Only In Thailand
These are the out of the ordinary things, customs, traditions that stood out while I was traveling in Thailand.
Worshiping Lord Ganesh
If you see the percentage of different religions followed by Thai people, you can see that Hindusim is only followed by less than .3% of people but surprisingly you can see Lord Ganesha (Hindu God) almost every where?
Lord Ganesha is referred to as “Phra Phikanet” by Thai people.
Ganesh is known as the remover of obstacles so people pray him while starting a business, an overseas journey, building a new home or a wedding. And of course with university students before exams.
Which made me think, what’s the reason behind it?
Hinduism arrived before Buddhism in Thailand. In the early days before Buddhism came, Thai people worshipped many Hindu Idols. These Hindu idol worships were, over time, replaced by a more spiritually enlightened and universal Buddhist teaching and philosophy.
But Thai never stopped worshiping Ganesha and now it’s a part of their culture.
The influence of Hinduism doesn’t stop there.
The Thai Kingship is based on the Hindu ideal of the God-King Rama, the Avatar of Vishnu, the ruler of Ayodhya. Thai still think of their King as the avatar of a god Rama. That’s why Thai kings have always been called “King Rama”. The current king is Rama 10.