1206. National Children’s Day 2021 Commemorative Stamps
Day of Issue: 9 January 2564 (2021)
Denominations: 3.00 Baht (2 Designs), 5.00 Baht (2 Designs)
Print quantity: 500,000 stamps per design
Size: 48 x 30 mm
Designs: The relationship between teachers and students by greetings, conveying a message of a connection which is a fundamental factor toward a happy living in human existence
Designer: Mr. Thaneth Ponchaiwong (Thailand Post Company Limited)
Printer: TBSP Public Company Limited, Thailand
Printing Process and Color: Offset Lithography Multicolor
Sheet Composition: 10 stamps per design
First Day Cover: 28.00 Baht
Thai National Children’s Day
There is a Thai saying that states, “Children are the future of the nation, if the children are intelligent, the country will be prosperous.” Like other countries, Thailand observes National Children’s Day (วันเด็กแห่งชาติ), celebrated here on the second Saturday of January every year. It is known as Wan Dek in Thai. This day is celebrated with fun activities for children and introduces them to their significant role towards the development of the country . National Children’s Day 2021 occurs on 9 January.
His Majesty the King gave royal guidance to children by publishing the 2020 National Children’s Day Book. The royal guidance states that knowledge and virtue are major foundations for all types of goodness and progress. All children must, therefore, study and be equipped with knowledge and virtue, so that they will grow up to be adults of high quality and will be able to bring goodness and progress to themselves and society as a whole.
The Ministry of Education has organized activities to celebrate National Children’s Day since 1955, “in order to underline the importance of children and youth, who will become the country’s important human resources in the future,” according to Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan. Another objective is to open up opportunities for children to express their views, develop their thinking process, and enhance their potential for future national development.
Thai people celebrate Children’s Day by taking their children out to have fun. Many local authorities such as zoos, museums, military bases, Government House and Parliament House organize special events and let children in for half price or even for free on this day. Normally, the ages of children taking part in the celebrations are less then 14 years old.
The word “children” in Thai is เด็ก /dèk/ (as a young person, not an adult). If we are talking about someone’s child, the word ลูก /lûuk/ is used. This is one of the most common mistake foreigners make when speaking Thai, they often mix up these two words.
“Happy Children’s Day” in Thai is สุขสันต์วันเด็ก /sùk-săn wan dèk/.
A Thai idiom related to children is เด็กเปรียบเสมือนผ้าขาว /dèk bprîab sà-mŭean pâa-kăao/ which means, “Children are like white cloth”. White cloth (ผ้าขาว /pâa-kăao/) refers to “pureness”. It means ‘ Kids are like a blank canvas that is ready to learn and absorb every color from us.’
A hug is a form of endearment, universal in human communities, in which two or more people put their arms around the neck, back, or waist of one another and hold each other closely. If more than two people are involved, it may be referred to as a group hug.
The origins of the word are unknown, but two theories exist. The first is that the verb “hug” (first used in the 1560s) could be related to the Old Norse word hugga, which meant to comfort. The second theory is that the word is related to the German word hegen, which means to foster or cherish, and originally meant to enclose with a hedge.
Hugging has been proven to have health benefits. One study has shown that hugs increase levels of oxytocin and reduce blood pressure.
Based on significant research indicating that a 20-second-or-longer hug releases oxytocin. Leo Buscaglia encourages people to hug for 21 days consecutively and to have each day a hug that lasts for a minimum of 21 seconds. He recommends “getting lost in the hug,” encouraging people to slow down and “use the power of the hug to be fully present in the moment”.
A handshake is a globally widespread, brief greeting or parting tradition in which two people grasp one of each other’s like hands, in most cases accompanied by a brief up-and-down movement of the grasped hands. Using the right hand is generally considered proper etiquette. Customs surrounding handshakes are specific to cultures. Different cultures may be more or less likely to shake hands, or there may be different customs about how or when to shake hands.
The handshake is believed by some to have originated as a gesture of peace by demonstrating that the hand holds no weapon in prehistory. One of the earliest known depictions of a handshake is an ancient Assyrian relief of the 9th century BC depicting the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III shaking the hand of the Babylonian king Marduk-zakir-shumi I to seal an alliance.
Archaeological ruins and ancient texts show that handshaking – also known as dexiosis – was practiced in ancient Greece as far back as the 5th century BC; a depiction of two soldiers shaking hands can be found on part of a 5th-century BC funerary stele on display in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin and other funerary steles like the one of the 4th century BC which depicts Thraseas and his wife Euandria handshaking.
In addition, handshake appeared on Archaic Greek, Etruscan and Roman funerary and non-funerary art. Muslim scholars write that the custom of handshaking was introduced by the people of Yemen.
Handshakes are known to spread a number of microbial pathogens. Certain diseases such as scabies are known to spread the most through direct skin-to-skin contact. A medical study has found that fist bumps and high fives spread fewer germs than handshakes.
In light of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the dean of medicine at the University of Calgary, Tomas Feasby, suggested that fist bumps may be a “nice replacement of the handshake” in an effort to prevent transmission of the virus. Other options suggested during the pandemic included smiling, bowing, waving, non-contact Namaste gestures, raised brows, two claps, hand over heart, or a sign language wave.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries and organizations have adopted policies encouraging people to use alternative modes of greeting instead of a handshake. Suggested alternatives have included the elbow bump, the fist bump, foot tapping (“Wuhan Shake”) or non-contact actions for social distancing purposes, such as a namaste gesture or the Thai wai.
The high five is a hand gesture that occurs when two people simultaneously raise one hand each, about head-high, and push, slide, or slap the flat of their palm against the flat palm of the other person. The gesture is often preceded verbally by a phrase like “Give me five”, “High five”, “Up high”, or “Slap hands.” Its meaning varies with the context of use but can include as a greeting, congratulations, or celebration.
The use of the phrase as a noun has been part of the Oxford English Dictionary since 1980 and as a verb since 1981. The phrase is related to the slang “give me five” which is a request for some form of handshake – variations include “slap me five”, “slip me five”, “give me (some) skin” – with “five” referring to the number of fingers on a hand. The “high five” originated from the “low five”, which has been a part of African-American culture since the 1920s. It’s probably impossible to know exactly when the low first transitioned to a high, but there are many theories about its inception. Magic Johnson once suggested that he invented the high five at Michigan State, presumably in the late 1970s. Others have suggested it originated in the women’s volleyball circuit of the 1960s.
An air five is a variation where the hands of the participants never actually touch, needing only line of sight to make the gesture. It has an advantage for participants who are otherwise too far apart to achieve physical contact at the moment of the gesture. The participants may simply pretend to high five, or add an imitation sound of hand slapping. Also known as the wi-five, a mix of “wireless” and “high five” with a pun on wi-fi, a wireless computer technology.
A 2014 medical study found that fist bumps and high fives spread fewer germs than handshakes.
The Thai greeting referred to as the wai (ไหว้) consists of a slight bow, with the palms pressed together in a prayer-like fashion. It has its origin in the Indian Añjali Mudrā, like the Indian namaste and Burmese mingalaba. The higher the hands are held in relation to the face and the lower the bow, the more respect or reverence the giver of the wai is showing. The wai is traditionally observed upon formally entering a house. After the visit is over, the visitor asks for permission to leave and repeats the salutation made upon entering. The wai is also common as a way to express gratitude or to apologise.
The wai gesture originated in Buddhism and has similar origins as namaste in Hinduism. It was basically a yogic posture of the palms and signifies the equal meeting of the two palms. It means that the other party is treated as equal human being.
The word often spoken with the wai as a greeting or farewell is “sawat di” (สวัสดี, sometimes romanized as sawasdee). This verbal greeting is usually followed by “kha” when spoken by a female and by “khrap” when spoken by a male person. The word sawatdi was coined in the mid-1930s by Phraya Upakit Silapasan of Chulalongkorn University. Derived from the Sanskrit svasti (स्वस्ति meaning ‘well-being’), it had previously been used in Thai only as a formulaic opening to inscriptions. The strongly nationalist government of Plaek Phibunsongkhram in the early–1940s promoted its use in the government bureaucracy as well as the wider populace as part of a wider set of cultural edicts to modernise Thailand.
Waiing remains to this day an extremely important part of social behavior among Thais, who are very sensitive to their self-perceived standing in society. It is also frequently used as an accompaniment to an apology, sometimes even serving as a “get out of jail free card”. Foreign tourists and other visitors unaccustomed to the intricacies of Thai language and culture should not wai someone younger than them except in return for their wai. However, one should always return a wai that is offered as a sign of respect. Corporate wais, such as those performed by convenience store cashiers, generally are reciprocated with a smile or a nod.
If one receives a wai while carrying goods, or for any reason that makes returning it difficult, one should still show their respect by making a physical effort to return it as well as possible under the circumstances.