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Buddhism in Thailand

Oct 13, 2008 453 Words
Nowadays, Buddhism is practiced by a large amount of people, especially in Asia but also in Europe and America. Thailand counts 95% of Buddhists in the country. This strong presence of Buddhism there does certainly influence the business communication. It is actually the 4th biggest religion in the world and the total amount of Buddhists in the world is around 500 millions. The focus of Buddhism is on practice rather than on belief. Buddhism is based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha also known as the Buddha. Buddhism has spread through two main branches which are the Theravada which extended south and east from its origins and now has a widespread following in Southeast Asia and the Mahayana which diffused from its origins west, north and east throughout East Asia. Main concepts of Buddhism:

-Karma
-Rebirth
-Four Noble Truths  Noble Eightfold Path
-The cycle of Saṃsāra
-Nirvana
-Bodhisattvas
Buddhism in Thailand
Thailand is a stronghold of Buddhism. This religion first appeared in Thailand in the third century before Christ, making it a very old religion and well anchored in the Thais culture. According to Thailand’s constitution the king is obliged to be a Buddhist. Thailand is perhaps the only country in the world where the king is constitutionally stipulated to be a Buddhist and the upholder of the Faith. ‘The Land of Yellow Robes’ is a surname given to Thailand by many foreigners for yellow robes are what the Buddhists Monks wears and they are seen everywhere on the streets. In Thailand there is a special form of greeting which is the Wai. There is no shaking of hands, or things like that, in Thailand and the Wai is the way by which people greets each other. Buddhism impacts on Thailand in several different ways. First of all Buddhism makes it easier to communicate as mostly everyone shares the same culture and comes from the same background. Usually communication is done very calmly, even if something annoys one of the communicators, due to the fact that Buddhists believe that showing anger openly might attract the wrath of the spirits, which in turn could cause violence and tragedy. Then the Thais pay a lot of respect towards their elders and to people higher in the hierarchy. A disadvantage to business communication is that the government allows people to take three months leave, on full pay, to do their ‘monk-hood’.

The Buddhism is a very deep religion with lots of concepts and practices. Thailand, being a region 95% populated by Buddhists is really influenced by this religion. To conclude, the impact of Buddhism on the business communication is very important. People tend to behave in a calm way at work and respect their colleagues admirably.

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