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BANGKOK 26 March 2019 05:43
superatoz

ไหว้ to older people I dont know too well

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hi all , 

 

i am confused if i should ไหว้ people whom i see often eg. people at the gym ( im in my 30s but many people  i look much younger then that )

 

i dont really know them well but i smile at them when i walk pass , is it like really necessary to ไหว้ them

 

or is just a smile suffice ? i wouldnt want to come off as rude to them as I of mix heritage ancestry and i look pretty local to them lol 

 

appreciate any advises from those who have been living in thailand long  as i dont have any foreigner friends here .

 

i asked my gf and she said " I dont really ไหว้ people i dont know well" -_- bummer 

 

 

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1 minute ago, allane said:

-one doesn't wai strangers, unless for some reason, they have waied you. If you are waied on the street by a disheveled stranger, he is a beggar.

 -one doesn't return the wai of service industry personnel such as waiters, hotel desk clerks and store clerks.  The exception would be if it is someone you have dealt with in the past, but even then, only if he went out of his way to give you some exceptional service in the past.

 - in the workplace, the younger person wais the older person first, who then returns the wai.  This exchange of wais is done only the first time you encounter each other each day.

i wouldnt say that they are strangers but i see them on every other day  , and sometimes we smile at each other .

 

but does it mean the next time i see them or him /her i need to ไหว้  them ? cos some of younger kids they will ไหว้  me 

 

even if they dont know me well . just concerned if they will feel im rude . thanks for replies

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25 minutes ago, allane said:

-one doesn't wai strangers, unless for some reason, they have waied you. If you are waied on the street by a disheveled stranger, he is a beggar.

-one doesn't return the wai of service industry personnel such as waiters, hotel desk clerks and store clerks.  The exception would be if it is someone you have dealt with in the past, but even then, only if he went out of his way to give you some exceptional service in the past.

- in the workplace, the younger person wais the older person first, who then returns the wai.  This exchange of wais is done only the first time you encounter each other each day.

allane , 

thanks for replying , i dont ไหว้ service staff or younger unless they ไหว้ me , 

do u smile at everyone tho ? cos from where i come from we dont really smile at each other unless we know each other.

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- I never return the wai of a complete stranger.

-if I encounter someone I "know" on the street (such as a store clerk I have dealt with many times), I wai them only after they have waied me.

- teachers don't return the wai's of students.

-with respect to young people; 15 is something of a watershed age in Thailand;

  - if he is less than 15, you don't return the wai.  If he is 15 or more, follow the rules I have stated above.

- one more note re the workplace; age trumps rank.  I used to work at a school where the department head position was filled on a rotational basis. When a younger teacher took the chair that had been previously occupied by an older one, I saw the younger one still initiated the wai, even though she was now the department head.

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Well if they ไหว้ you......ไหว้ not just ไหว้ back  😉  .   Don't worry about what "others" think, especially farangs !      I am surprised that if you can write Thai  i would think you can observe what situations Thais wai and when they don't ( like a waiter or doorman wais you..etc)

This situation is just a greeting from the people that see you at the gym .  It is quite informal, just an acknowledgement , like saying hi.   Heck, with another post on TV with many complaining that they are "ignored" by Thais,  you should feel honored

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In reply to Post # 7; like anywhere else, I walk around with a neutral expression on my face. That enables me to use a smile as a greeting. And to be honest, there have probably been times when I substituted a smile for a wai.

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8 minutes ago, rumak said:

Well if they ไหว้ you......ไหว้ not just ไหว้ back  😉  .   Don't worry about what "others" think, especially farangs !      I am surprised that if you can write Thai  i would think you can observe what situations Thais wai and when they don't ( like a waiter or doorman wais you..etc)

This situation is just a greeting from the people that see you at the gym .  It is quite informal, just an acknowledgement , like saying hi.   Heck, with another post on TV with many complaining that they are "ignored" by Thais,  you should feel honored

i dont feel ignored in fact i feel overwhelmed by people friendliness ,

 

so would u advise me to ไหว้ them or just smile to the elders ? 

 

in fact sometimes like air crew , i also return their ไหว้  for politeness .

 

 

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Just smile and nod politely.

Thais have respect for age in Thais. They don't necessarily have it for older farangs.

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53 minutes ago, superatoz said:

allane , 

thanks for replying , i dont ไหว้ service staff or younger unless they ไหว้ me , 

do u smile at everyone tho ? cos from where i come from we dont really smile at each other unless we know each other.

This is an English language forum, why not use the English word wai.

 

 

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38 minutes ago, superatoz said:

i dont feel ignored in fact i feel overwhelmed by people friendliness ,

 

so would u advise me to ไหว้ them or just smile to the elders ? 

 

in fact sometimes like air crew , i also return their ไหว้  for politeness .

 

 

well, if your arms are tired from working out at the gym,  just smile.   as for elders, learn their names and yell   "hi mate,  how ya doing "  .       OK, to be serious, its no big deal, but err (wai) on the side of politeness if you can.  Sometimes it feels awkward hurriedly raising a wai... but returning an elders wai is something i always do .....especially people in my village .   If i go see a dr or govt person i even wai first sometimes (never hurts to show respect if it helps to make life easier)

If we meet and you extend your hand for a handshake...... should i take it ?  

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1 hour ago, BritManToo said:

Only wai people to whom you consider yourself 'inferior' or 'lower status'.

 

I'm Australian. We don't consider ourselves inferior to anyone. On the other hand, apart from our ratbag fringe, we don't consider anyone to be inferior to us either.

Edited by Lacessit

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