“Wai” Approved as Thai National Identity for Greeting and Display of Respect


The Cabinet has approved the gesture of the wai as a national identity of Thailand in the “greetings and displays of respect” category. The Thai wai is a social gesture and traditional practice that has been associated with the way of life of Thai people for a long time.

Despite having its root in India through Buddhist, Brahman, and Hindu beliefs, the Thai wai has adapted in diverse ways, with profound significance. These adaptations distinguish the Thai tradition of the wai. The Cabinet’s approval seeks to promote the country’s unique identity and culture by preserving the long-standing tradition of Thai greetings and respect.

In the past, the Cabinet approved Thai elephants, the ratchapruek flower (dok koon), and the Thai pavilion (sala) as elements of Thai national identity. The Siamese fighting fish (pla gud) was recognized as the national aquatic animal, and the Naga as the national mythological animal.

The preceding is a press release from the Thai Government PR Department.


Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for five years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.