Do they know its Christmas time at all?
The answer is YES.
We may be living in a Buddhist country, but that doesn’t stop Christmas being heavily commercialised. Since the 1st of December all shopping centres have been playing Christmas carols, the majority of office and condo’s are decorated with Christmas trees and even I have bought my own Christmas tree for the first time. For me being a farang, it’s a nice feeling to not be missing out on Christmas completely. But how do Thai’s feel about it?
Two year’s ago when I was teaching English here for a few months to fund my travels, I was teaching a class of teenagers and a class of very naughty, but cute 7 year old boys. A week before Christmas our school was holding a Christmas card competition. For my older class, I decided to treat them to coloured card and glitter, but I figured the little guys might just make too much of a mess with the glitter, so I hid it well. Or so I thought. The little nutcases managed to find it because they were nosey little rascals and always loved to rummage through my bag when I wasn’t looking. Needless to say that after one hour of glue, glitter, lots of singing and lots of laughing, it wasn’t just their cards that were covered in glitter, it was us too including the entire classroom. A month after, we could still find vestiges of the glitter in the classroom carpet.
Anyway, whilst decorating ourselves in glitter, and singing Jingle Bells, I wondered how much Christmas really did impinge in their lives, or was it just something they did every year at the English language school?