The Thai Culture Class with TSL Chiang Mai
Learning about Thai culture helps students adjust to life in Thailand and builds stronger relationships with Thai people. Additionally, each lesson includes a section about Thai culture which will not only help you to communicate with Thai people, but also to understand them better and your experience in Thailand will be much easier, and richer.
This class will include a trip as well as a visit to a historic site, a cooking class, a workshop and brief walking tour of the old city. Students will experience Chiang Mai streets rarely visited by foreigners. In the Thai culture class, we teach all about Thai culture. A topic will be announced weekly. These topics include many social aspects: languages, customs, foods, architecture, religions, costumes values, norms, rules, tools, beliefs, behaviors, objects, products, organizations, institutions and cultural meanings associated with specific social activities. Every student will have the opportunity to enjoy this course.
Class program and schedule
Every Saturday at 9:30 a.m.-12:30p.m., the topic will be announced weekly.
Students are given a brief introduction and have a few minutes to meet each other then the instructors and a professional tour-guide will provide an explanation of the various activities during the class.
The topics which we taught:
Thai language – Students must speak Thai in this class, the instructors will teach you some popular phrases which anyone visiting or living in Thailand would/should know. Knowing some useful words will help you get around, just briefly go over a few basics a conversation in Thai which related to the topic.
Traditional Thai dancing – Students are taught the basic steps of traditional Thai dancing which is important to Thai people, providing an enjoyable closing chapter to the class. The dance instruction is set to music from different provinces in Thailand. Traditional dancing has its roots in dance forms that were refined during 1350–1767 AD, having been previously influenced by Indian, Mon and Khmer dance styles. Thai students all learn this same dance in school, as it is required learning for students. Optionally, a few students in each class will have the opportunity to wear traditional Thai dress.
Thai history – A history of the Thai people, starting with their migration from China, through the Sukothai, Ayutthaya, Thonburi, Siam and Thailand periods. This is also required learning for Thai students.
Thai music – Some classical Thai songs from different parts of Thai society, as well as a brief history of the development etc. of the songs. The Thai national anthem and the King’s song. The instructors will give students English translations of all of the songs, so that you could understand Thais a little more.
Thai Etiquette – Following a few simple rules of Thailand etiquette will not only prevent you from accidentally offending someone as many things impolite for Thais (don’t point your feet at people, don’t touch someone’s head, don’t disrespect the king, rules of saving face), observing and respecting local culture will certainly enhance your experience. If you’re new to Thailand it’d be really interesting, although even if you’ve been here for a while you might learn a few new things or have an official confirmation on a few things which you “thought” but weren’t sure on. To learn other little things about politeness and the basic dos and don’ts will be very worthwhile for you such as how to “wai” properly, and who to “wai” to, and etc.
Visiting Buddhist temples – A temple is important to the local neighborhood, during this visit you will see how local residents of this Chiang Mai neighborhood begin their day at the temple. Visiting temples in Thailand is a must for every trip, students are able to visit the temple complex including the center interior where the majority of ceremonies are conducted, and primarily where local visitors spend their time while paying their respects. Once inside the temple you will be able to see monks and staff prepare for the morning ceremonies, the instructors and a professional tour-guide will provide an explanation of the various activities inside the temple, spend a moment taking in the inspiring high ceilings with masterfully painted wall murals depicting Buddhist narratives. After the observing, students may sit in a moment of silence or quiet brief meditation.
Food, beverage, desserts and cooking class – Food is one of the true joys of Thailand. You can find all styles of Thai cooking in Chiang Mai, from Southern to Northern. Students will learn a variety of regional dishes and visit Warorot market (Kad Luang) a local market seldom visited by foreigners. The instructors and a professional tour-guide provide information and background of the market, students are introduced to additional interesting and infrequently seen food ingredients and snacks including sticky rice and fruit. Cooking instruction, students experience hands-on instruction with a full recipe set of local dishes.
Traditional Thai Costumes – Traditional Thai costumes also reflect the vibrant and rich culture of the Thais. Usually, these traditional costumes vary from city to city and from each historical period and are now worn only on auspicious occasions and festivals. Students will learn about Traditional Thai clothing, and what is understood to be traditional Thai clothing, what is the silk fabric used for in Thailand, it’s really interesting topic. Students in each class will have the opportunity to wear traditional Thai dress.
Thai holidays and festivals – such as a Labor day, Visakha bucha day, Loy Krathong and Songkran festival. And also taught about making Lanna fly lantern for floating to the sky in special occasions especially Loi Krathong and New Year, Thai people believe it is a symbolic of problems and worries floating away, and how to make Kra-thong, a small lotus-shaped floating receptacle which is use to float on Loy Krathong Day. Students also learn how to make “Tung (lanna flag)” and Rót náam dam hǔa (Head Watering Ceremony of Songkran).
Thai architecture – No visit to the country is complete without marveling at the and “Wat” and Classic Thai architecture. Classic Thai architecture has been seen many layouts. Although there are many differences in style, they all adhere to the same principles. Each exhibits the historical evolution of Thai architecture and its contemporary incarnations today. Students visit the Classic Thai architecture Centre, Wat pan tao, Wat chedi luang and Lanna traditional house museum, the collection of 11 Lanna traditional houses which is the taste of Lanna culture in the past hundred years. The instructors and a professional tour-guide clearly explain about those historical places.
Traditional Thai vegetable and fruit carving
Thai vegetable and fruit carving are believed to have originated in central Thailand several hundred years ago, a traditional Thai art that requires neatness, precision, meditation, and personal ability. It was originally used only to decorate the tables of the royal family. Students begin by learning basic cutting techniques, creating a basic leaf from cucumber. This first design is perfect first step for beginning and experienced students. Next students learn how to carve a carrot and other fruits, with slightly more complicated techniques required when compared to the cucumber.
Visiting the Bo Sang Umbrella Village – a nice treat for anyone spending a few days in Chiang Mai. The colorful art overflows in the streets during this time and is a sight to see. Sometimes referred to as Bor Sang, this handicraft village in the San Kamphaeng District of Chiang Mai, Thailand isn’t quite considered an attraction, but worth a short visit for tourists who have a bit of time in the area. While the directions are easy to get here and drive time is only about 30 minutes, there is public transportation available as well. It is known for its handmade umbrellas and parasols, which are brightly colored, and often decorated with floral motifs. Students learn about making a main material like a mulberry paper, the umbrella and painting.
General knowledge – General information about Thailand, so information about the regional differences, industry, statistics, norms, tools, beliefs, manners and behaviors as well as some of the history behind the different societal aspects etc.
Price: 300 Baht a class (3 hours) including a professional tour guide, transportation and tickets. Free beverage and some snacks were provided, as was an information pack with copies of all the slides used during the class.
*for ED-Visa students, this is included in ED-Visa course*
Staff: TSL’s teacher, TSL’s staff and a professional tour guide.
Note: – This class is offered by advanced booking only.
– Students have the opportunity to take photos any time during the class.