Culture and tradition are extremely important on a number of levels. Not only do children need to learn to live in their own society appropriately but strong cultural ties and traditions have an impact on each individual’s individual and social identity. Our lives often tick around the clock of cultural tradition, with Thanksgiving for Americans, Summer Holidays in the UK, Chinese New Year, and of course the Christian holidays of Christmas, Easter, and more.
As a home of children and adults from different tribes, ethnic groups, and even continents we are very intentional about increasing our children’s exposure to Thai culture, their own ethnic culture, and awareness of cultures and traditions all across the world. Not only does this help them develop their identity as ‘Thai’ but it also provides a foundation for understanding culture and tradition wherever they may go in the future.
We, therefore, always strive to give the children every opportunity to learn and grow in their own cultural identity. The National Anthem is heard over the neighborhood loud speakers every morning at 8:00 and every evening at 18:00, the sound brings everything to a halt and our children are learning to stop and stand straight or sit still to show respect to the Kingdom of Thailand. Often in schools and public places this is tallied with the raising and lowering of the National Flag. As not all of our children are able to attend a school setting yet, we have made a new addition to our home in order to develop this strong tradition in each of them as well!
The children all loved watching and helping build the flagpole. The big hole was of great interest and of course watching the cement come together from water, sand, and more was a big attraction as well.
Now that construction is done and the flag is in, we are able to participate in this special flag raising ceremony every morning and flag lowering ceremony in the evening. The children are truly enjoying each time and learning how to work the pulley system to move the flag up and down. It may seem like a small thing in the grand scheme of helping the children lay down cultural roots, however, not only will this be a part of helping them form their identities as Thai children but will also help them to enter into the school and social setting appropriately.
So think of us at 8:00 and 18:00 Thai time as we send the flag up and bring it down!