University of Vermont

Asian Studies Outreach Program

All Things Thai

Visiting Scholar Somrit shares Thai culture with students and families in Putney

Visiting Scholar Somrit and students learning a Thai dance

Visiting Scholar Somrit Sangchan has had a busy four months at Putney Central School. Since arriving in September, Mrs. Somrit has been presenting in classrooms all things about Thailand, including Thai Culture, Thai traditions and Thai Language.

"I've cultivated a good relationship between Thailand and America." said Mrs. Somrit, noting that sharing culture and ideas should be fun and interesting for both the students and teachers. Fun cultural lessons have included focusing on Thai food, children songs and games. "I've taught the teachers and students how to do Wai Thai greeting."

The Thai greeting, referred to as the wai (written in Thai as ไหว้), consists of a slight bow, with the palms pressed together in a prayer-like fashion. The higher the hands are held in relation to the face and the lower the bow, the more respect or reverence the giver of the wai is showing.

In addition to cultural lessons on Thailand in the school, Visiting Scholar Somrit has been learning about Vermont and American culture through field trips with students and teachers. Most recently, the school visited the old Fort at No.4 in Charlestown. Field trips have also provided a unique opportunity for Mrs. Somrit to partake in seasonal activities. "

"I had a field trip went for hay ride, press apple cider and met the Great Pumpkin in Keene, New Hampshire."  reported Mrs. Somrit on her autumn activities. Her schedule has also included being the representative Thai Visiting Scholar at a Wai Kru workshop at Spaulding High School in Barre, and hosting many Krathong and Thai dancing classes in Putney.

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