By: Mamta Chaudhari and DeAnna Castro
We all know that Americans are always running to their next appointments and never seem to have much time for leisure. Leisure time is almost non existent in the U.S., particularly during the week. Even eating is a chore that must be squeezed in on your drive to your next meeting. Everything in the U.S. is carefully scheduled so that time can be used most effectively and productively. Leisure time is reserved for your ten vacation days a year. However, half way around the globe things are very different. Here in Thailand, leisure time is a necessity. If the Thai people acted the way we do in the U.S., they would have no energy to do anything.
What seems to be the main reason that Thai time is different is the heat. Trying to do anything at midday is almost impossible. It is simply too hot to be outside. When we did things around midday we were regarded as crazy Americans. The Thai people accommodated us in this, but only because weare American.
Continue reading Thai Time: Mai Pen Rai Lifestyle
By: DeAnna Castro and Mamta Chaudhari
Historically, men have held most of the leadership roles in most societies. Women don’t usually have much power or many rights. In the United States, women in any sort of political leadership role are hard to find. We have observed otherwise in Thailand.
Many of our encounters with leaders have been women. The woman behind the entire trip, Noi, is always the one negotiating, planning, and organizing where we go in Thailand. Without her, we would be lost and could not accomplish what we set out to do. She is the one that has the final word, even our male professors follow what she says. This woman has all the qualities of a leader, yet in Thai culture this seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Everywhere we turned, it seemed as though women were running the show.
Continue reading The Power of Thai Women
By: Chris Roundy, Mamta Chaudhari, and DeAnna Castro
History shows that Thai people have been using herbal medicines for healthcare since before 1238 AD (Chokevivat 2005). The principle concern of Buddhism, the main religion of Thailand, is eliminating suffering, which coincides with the values of medicinal practice well (Hughes 1995). Thai traditional medicine is the compilation of Buddhists principles, cultural medicinal practices, and traditional philosophies (Chokevivat 2005).
Buddhism has a great influence upon Thai traditional medicine and many principles are used for medical analysis. Written in texts formerly used by royal physicians at Thai court, illnesses are categorized through krasais, which describe symptoms of the body (Bamber 1987). Number symbolism is another contribution from Buddhism. There are 108 different krasais such as “wind”, “fire” and “blood”. The number 108 comes from Buddhist origins. Bamber (1987) suggests that the number 108 is more like a metaphor to suggest that there are many different krasais. In the royal texts, there are 26 krasais described broken into categories containing 8 and 18 krasais. The number 8 appears frequently in Buddhism, for example in the Noble eight-fold path and in Ayurvedic medicine there are 8 divisions of illness that was also adopted by Buddhism (Bamber 1987).
Continue reading Traditional Thai Medicine