Multicultural exchange: Looking at SDG issues from the perspective of social norms of different countries #2

The second post is WAVE!

                               Impacts of Thai Social Norms on SDGs

                                            Pannasit Mee-in (Wave)

Hello Everyone, I am Wave from Thailand. Today, all members will explore and
discuss how Thai culture and social norms impact the Sustainable Development
Goals: Zero Hunger and Quality Education.

In Thailand, 94% of the population is Buddhist, and our King also represents the
Buddhists. We have various holidays related to the royal family’s birthdays and

1. Buddhist Tradition helps “Zero Hunger.”
There are a few Buddhist practices related to donation and doing good; for example:
● Giving alms to the monks
● Men temporarily become monks to do good deeds for their families
● Donating money to the temple
● Going to the temple on Buddhist days to listen to sermons, pray, and have a
meal with other participants.
When we have a meal together on Buddhist days, people in hunger can participate
by listening to the sermon, praying, and then having the food for free. It is a Buddhist
tradition to share food and help others, so it can temporarily solve the hunger
problem for those who go to the temple.

2. Government Policy to Promote “Quality Education”
There is a disparity in the education system in Thailand.
● Richer people usually have access to better education.
● Free education in public schools generally has lower quality teaching facilities,
leading to a worse educational environment, such as no whiteboards or
sufficient student tables and chairs.
The government is trying to help a portion of people by providing scholarships. In my
opinion, it can help some groups of people who work hard; however, students who
do not have enough time to study and have to help their families with work scarcely
have any chance of earning this scholarship.

Questions Time:
Q: Are there any privileges for becoming a monk in Thailand?
A: Not much in terms of education, but Thai people tend to respect monks, especially
the older generation.

Q: What are the reasons people become monks, especially at 20?
A: Monks are seen as people who bring good luck and good things to the family in
Thai Buddhist belief. Tom added that it is not necessary to become a monk at 20, but
it is more important to become a monk once in a lifetime.

Q: What do you have to do to become a monk?
A: Celebrate by donating food and money to the temple and shaving the head of the
guy who is becoming a monk.

Q: Is the King in Thailand related to Buddhism?
A: Yes, he is. He also has the palace decorated in a Buddhist style.

Q: Do all monks have muscles?
A: No, but I chose the image of a muscular one so that the presentation becomes

Q: How to donate money to the temple, and can people from other religions
A: There is a donation box inside the temple, but if you are donating a large amount,
there will be a paper to fill out, and you can get a certificate for that. Anyone can
donate because the temple does not care who you are. They like donations!

Q: What services do people get from the temple?
A: People can become a monk to study Buddhism. Sometimes, the homeless can
ask the monks to temporarily stay in the temple while helping with the temple’s work,
such as cleaning and carrying alms monks received from people.

● The temples in Malaysia often have homeless people sojourn around, so they
can get some donations from passersby that are different from Thailand.
● In Colombia, there is no culture of staying in the temple unlike in Thailand
where many homeless people go to temporarily stay.
● In China, some monks are required to have a master’s degree before
becoming one, and they normally become monks all their lives, not just
temporarily like Thai Buddhists.

It was a fun activity to share my Thai culture while learning about the differences with
other cultures. Thank you for reading my blog, see you next time.