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How to integrate with Thais

20/12/2014

Matt.Owens.Rees; Thailand Writer

Was Kipling right when he said East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet?

Are the cultural differences too great?

Can the farang and the Thai work at understanding each other’s cultures and points of view? We need to understand some essential truths about how Thais think.

Thai society is highly structured. Hierarchy is a powerful force that cannot be questioned and affects the lives of all Thais. They value individual freedoms, but only when they do not conflict with their loyalties and social responsibilities to those that they live and work with.

The Thais follow these ground rules as much as they understand and accept, whenever possible, the tolerant Buddhist attitude of mai bpen rai. They avoid conflict and confrontation, and keep a smile on their faces. Whatever emotions they may feel inside.

They are an enigmatic people, whose worldview is not easy…

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