5 beliefs and customs from The Philippines

1.Philippine Belief: Make a child smarter

A child will become smarter if he inserts a miracle leaf (kataka-taka) plant between his books that he uses for his studies.

2.Philippine dining custom: Kamayan

There is one trait that Filipinos happy to do and that is by eating without spoon and fork or natively term as “Kamayan” (eating using bare hands). This custom usually relates more to the poor because it mirrors poverty but can be practiced by whatever social status one has.

3.Philippine gesture custom: Pointing lips

Filipinos also has their own cultural quirks and one of it is by pointing with one’s lips. This kind of mannerism can be annoying if you’re not familiar with it. When you’re asking for something or looking for someone, then they would answer you back by pointing their lips to direct you to what you’re looking for.

4.Philippines customs on love and dating

Is there a way of finding out how your future partner will look like?

You don’t have to sleep to find out how the man or woman of your dreams will look like instead, wake up at exactly 12 midnight, hold a lighted candle and face the mirror. At first, the image will be blurry but after a few minutes, you will see the face of your lifetime partner.

Are you itching to go on that dream vacation just before you tie the knot?

You might as well wait for your honeymoon. Engaged couples are prone to accidents and should not travel before their wedding day.

Thinking about whether your pet dog or cute little toddler should bring the rings during the wedding?

Better ask one of the groom’s men to hold your precious marriage symbols or tie them tightly on their little white pillows. Dropping the wedding ring, veil or arrhae during the ceremony means an unhappy marriage.

Philippine beliefs:Respect and bodylangauge

Pay respect to other creatures when you pass by a vacant lot. We believe that vacant lots and eerily quiet spaces are home to mythical creatures. We say Tabi tabi po” (Excuse me) when we pass through these areas.

When people are lost, they should wear their clothes backward so the spirits can guide them back to where they came from.

Don’t rest your chin on your hand, this invites bad luck.

 

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The traditional Thai greeting, The Wai

Thais normally greet each other not with a handshake, instead they use the so-called wai, where your own hand palms fold together similar to a praying gesture. This wai gesture is not only a greeting, it is also a sign of respect shown to higher social ranking persons or older people. It is also a sign to express gratitude or to apologise.

The wai origins from India

The wai is believed to have its origin in an Indian praying gesture like the Indian “Namaste”. The
associated greeting word sawatdi is, like many other Thai words, also derived from the Indian
Sanskrit language.

Generally speaking, Foreigners unaware of this can answer with a nod of their head because most
Thais know that westerners are not familiar with this kind of greeting. However, if you want to
greet someone or respond with a wai, you should follow some rules so that is appropriate and not
wrong.

For monks, and only for them, folded hands in front of your forehead, the thumbs touch your
forehead and bow your head. For elders, your hands are around the level of your nose, for lower
social ranking people (in the sense of Thai thinking these are children, obviously younger people
than you, maids, waiter, etc.) make your wai in front of your chest and finally for higher ranking
people your thumbs should be around the level of your mouth.

Bodylanguage for the Wai

You should not wai to someone younger than yourself except for replying to a offered wai. If you
are hindered to use your hands to do or reply a wai you should use your body language to pay
respect to your opposite. In this case and generally when you do the wai, one should say the word
sawatdi (followed by the article khrap for male and kha for female) as a greeting or farewell.
Corporate wai’s in such places like a supermarket or hotel are generally replied with a nod or smile
and the phrase sawatdi khrap/kha.

Wow, that sounds complicated for the beginning. Relax, this is just theory and from my experience
in daily life, the way you wai to someone it will be only distinguished between monks and non-
clerics. Keep in mind that Thais are quite sensitive to social behaviour and to their self-perceived
standing in society. Therefore to give us foreigners a good reputation, you should keep these rules in
mind. Thais are very happy if someone respects and immerses in their culture.

And even outside Thailand the wai can be a common way of greeting for example in Indonesia,
Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and of course its origin India.

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Chum Reap Suor

Cambodian people greet each other by saying “Chum Reap Suor”, accompanied by a gesture of pressing their palms together in front of their face and slightly bowing forward, which is called ‘sampeah’. Your Cambodian hosts will be happily surprised to see you using the ‘sampeah’ to greet them. Shaking hands is now more and more acceptable, usually with men, and after a ‘sampeah’.

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Greet the elders and seniors first

Seniority is vital in China. You need to be sensitive to rankings and be respectful to the elders in a Chinese company or organization. Greet the elders and seniors before the others, especially when dealing with government officials.

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Greet the elders and seniors first

Seniority is vital in China. You need to be sensitive to rankings and be respectful to the elders in a Chinese company or organization. Greet the elders and seniors before the others, especially when dealing with government officials.

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