Today is Teacher Appreciation Day in Thailand. Thai culture fosters a deep respect for teachers and educators, right through from kindergarten to university. Today schools have a “Wai Kru Ceremony” which is very formal and decorative but it also is a vital part of the traditional Thai educational system.
The teachers are called to sit in front of the students as the students repeat a Buddhist chant and sing a song that demonstrates their appreciation for the teachers.Towards the end of the ceremony, students crawl up to their teacher on their knees with their heads down. Then the students bow to their teachers and offer them their individual bouquet of flowers wrapped with candles and incense. The teacher receives the flowers and gives the student advice. Some teachers will also pat the student’s head to encourage the knowledge to absorb into the child’s brain.
On this day Thai students bring flowers to their teachers as a symbol of their respect and readiness to learn. The most popular flower to bring is called “dok khem” (needle flower) because it represents the student’s promise that his/her brain will be as sharp as a needle
There is another day which pays respect to teachers which occurs towards the end of the school year, National Teacher Day. Every 16th of January schools are closed in honor of Thai teachers across the country.
Another example of a delightful part of Thai culture.