Tai Culture โลโก้

Mai Soong Kha


    The Shan(Tai) have a rich cultural heritage and are a proud and sophisticated race. They are a gentle and peaceful people. Many of their customs are related to the Chinese and the Thai. They have their own centuries old literature, art, agriculture and history. Tattooing is common among Shan men. The tattoos are often Buddhist connotations or signs, placed there in an effort to ward off evil spirits and protect the person from danger. Tattooing is also considered a sign of manhood in Shan society.
Instead of shaking hands, the Shan usually greet with a "wai"(ဝႆႈ), or placing the palms together in front of the face or chest and say “Maue Soong Kha(မႂ်ႇသုင်ၶႃႈ) (to be progressive, be advanced (as in status, well-being ). The one lowest in status should initiate the greeting. How high the palms are placed reflects the status of the person being greeted in relation to the person greeting. In addressing each other, the Shan use titles (such as "Yaa (ယႃႈ)or Naai (ၼၢႆး): grandmother, Khing (ၶိင်း) or Pu (ပူႇ): grandfather,"Paa (ပႃႈ): aunt", "Loong (လုင်း): uncle", “Pi (ပီႈ) elder”, "Nawng ying (ၼွင့်ယိင်း): younger sister", etc.) to express the person’s status or relationship to others. It is not acceptable to show affection between the sexes in public.The Shan are traditionally wet-rice cultivators, shopkeepers, and artisans. Most Shan are Theravada Buddhists and/or observe their traditional religion, which is related to animist practices.

wai ဝႆႈ ไหว้ pay respect
Maue Soong Kha မႂ်ႇသုင်ၶႃႈ สวัสดี Hello (greeting)
Yaa/Naai ယႃႈ/ၼၢႆး ย่า/ยาย grandmother
Khing/Pu ၶိင်း/ပူႇ ตา/ปู่ grandfather
Pi ပီႈ พี่ elder person
Nawng ၼွင့် น้อง younger person
Pizai/Piai ပီႈၸၢႆး/ပီႈၼၢင်း(သၢဝ်) พี่ชาย/พี่สาว elder sister or brother
Nawngzai/Nawngmao ၼွင့်ၸၢႆး/ၼွင့်မၢဝ်ႇ น้องชาย younger brother
Nawng Ying/Nawng Sao ၼွင့်ယိင်း/ၼွင့်သၢဝ် น้องหญิง/น้องสาว younger sister



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