The people are quite reserved, sincere and gentle in their manner. They are thoughtful, my meaning, they take their time in answering questions, thinking before speaking. Something I could learn from. I’m part of quite a young team, all are below the age of 35. In general they are very respectful of seniority, bowing low on meeting. Handshakes confirmed by placing your second over the back of their first hand are common. Direct eye contact for people in high standing seems to be avoided. I believe that this is to do with the strong Buddhist culture where deities – demy gods – can be found around the country. People do not make eye contact with these deities. I’m sure I come across a little rude….I’m now bowing a little lower.
The newly married King and Queen are revered along with the rest of the Royal Family. Photos are displayed with pride on the front of many buildings around the city and on work colleague’s desks. We are currently on the fifth king who can only marry once due to a rule in the countries new constitution. His father, king four, has four Queens. All, I’m told, are sisters (same father and mother) and of those Queens he has had eleven children. He got is speak in before the new rule was created, lucky man.
Marriage is interesting. When a couple meets they decide to get married and that’s it, they’re married. No ceremony, it is just announced. Polygamy and polyandry were practiced throughout the country at one time. Talking to my colleagues at work polygamy is still practiced but only on the agreement by the husband’s first wife. As for multiple husbands, I’ll have to report back on that. I have a feeling it doesn’t occur very often. It was once traditional that young men in the east of the country would slip away from their homes in the dead of night and travel to the surrounding villages and court girls by window shopping…..climbing in the window of single ladies for some “courtship”. If the lad does not return home to his parents’ house they can assume marriage. Of course if the advances are unwanted the girls need only let out a roar to have her parents chase him from the house. This tradition is dying out but it is interesting to note that inheritance still passes along the female line. The men will move into live with this wife and her family. The daughters in the family will be left the land, house and valuables.
I lay here in bed writing this where I’ve been most of the day. I’m currently in my acclimatisation phase in getting use to the local food and hygiene, its fabulously slimming so far. I think for the coming weeks I’ll be cooking my own food. It’s all to be expected really and I’m sure I’ll be as right as rain soon enough. Anyway that’s it from me, I have a rendez-vous with my toilet.