Thailand Culture

Classroom Activities
Teacher's Page


The culture of Thailand incorporates cultural beliefs and characteristics indigenous to the area known as modern day Thailand coupled with much influence from ancient India, China, Cambodia, along with the neighbouring pre-historic cultures of Southeast Asia. It is influenced primarily by Animism, Hinduism, Buddhism, as well as by later migrations from China, and southern India.


The native language in Thailand is Thai.

Some words are:
Sawadee ka-Hello
Leaw phop kan mai-Goodbye

To hear the words visit:,28138,1156563,00.html

Traditional Thai Dancer

Thai Art:

The music of Thailand includes classical and folk music traditions as well as string or pop music.
Contemporary Thai art often combines traditional Thai elements with modern techniques.
Literature in Thailand is heavily influenced by Indian Hindu culture.
There is no tradition of spoken drama in Thailand, the role instead being filled by Thai dance. This is divided into three categories- khon, lakhon and likay- khon being the most elaborate and likay the most popular. Nang drama, a form of shadow play, is found in the south.

This is the national anthem of Thailand.


Thai food is famous for blending sweet, salty, sour, and spicy all together in one dish. Most of the dishes in Thai cuisine try to combine most, if not all, of these tastes. It is accomplished by using a host of herbs, spices and fruit, including: chili, galangal, garlic, lime leaves, basil, sweet basil, lime, lemongrass, coriander, pepper, turmeric, and shallot.

Traditional Thai Food


One of the most distinctive Thai customs is the wai, which is similar to the Indian namaste gesture.
Physical demonstrations of affection in public are common between friends, but less so between lovers.
A notable social norm holds that touching someone on the head may be considered rude.
In everyday life in Thailand, there is a strong emphasis on the concept of sanuk; the idea that life should be fun.
Conflict and displays of anger are eschewed in Thai culture and, as is many Asian cultures, the notion of face is extremely important.
Often, the Thai will deal with disagreements, minor mistakes or misfortunes by using the phrase "mai pen rai", translated as "it doesn't matter".
Another Thai custom is bun khun, the indebtedness towards parents, as well as towards guardians, teachers and caretakers.
It is also considered extremely rude to step on a Thai coin, because the king's head appears on the coin.
It is also customary to remove one's footwear before entering a home or the sacred areas within a temple, and not to step on the threshold.
Etiquette: Wai


Important holidays in Thai culture include Thai New Year, or Songkran, which is officially observed from April 13 to 15 each year. Falling at the end of the dry season and during the hot season in Thailand, the celebrations notoriously feature boisterous water throwing. The water throwing stemmed from washing Buddha images and lightly sprinkling scented water on the hands of elderly people.
Thai celebrating Songkran by throwing water

Thai celebrating Loi Krathong

Another holiday is Loi Krathong, which is held on the 12 full moon of the Thai lunar calendar. While not a government-observed holiday, it is nonetheless an auspicious day in Thai culture, in which Thai people "loi", meaning "to float" a "krathong", a small raft traditionally made from a section of banana tree, decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles, incense sticks etc. The act of floating away the candle raft is symbolic of letting go of all one's grudges, anger and defilements, so that one can start life afresh on a better foot.

This is another video. This one shows off much of the culture of Thailand including the traditional dancing, foods, entertainment, and people.


1. What holiday is celebrated by throwing water at each other?
A. Songkran
B. Loi Krathong
C. King's Birthday
D. Christmas

2. It is rude to step on a ___ because the king's head appears on it.
A. Poster
B. Baht
C. Brick
D. Coin



Return to Top


1. Culture of Thailand. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved May 1, 2011, from