Special characteristics in Thailand

Would you have known?

1. what is the official name of Bangkok?

The ceremonial name of the city of Bangkok in Thai is in transcribed form “Krung Thep Maha Nakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udom Ratchaniwet Maha Sathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit”.

2. house numbers

In Germany and Switzerland, every building has a house number, which is officially assigned and registered in the land register. This is used to precisely identify certain buildings in a street. We know the alternate numbering. On the right side of the street the even numbers, on the left side the odd numbers.

In Thailand it is different. If you want to know more, then read on..In Thailand, the order when a house is built determines the house number. So the house that was built first has the house number 1. If the house that was built next was built at the other end of the street, it gets the number 2. The system of assigning the house number according to the year of construction of the buildings seems confusing for Europeans at first. Don’t be surprised anymore, that is the normality in Thailand.

3. thai nicknames

Every Thai has a nickname that they receive from their parents shortly after birth. The actual first and family name is only written in official papers. Parents, relatives and friends usually only call or know each other by their nicknames. The use of nicknames has become widespread over time and stems from an old belief that evil spirits snatch newborns or control them. The use of nicknames instead of normal Thai first names is meant to confuse and distract the evil spirits and thus protect the children from their grasp. Initially, parents use the word “nong” (younger brother or sister) and the nickname, such as “Nong Pleun.” As the children get older, “nong” is dropped.

Official Thai names are very long and for our ears quite complicated and unpronounceable, sometimes they even seem funny or vulgar to us. Or how does Fug, Porn and Tid sound to your ears? Well, it’s a tease to those who think evil of it!

Fug is used for male babies and means boy or winter melon.
Porn is used for female babies and means blessing and is often an abbreviation for the first name Subaporn.
Tid means nothing.

The names are either a construction or abbreviation of the official names. A girl’s official name is “Kanchana” and is called Kan or a boy’s official name is “Prasert” and is called Sert. Names are also chosen based on the child’s physical appearance at birth, such as paler or darker skin color or more slender, short, tall or stout. The number of children the parents already have can also be helpful in finding a name. Of course, it happens that the appearance of an adolescent no longer fits the originally chosen name. It happens that a teenager is given a new nickname by classmates to match his personality or appearance and is called “waen” glasses.

At times, nicknames are chosen based on gender, but it’s not a must!

Here are some popular female first names (first thai then english):
Kwang – Deer
Sai – Sand
Kay – stylish
Fai – Cotton
Fon – Rain
Tip – divine

Popular male first names:
Kla – brave
Yut – Strategy
Chai – Victory

A particularly good protection against evil spirits are names from the animal world. For example, many parents name their babies after an animal, as if there were a new pet in the family. This is a great way to trick evil spirits.

Some examples of animal names as nicknames:

Pet – Duck
Pla – Fish
Nok – Bird
Seua – Tiger

Basically parents like names with a positive meaning and from the field of sports, fruits, colors. Maybe you know someone in Thailand whose name is Ping Pong, Som or Daeng? That would be table tennis, orange and red.

Meanwhile, English names are also a rich and idiosyncratic source for naming in Thailand. Some are simply taken over like Jack and Pete or one looks for names from the area of food and drink, leisure activities, wealth and technology. So you meet very friendly people in Thailand who introduce themselves with names like Mint, Milk, Ice, Bonus, Ball, Benz or Ford… Some seem appropriate to us, others rather eccentric.

4. addresses

Bangkok is divided into 50 districts (Khet). The Sukhumvit road is one of the most important and busiest roads in the city. On a length of 10 km it leads through the urban area of Bangkok, mostly there is traffic jam. Numerous side streets (soi) lead off from it. Sukhumvit continues 400 km southeast to the border with Cambodia.

Thai address information generally always seems a bit complicated for Europeans at first glance. We know an address/address consisting of the street name, the postal code and the place name.

For example, if you are looking for the address Sukhumvit 101, Soi 21, it means the following:
Drive along Sukhumvit Street to the 101st side street, then look for house number 21 and you have reached your destination. Actually quite simple!

5. thai surnames

Basic rule: Those who have the same last name in Thailand are always related to each other.

6. year

According to Buddhist calendar, we are already in the year 2559!

Correctly read, 2016 is 2559 in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. This calendar began with the year of the death of Buddha (The Awakened One) Siddhartha Gautama, whose teachings founded the world religion of Buddhism.

7. motto of the city of Bangkok

“Help the underprivileged, end air pollution, solve major traffic problems, everyone in the city is friendly.”

Photo: Flickr, Clay Gilliland


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