Thailand, the one country in Asia that has never been colonized by European people. Thailand is the one of an exotic country that has many cultures like another country in Asia. We can see the one exotic culture of Thailand when the traditional wedding took place.
The traditional wedding is the one choice of the couple that is proud of their culture and wants to use it in their wedding. There is no forbidden if the couple wants to do modern wedding celebration but there is a plus value if the couple wants to do a traditional wedding in their wedding. The traditional wedding has the meanings that symbolize the philosophy values.
As in Indonesia, weddings in Thailand also implemented based on the religious rules of the prospective bride. Buddha is the biggest religion in Thailand, there are two flows of Buddha that Thai people followed, buddha Theravada and Buddha Thai. Beside Buddha, there is also Thai Muslim and Christian Thai that implemented the wedding based on their religions. Islam (Muslim) is the second biggest religion in Thailand. Because the reasons, here we will talk about the traditional wedding in Thailand in Buddha and Islam.
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Process of Traditional Wedding in Thailand
As other Asian countries, Thailand has unique wedding traditions in every step of rituals. All of the rituals that implemented in wedding symbolized the deep meaning and value philosophies as the pray for the couple's wedding.
The parents of the groom meet the parents of the bride before determine the engagement ceremony. They discuss the agreements of the bride's parents and asks about the dowry of a bride. The ceremony does after the agreements about the how much or how many of dowry that the groom agrees to give. The dowry in Thailand language is thong mun. The thong mun time or the date of dowry determined by the Buddist monk.
The Buddist monk decides the best date of thong mun (dowry) based on the born day of the couple. The Buddhist monk is usually considered as the wise person. The groom and the bride in Thailand generally not register their wedding in civil notes. For us, the wedding in Buddist tradition is more and more important that make civil notes for their wedding.
The thong mun (dowry) of the bride is usually the golds. It is the based on the meaning of thong mun, the thong is gold, the mun is engagement. The amount of the thong mun (dowry) indicates the amount of the wealth of the groom and indicates the social status of the bride in her environments. Not only the gold, the thong mun or dowry of the groom usually presented in property, valuable items or luxury goods. The thong mun (dowry) that given by the groom shows about the well established of the groom.
The luxurious goods that the groom was given are not showing about the materialistic. It is only as a guarantee if the parents let the bride in the price hand of man. It is the responsibilities of the parents to let the bride (daughter) before go out from their house. The thong mun or dowry returns to the couple after the wedding ceremony.
On the Thailand Wedding Traditions
The wedding in Thailand usually done on the same day with the engagement day. The groom and bride engage in the morning time then they will celebrate the Buddist traditional wedding in the afternoon until noon time. The receptions of the wedding celebrate at night. The Thailand traditional wedding is the simple and short wedding.
In the modern era, for the blessed rituals or for the religion's wedding ritual, the Thailand traditional wedding is usually celebrated in Buddist temple. While the Buddist monks read the pray or sing for the one wedding ritual, the groom and bride bows and worship in front of the Budha statue. The Buddist monks usually take the three shelters and the five doctrines then the Buddist monks burn the incense and the candles before the groom and bride take the pictures.
The bride and the groom in the time of the wedding put the bunch of flowers on their head that tied together. In this session, the bride and groom kneel to get the blessing from their family, the parents, and the elders. The palm hands of the groom and bride are tight together then the parents and the elders pour the water into their hand. They usually used the oyster as the jar of water, in Thailand, the ritual of tradition is called rod nam sang (rod is poured, nam is oyster). Sometimes, the Buddist monks are invited to read the buddha holy book (the Pali holy book). The Buddist monks for the last time are rarely invited because if the Buddist monks organize the funeral ceremony on the same day, they also come to the wedding, it is signed for the bad future of the bride and groom family.
For the Islam (Moslem), the thong mun (dowry) usually follows the Thai traditions. Slightly different, with the wedding rituals of Buddha, in the wedding rituals of Islam are celebrated in the mosque. The groom, father of the groom and bride, the male families of the bride and groom, well-known person or wise person (in civil society) sit together with the imam (Islam monk) in one circle. The bride, the mother of groom and bride, the female families of the bride and groom sit together in the different place with the males. The female of the Islamic Thailand wedding rituals has not participated directly.
The traditional wedding in Thailand, after the religious wedding rituals in Buddist temple for Buddist or in the mosque for Moslem, the Thailand people are usually not registered their marriage status because the wedding in a religious way is considered more important. But now, there are many Thai people also register their marriage status after do the religious wedding. Thailand is the land of the gold that celebrates the wedding in a religious way. The religious wedding in Thailand is the sacred rituals that headed by the religious leader (monks or imam).
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After the engagement and the religious wedding on the same day, the reception of the traditional wedding in Thailand is celebrated at night. They celebrate the reception of the traditional wedding because they believe what is the monks’ advice about the good day for the wedding. The traditional wedding is the strong sacred rituals.
For the reception, there are no traditional rituals that have to follow by the groom and bride. The reception of the traditional wedding in Thailand is celebrated with the many invited people. In Thailand traditions for the traditional wedding, they usually invite many people to their wedding.
For the food in the wedding traditional in Thailand reception, the Thai bride usually serves the guest with the traditional or international food. The reception of Thailand traditional wedding is a free celebration. There are differences with the buddha (Buddist) and Islam (Moslem), for the Buddist, they serve pork for the invited people, different with the Islam (Moslem) they serve meat or halal food.
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Generally, the Asian countries have the same culture, there is no big different among the Asian countries including for the wedding traditions. As Thailand that has the culture of other Asian countries such as:
Religious rituals are important to get the God's blessing in future life family.
However, the modern era comes to lifestyle, but there are some traditions that usually done by the cultural (civilized) people to celebrate the moment of life, such as a wedding, born day and demise day. The habits to do the moment life traditionally makes the culture or traditions of the society.
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Feels proud of the culture is the most important that remember us to be grateful. Do traditional wedding in Thailand traditions is the one way to appreciate the culture of ours. Thailand is the culture country with the exotic landscape and traditional culture. In case you ever heard, always spread love on every corner.
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