Pattaya’s Redemptorist School for the Blind kicked off its new academic term with a traditional “wai khru” ceremony in which students pay respect to their teachers for the upcoming term.
The school’s 128 students met June 27 – 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. Rev. Peter Pattarapong Srivorakul, head of the Father Ray Foundation, and Chonburi Primary Education Region 3 Deputy Director Supamit Sirakantamakul, parents and teachers also attended the ceremony.
Students from nursery present flowers, candles, and incense to Father Pattarapong Srivorakul, president of Father Ray’s foundation (left), and Chonburi Primary Education Region 3 Deputy Director Supamit Sirakantamakul.
The festivities began with a Buddhist prayer, followed by the students’ recitation of the wai khru chant, which expresses respect and gratitude for teachers and asks for their blessing of the students’ studies. A number of students then presented teachers with a tray of candles, incense and flowers symbolizing sharp wit and respect.
Student representatives from the Redemptorist School for the Blind present hand-made flowers to thank Father Pattarapong Srivorakul and Supamit Sirakantamakul.
Students sang the traditional wai khru flower-presentation song before entertaining guests by playing traditional Thai musical instruments and singing a mix of Thai and English-language songs.
Following the presentation, teachers reciprocated by offering their blessings for the academic year and presenting awards to six students.
Principal Aurora Sribuaphan said she organizes the wai khru ceremony annually to give students a chance to remember the importance of teachers, express their skills and honor tradition.
Principal Aurora Sribuaphan welcomes honored guests to the wai khru ceremony at the Redemptorist School for the Blind.
Radchada Chomjinda (right), director of the HHN Foundation Thailand, accepts hand-made flowers from Redemptorist School for the Blind students as a thank you for sponsoring the school.
Students singing and playing instruments for the song ‘Amazing Grace’.
Students playing the ‘Kho Mob Dok Mai Hai Khun’ song.