do it. Most hairdressers take Wednesday off anyways.
Don't touch the top of someone's head
This is a big no no. Your coordinator and head teacher will warn you about this because it's so easy to touch the top of a kids head. The head is the highest point of the body and the most sacred. Touching the top of someone's head is very disrespectful.
Don't point the bottom of your feet at someone
Along with the touching of the head, you should not point the bottom of your feet at anyone. Since the head is the highest and most sacred part of the body, the feet are the lowest. Pointing the bottom of your feet at someone is the equivalent of flipping someone off. If you sit on the ground, do not sit with your legs straight out to someone. Cross your feet or point them babies away!
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