Thais are people of decoration. They love to decorate all kinds of thing. Even food they eat, they will elaborately make it look beautiful and usable. This way of life has become the identity of Thai people for hundreds of years. Visitors to Thailand can see the detail in many pieces of Thai arts.
Thai ancestors had invented various types of equipments, which are available from the nature or used articles. "Puang Malai" or garland is another piece of artifacts which is very popular among foreigners who come to Thailand with its beauty and fragrance.
Garland is made from 'flowers arrangement consisting of a circular band of foliage or flowers for ornamental purposes.' that has been translated from WordWeb 6.8, Princeton University. This is called a "Garland of Spirit and Goodwill". It is really true because the receiver would smile with happiness while they holding it. This is a formal traditional Thai reception that come from northern and northeastern' people in Thailand.
Thai garland is the art of flowers and leaves arrangement that available from various kinds of local flowers such as Jasmine, Gardenia, Rose, Michelia, Champaca, Orchid, Marigold, Calotropis and more to string together. The garland's patterns depend on the skill and experience of makers. The patterns are designed according to the occasion, which for the sacred offering, or to pay homage to the higher people, or for the Buddha and the spirit houses (a small wooden house considered to have a spirit and the sacred thing existing), or for parties. Besides, it can be hanged up just for decoration. The fragrance of flowers and the beauty of Thai ladies in her national Thai costume made the atmosphere very well.
A traditional Thai garland consists of 2 parts. The first part is the top circle, which is called "Tua Malai or garland's body" and the latter is tassel with many pieces pending called "Uba". This makes the garland precious in Thai people's eyes.
To give a garland to someone, the maker must do it carefully because the work itself is an art. It is considered as an identity of art in Thai culture. The maker herself must have at least a pleasure to make it. Now a day, visitors to Thailand can see " Phuang Malai" everywhere in flowers shop or at the flowers stall by the road side in the evening or early morning.
Therefore, be proud, when you come to Thailand and are welcomed with the garland. They may put it around your neck or in your hand. They would like to show their goodwill and good spirit to visitors. It is the warmest welcome of Thai people for foreigners. As mentioned before, "Siam is a smiling country, Land of ancient civilization and the welcome of goodwill and warmth".
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