Senin, 06 Februari 2012

Thailand is renowned as the Land of Smiles. Every year the country is host to millions of tourists. These visitors for the most part return home extolling the hospitality of the Thais. Few foreigners understand that the Thais have as many smiles as the Eskimos have names for snow and the nation has been showing its best face during the current political crisis. Red shirt supporters grinning in defiance of the government. Threat of private armies. Coup or ga boht.

Nothing is what it seems and it's all thanks to the Thai library of smiles.

Take a look and see;

- yim tak tai: The polite smile, used for strangers

- feun yim: The “I-am-forced-to-smile-even-I-do-not-want-to” smile

- yim cheuat cheuan: The winner’s smile over a rival

- yim tang nam dtah: The truly happy smile

- yim tak tan: The “sorry-you-are-wrong-again” smile

- yim sao: The smile masking sadness or unhappiness

- yim mee lay-nai: The evil smile

- yim cheun chom: The admiring smile

- yim yor: The arrogant smile

- yim mai ork: The forced smile

- yim yair-yair: The smile to apologize and take the heat out of an awkward, embarrassing situation

- yim hairng: The nervous, apologetic smile

- yim soo: The “it-cannot-get-any-worse-therefore-I-better-smile” smile

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I'm particularly impressed by the last offering 'yim yor' or the smile that says I'm right and you're wrong.

Anyone who has lived in Thailand has seen that smile too many times to count, but worse probably didn't recognize the accusatory grin either because they thought that they were so right that they could never be wrong.

I've never done that, because I'm never right.

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