Students at the Pattaya School No. 11 paid respect to teachers at the traditional “wai khru” ceremony.
Students and teachers met June 16 – a Thursday, as that is the day for Brihaspati, the Vedic god of wisdom and teachers – to perform the wai khru, which is done in most Thai educational institutes at the start of each year.
Students lined up with flowers and handmade garlands created by pencils, crayons, paper and a mixture of flowers to present to their teachers. Students bowed their heads after presenting the garlands and received a blessing from their teachers, wishing them a healthy and successful year.
The flower trays are made of ixora or “khem” flowers, which, while closed, form pointed buds, symbolizing wisdom. Bermuda grass or “ya praek”, represents the rapid growth and resilience of which symbolizes perseverance and the ability to learn. Popped rice or “khao tok” symbolizes discipline, and eggplant flowers or “dok makua”, which bow low when nearing fruiting, symbolizing respect and humility.
Wai khru ceremonies are held at nearly all schools and take place before the teaching of any other activities, such as Muay Thai boxing or dancing, can take place.