Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thai Amulets

Most Thais I know don't leave their home without at least a few accessories adorning their body. Sometimes, it involves making a fashion statement, while other times it's jewelry worn for good luck or protection. Many Thais wear an amulet (or a half dozen) dangling from a necklace with images of Buddha, Buddhist monks, and Hindu gods and goddesses reflecting their personal beliefs, values, and superstitions.

When many Bangkok taxi drivers begin their shift, the first thing they do is remove their amulets from around their neck, and hang them from the rear view mirror while saying a prayer. The amulets then serve to protect the car, as well as the driver and the passengers. This morning the cabby told me his amulets help to attract more business. Apparently, the charms had worked on me. As it turns out, I brought good luck to the driver as his first customer of the day.