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Measuring Someone's Footprint

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.gifWhen someone in Thailand says you're trying to measure his/her or somebody's else's footprint, it means they think you're trying to compete with, or take the place of, him or her.

.gifThe proverb, wat roi tao (measure someone's footprint) comes from the country's greatest epic, The Ramakien, known in India as The Ramayana. It's taken from the episode in which Thoraphi, a magical young buffalo whose obsession is to murder his father, but fears to confront him while he is still powerful, day after day measures his footprint against his father's. He waits and waits until the day arrives when his foot fits seamlessly into the print of his father - and knows that he is strong enough to commit parricide. Of course, ultimately no good comes from the act, but it serves in Thailand to act as a warning and as a way of insulting someone.Wad roi tao, on the one hand, means to estimate your chance of disposing of a powerful authority-holder. But to say someone is thoraphi is to accuse a person of treacherous intentions, of being a planner of usurpation. Not a desireable reputation to have in a culture where seniority is so important.

.gifPut into a Western context, Britney Spears, with her claim to the title of Princess of Pop, could be considered wad roi tao-ing, and thus challenging the reigning Queen of Pop, Madonna. And in doing so, she can be condemned by the Queen's supporters of the crime of thoraphi.

.gifQuite clearly, in Thailand you need to watch your step!

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Health: Thai Massage History

Thai Proverbs


What to expect in MARCH 2008

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