“Live a simple life; you will own the most beautiful treasures of the world!”
Mehmet Murat ildan
I was grown up in a village and left at the age of 12. We moved to the town so that my brothers, sisters and I can go to High school, collage and university for further education. But till today I miss my those days spent in the village. Life used to be very simple with less needs and necessities. My wife Anna also spent few years of her Childhood in a small town. Now we have two kids, living typical Melbourne life and still we miss our time spent in those beautiful serene places which has been embedded in our mind for the rest of our lives. We were world apart yet when we talk about our childhood and time spent in village has lot of similarities whether you are in a western country or remote Asian village.
One thing for-sure common is simple life which we have lived in the village. Every time we travel anywhere in the world we always try to get out of main cities and experience countryside. While experiencing those beautiful countries, we always try to find numerous similarities in village life which we lived in our childhood and the current village life we might be experiencing at that time in that country.
Today I would like to write something about Thai village life style which we have experienced few times and find it fascinating. As it is till fresh in our mind so I would like to start my topic of “Simple Life” with that and will continue with few others.
Hoping this will give you some insight if you planning sometime in a village or small town.
Thai village represent the essence of traditional Thai culture. Thailand is famous because of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Koh Samui. Big Cities and tourist destinations represent lot of culture now but the essence of Thai culture you will experience in Thai villages.
“Some things cannot be taught; they must be experienced. You never learn the most valuable lessons in life until you go through your own journey.”
Roy T. Bennett
The average Thai village has approximately 50 to 100 families with a population of under 1000 people. Most of the people do farming, fisheries or small trades. Mostly the houses are two-story wooden structures on stilts. Farmers keep livestock such as chickens, ducks, pigs and farm equipment on the first level and on the second level family lives. The house are very simple with no toilets in the house usually they are built outside with toilets separate to showering and laundry area.
The village itself has very few stores, maybe only 2-3 small outdoor cafes, a unisex salon, and 2-3 small milk bar style convenience stores. Usually most villages have one primary school and the rest in district towns. Usually Villagers go once a week or fortnight to town to do their shopping or sort out their banking matters.
The temple and Buddhism are the centre of life for most villagers. During Buddhist festivals monks lead prayers for the villagers at the Village Centre for good luck, prosperity and career. village headman carries out community affairs. Buddhist New Year activities get held around the temple as well.
Many of the festivals are related to Buddhism such as the Buddhist New Year (Songkran). This also called the Water festival. The elderly sit on the sides of the village streets while youngsters come and pour water over their hands as a sign of respect and blessings. Prior to this ritual, monks from the temple come into the village and lead the villagers in prayers and chants. Then, behind a huge truck with enormous amplifiers, residents parade around the streets of the village while doing the traditional Thai dance.
These traditions and cultural rituals create genuine caring nature for each other.
Thai village does represent a very simple life and can be exciting place to experience and enjoy. One thing I would like to reiterate is that it is experience not sightseeing activity. You might not have some of the comforts and conveniences of city life, but you will experience colourful traditional culture.
You will learn about traditional rice cultivation, silk making and sample local cuisine. The smells, tastes and the glimpses into the past will stay with you long after your return home.
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”