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Strange Thai Superstitions


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A Thai friend of mine recently gave birth to a healthy beautiful baby girl. She has returned home from hospital and not left the house for more than 3 weeks. She says "she will not leave the house for 1 month" as she beleaves if she were to smell a strong smell of food or some other strong smell that she or the baby would be sick later in life. Also she has to keep herself covered ,hat, big jumper etc, so as not to expose any skin. This being for the same reason I am not sure? Where do these beleifs originate from? Do you know of any other superstitions that would appear strange to Farangs?

Obviously this is a Thai tradition and I am in no way knocking it! Just wanted to understand it a bit more.

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If I sweep the house at night, invariably my Thai partner will snatch the broom from me and scold me, as it's apparently bad luck to sweep the house after darkness falls.

A few others...

I have never been allowed to place the bed so that the head faces west. Same position of corpses before cremation.

If a house lizard (jinjoe) makes a noise just as you walk out the door, watch it! Bad luck ahead!

If your left eyelid twitches, good luck. If your right eyelid twitches, bad luck. (...or is it the other way around?)

When dogs howl at night, there's a perfectly logical reason: They've seen a ghost!

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I believe it is called "yu fai". From what I can gather it is a sweating process to eliminate bad things. As to the bad smell I was told that 2 days after smelling the strong smell the woman and/or the baby will die. My Thai friend said that is an old custom still widely in practice in rural areas but dying away in larger cities. My friend just had a baby and she is doing this in Udon Thani but she lives and works in Bangkok.

As far as other customs which would appear strange to Farang it would be easier to say do you know of any that wouldn't be considered "strange". :o

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If I sweep the house at night, invariably my Thai partner will snatch the broom from me and scold me, as it's apparently bad luck to sweep the house after darkness falls.

A few others...

I have never been allowed to place the bed so that the head faces west. Same position of corpses before cremation.

If a house lizard (jinjoe) makes a noise just as you walk out the door, watch it! Bad luck ahead!

If your left eyelid twitches, good luck. If your right eyelid twitches, bad luck. (...or is it the other way around?)

When dogs howl at night, there's a perfectly logical reason: They've seen a ghost!

Well that would'nt be A farang ghost, as I have been told that when a Farang Dies His spirit (ghost) goes straight to his home country.

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The girlfriends friend had a baby, and I made the comment of "naruck", meaning, "cute", and I was told that this is not a good thing to say, as I will alert the spirits of this cute baby and they might want to harm it. It was better to say......I forget what, but basically the opposite of "cute". Go figure.

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we quite often get the dog ghosts visiting most nights always rather amusing. personally i think its the male dogs being kicked out the dog karaoke, (or doggieoke), having a sing song on the way back home bit worse the wear..

there is also another where if you hear a strange bird calling at night, you must say "whats that?" as you will draw its unwanted attention and the demon bird gives "X" amount of years bad juju or someone is going to die. but i am still alive so it musnt have heard me... thank buddha. :o

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Wait till you come across some thai girl who DROp something .. and you will be SHOCK at WHAT come out of HER mouth .

my wife don't do it .. but i had Heard it so many time from many Thai girl .. even the Old people and the young kids do it ..

..

try asking them what do there say when there Drop some item .

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Can't travel on a Friday...

Jin chock lands or walks on your foot - good luck...

Don't step on a door sill.....

Various types of trees and houseplants are bad luck / good luck....

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Wait till you come across some thai girl who DROp something .. and you will be SHOCK at WHAT come out of HER mouth .

my wife don't do it .. but i had Heard it so many time from many Thai girl .. even the Old people and the young kids do it ..

..

try asking them what do there say when there Drop some item .

Quite a common one TaTu, and yes it is quite shocking to hear it from a lady :o

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A Thai friend of mine recently gave birth to a healthy beautiful baby girl. She has returned home from hospital and not left the house for more than 3 weeks. She says "she will not leave the house for 1 month" as she beleaves if she were to smell a strong smell of food or some other strong smell that she or the baby would be sick later in life. Also she has to keep herself covered ,hat, big jumper etc, so as not to expose any skin. This being for the same reason I am not sure? Where do these beleifs originate from? Do you know of any other superstitions that would appear strange to Farangs?

Obviously this is a Thai tradition and I am in no way knocking it! Just wanted to understand it a bit more.

When I was living in my wifes village and we had our first baby my wife had to go through all of this, I also wasn't aloud to drink alcohol in case my wife smelt it on my breath :o , I thought the whole thing was ridiculous and fed the wife up when the mother in law wasn't about. I was told the reason for doing all this was that my wife wouldn't go mad when she was an old lady, it seems to have come true a bit early though :D

I think a lot of these superstitions were valid in years past but the reasons have been distorted and quiet often they have no place in the modern world.

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Can't get a haircut on Wednesday cuz it is bad luck.

However, most of the haircut places seem to be open on Wednesdays??

It's an old tradition that's not practiced much anymore..

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Much to my dismay when my wife’s niece was only one month old. The baby girl was crying all the time a Shaman or someone from the village came and drank alcohol. Then took a mouthful and proceeded to spit on the babies back head and belly.

I was horrified at this behavior. Was told this will drive out the baby’s pain and she will stop crying within a month. Yes she stopped crying within the month.

My understanding of this well the baby was one month old not being breast feed but bottle. Maybe her tummy was upset.

This to me was the clear explanation of what was wrong as the baby was well taken care of.

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Don't write names in red ink

Don't name your girl Naga

if you hear a tokay gecko (the big mean ones) say "To-KAY!" seven times it is good luck.

Lots of stuff dealing with black magic

Thank God my wife doesn't believe this stuff, but some of her friends do and get on her because she doesn't care.

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The mens haircut and shave places seem to close on Wedensday, whereas the beauty shops who also cut mens hair, stay open. Have not determined what the rational for this is, but I dont try to understand this thinking. When I was younger I would ask why but answer seemed to somehow always include, " you would not understand " Some of the answers I heard confirmed this. The newborn practice I enjoyed, was, the new mother does not wash hair for 1 month. My wife waited until her visiting mother went to bed and then did the hair wash, next day put old stocking hat back on and no one was the wiser. It reminds me of my grandparents (farm people) 50 years ago. plant by the moon, wash clothing on Monday, kill weeds by moon etc. The Thai's seem to have listened to every ethenic group who ever came to Thailand in this regard, whereas we only had the local input, handed down thru the family.

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a great movie that shows a lot of thai superstitions is the 'mekhong full moon party'.

friends of mine shaved their baby's head and put the hair under a tree. when i asked why, they looked at me in amazement and told me that it was so the child wouldnt be stubborn. when i questioned it, they just said 'donna, i bet YOU didnt have your head shaved, did you?'

i was also told that if a man had sex with a woman whilst she was menstruating, any future children would be 'stupid'.

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My wife will always enter the car left foot first, no matter which side she gets in or how awkward it is.

Same thing with the bed as mentioned earlier, however in our case I was under the impression that it was something to do with the direction to the 'wat' (probably my misunderstanding).

After washing underwear it must never be hung to dry above her head. (in fact one time she claimed to have a headache caused by someone else's undies overhead, I resisted the urge to remind her often she must have had others undies overhead in hotels and such)

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the string around the house yet 555

but farang culture is just as strange...

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Well, as the topic hasn't been moved to another subforum yet, I'll chime in here with one that seems a local Lanna-Chiang Rai-Mae Kachan-maybe just the ex's family and village one, as I have yet to meet other from outside her village who swear by these couple rules for life.

1 All dishes should be washed before you leave for work or you will not be prosperous at work or in sales.

2 Never leave a spoon or fork in your soup whether it be in a pot or in a bowl. Between bites put it on the table or hold it in your hand but, Buddha forbid, you leave it idly sitting there inviting bad luck. This one I thought was cute and tried abiding by for awhile, but inevitably I got to not care about it and could not/ would not always monitor where the spoon was while trying to eat or go about business in the house. This led to some contention until I started passing it off as telling her "Only bad luck for Thais if Thais do it. Falang not have same problem." I don't think she was fully happy about this, but saw I just couldn't be bothered most of the time.

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Wait till you come across some thai girl who DROp something .. and you will be SHOCK at WHAT come out of HER mouth .

my wife don't do it .. but i had Heard it so many time from many Thai girl .. even the Old people and the young kids do it ..

..

try asking them what do there say when there Drop some item .

Quite a common one TaTu, and yes it is quite shocking to hear it from a lady :o

Can you guys clarify this one?

Thanks,

BFD!

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Wait till you come across some thai girl who DROp something .. and you will be SHOCK at WHAT come out of HER mouth .

my wife don't do it .. but i had Heard it so many time from many Thai girl .. even the Old people and the young kids do it ..

..

try asking them what do there say when there Drop some item .

Quite a common one TaTu, and yes it is quite shocking to hear it from a lady :o

Can you guys clarify this one?

Thanks,

BFD!

Yes please elaborate. The wife does this, I know its ad but she would never tell me what she says...

so please.....

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we also have the 'evil eye' stuff: if we say babies are cute, everyone will say in arabic 'hamsa hamsa' (the sign of a hand/five its against the evil eye'; alls sort of junk.... our superstitions just seem tame cause we've heard them so much : black cats, walking under ladders, crossing your fingers, whatever. they just arent as exotic as the thai ones... but probably just as useful.

here in israel poeple (a lot like the thai i must say) dont like black animals: black dogs, cats rabbits are hard to sell, people dont react to them with cries of 'o so cute'.. no one can tell me why that is... bad luck, or just prejudice/preference.

for the first time ever, i saw a spirit house near the edge of a field in a moshav. i have never seen spirit houses here... and i only saw it cause i saw a 'bird house' out in the middle of no where, and near thai workers living there... i had always been told that thai ghosts dont travel overseas, and we farangs dont have ghosts in the land that would bother thai people. but who knows...... maybe someone got nervous....

and we have people driving in cars with a baby shoe tied to the exhaust pipe (its a jerusalem thing apparently) meaning: step up the luck or walk over bad luck...

and blessed red strings we wear on our wrists that have been blessed by old crones and scraggy old rabbis (with a token donation)to give u luck, help u get pregnant, keep your son from dying in battle, make your husband love u... the list goes on...

and no chipped cups or saucers in the house (bad luck), so what makes thailand especially superstitious???

i found that hubby is not superstitious at all; however last nite he dreamt of a great snake coiled around him and got up to wei paa (in the middle of the night). today he called to say some israeli worker in his restaruant threatened him with violence over some thing or other... go figure...

bina

israel

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The whole concept of nicknames to protect babies from the spirits. Scarecrow like dolls tied to front of houses in the countryside to fool spirits as to where a male baby may be in the house.

Rented a house from a Christian family, there was no spirit house. Asked the missus if she would like one. Nope, if we give them a house, they will come back! Flawless logic.

I tend to go with the flow about these things in daily life and business. I find it rather intriguing to work them out over time, and have even taken to hooting the horn at the larger shrines for good luck on a road trip.

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What they usually exclaim - the ladies only ever do - is something along the lines of "Oh heeyah!" or just "Heeyah!" all by itself. It's an equivalent to us saying "Oh $hit!" when we drop a plate and it breaks, say. The translation literally is more like "Oh RUNT!" where runt rhymes with another word ending in -unt. Pick the anatomy, pick the bodily function, go figure.

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The girlfriends friend had a baby, and I made the comment of "naruck", meaning, "cute", and I was told that this is not a good thing to say, as I will alert the spirits of this cute baby and they might want to harm it. It was better to say......I forget what, but basically the opposite of "cute". Go figure.

Old woman usually say "nagliat", which means 'ugly'.

The also say "mun kieow" which means, "I just want to chew you up"

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The haircut thing is dependant on the horoscope/monk advice too. My husband will only cut hair, nails on a wednesday or Sunday. I have been informed that the recent run of bad luck/annoying things that have happened to me are a result of me not following this process too.

My husband was over the moon that my son took until a friday to be born because apparently only that day or thursday would have been acceptable, so it's a good job I refused the c-section offered on tuesday cause that is the worst day for him.

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Back in the village it was considered bad luck to collect firewood from a local woodland area on a Sundays and since there was a 500 baht fine in place it would be very bad luck to get caught.

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