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Graeng Jai History


This article is Historical reference about "Greang Jai" for general explanation to article "Heart Culture"

The two key historical sources of this most important kind of greng jai.
(I mispelt it intentionally to capture the word in alternative search words used by readers) 

This first 

Obligation towards elders 
as in patron-client relationship, began during Siam's feudal or sakdina (field of power) era where every division of society was ranked into a caste system.

Even though the sakdina system was abolished with the events of 1932, the idea of obliging elders or those of a higher social standard is thoroughly embedded in the Thai psyche.

As the saying goes:
Understand sakdina and you understand Thailand. 


the idea of greng jai towards parents
is very much Chinese in origin and rooted in the idea of obligation towards one's elder blood relations. ie., as rather similar to the above sakdina-type psyche, it's payback time to those who have helped put the bread on the table and the clothes on your back. 

Other important Heart words offered in article "Heart Culture"

Brief video cultural difference between Thai and farang and Graeng Jai

There is no precise translation of Kreng Jai in English. In general, it can be described as a being polite attitude of respect and consideration for others. However, Kreng Jai which literally means "fearful heart" is an attitude of seeking to avoid conflict or inconvenience of another person, particularly one who is higher in social status.

But Kreng Jai and its role in Thai culture may create difficulty in communication for many westerners and other foreigners. Westerners value directness and honesty especially in business deals and it may be hard for them to appreciate this particular thai culture.

This video represents a common scenario that is often most misunderstood by westerners about the act of Kreng Jai.

คำ ว่า เกรงใจนั้น ไม่มีคำแปลที่ถูกต้องแน่นอนในภาษาอังกฤษ โดนทั่วไป สามารถที่จะอธิบายว่าเป็นกิริยาที่สุภาพในการให้ความเคารพและนับถือต่อบุคคล อื่น อย่างไรก็ตาม เกรงใจ ซึ่งแปลตามตัวอักษรได้ว่า "เกรงกลัว และ จิตใจ" เป็นกิริยาเพื่อหลีกเลี้ยงการขัดแย้งหรือความไม่สะดวกสบายของผู้อื่น หรือผู้ที่มีฐานะในสังคมที่ดีกว่า

แต่คำว่าเกรงใจและบทบาทของมันใน วัฒนธรรมไทยนั้นอาจสร้างความยากลำบากในการสื่อสารสำหรับชาวต่างชาติหลายๆคน ชาวตะวันตกชอบความตรงไปตรงมาและความซื่อสัตย์ โดยเฉพาะในการติดต่อธุรกิจและอาจจะยากที่จะทำให้พวกเขาชอบวัฒนธรรมไทยนี้


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