Facts For Kids- Thailand

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Thailand

Welcome to Thailand the "Land of Smiles".  

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Thailand's People
The majority of people who live in Thailand come from Thai, Chinese, Malaysian or Mon cultures.  People usually do not shake hands when greeting, the custom is to "wai".  Usually the younger person "wais" the older person by placing the palms of the hands together and bowing slightly.  If the hands are high, the person is greatly respected.  The older person then returns the gesture. 

About 96% of Thailand's population is Buddhist.   Buddhism is a religion that encourages its followers to reduce suffering in the world.  Because of the Buddhist influence in this culture, many boys and young men become monks for a short time in their lives. 

Throughout Thailand there are many monks.    They wear orange robes and have shaved heads.  Most people wear modern clothes and dress in shirts and pants, jeans, or skirts.

Thai children learn the same things that most children around the world learn.  They study math, science, social studies, language, art, and physical education.   Thai students also learn scouting as part if their education.  There is a time during the school day for worship.  Most schools have a temple and statues of Buddha.  Shoes cannot be worn in the classrooms.    Also, students wear uniforms and must cut their hair every month.  Boys must have crew cuts and girls must keep their hair styles short.

Thailand's Homes
Many people live in modern homes.   Traditional homes are made of wood and are raised up on posts.  The homes are raised because the rainy season and monsoons may bring floods.  Several generations may live in the same house.  Parents and children often share the same bedroom, but many also have their own rooms.  Thai people do not wear shoes in their homes or temples. 

Thailand's Culture
Thailand is a very friendly, beautiful, and religious country.  Throughout history, the region of Thailand has also been known as Siam.   Today, Thailand is a popular tourist destination in the heart of South East Asia.

Thailand is a leading manufacturer of electronics.  Many women work in electronics factories as assemblers.  Thailand also is the world's largest producer of pineapples.

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Fish, shrimp, rice, soups and noodles are found at most meals.  Thai cooking uses a variety of spices and seasonings such as lime juice, ginger, coconut milk, and peanuts for flavor.
Thailand's Activities
Kite flying is a favorite activity and a competitive sport. 

Takro is another favorite sport among Thai men.  The men try to keep the ball in the air using mostly their feet, knees and chests to pass the ball to one another and to try to make a basket.

Thailand's Animals
Thailand is home to exotic animals such as tigers, leopards, elephants, black bears, and more than 850 species of birds.  However, the animal populations are getting smaller as the rainforests are cut down and poachers continue to illegally hunt these animals.

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j0186284.wmf (8174 bytes) Thailand's Holidays and Celebrations 
On the second Saturday of July, Thai children celebrate a day just for them called Children's Day.  On Children's Day, Thai kids get to go out for special activities.   Many places such as movie theaters may offer half-price for children's admissions.   Most towns have special activities or festivals for the children.

Children's Day is celebrated because the people of Thailand feel that children are an important resource of their country.  A Thai proverb says, "Children are the future of the nation, if the children are intelligent, the country will be prosperous."

Thailand's Land
Thailand is said to be shaped like an elephant's head.   One fifth of Thailand is covered by monsoon forests or rainforests.  Thailand has a dry season and a wet season.

Thailand's Cities and Landmarks
Bangkok is Thailand's largest city.   It is home to nearly 10 million people.  Wat Pho is one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok.  It was built over 200 years ago.  Thailand's beautiful temples draw many tourits each year.  The architecture and culture fascinate many who come to this country.  Boats are often the fastest form of transportation in Bangkok.  There are many canals and waterways that people use everyday.  Roads in Bangkok can often be jammed for hours with traffic.   Floating markets are more convient for many people.

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Thailand's Facts:
Area: 198,455 sq mi.
Capital City: Bangkok
Population: 60 million
Main Language: Thai
Currency: Baht
Industries: tourism; textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing







References:
All images from Microsoft Office Clip Art and Gallery licensed through Microsoft Front Page and Microsoft.
Map images from Lonely Planet, http://www.lonelyplanet.com

EMJ Kids, http://www.exclusivelymj.com/emjkids/country.html
Graham, Leland and Brandon, Traci.  A Trip Around the World.   North Carolina: Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company,  1996.
Graham, Leland and Brandon, Traci.  Another Trip Around the World.   North Carolina: Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company,  1996.
Adams, Ganeri, and Kay.  The DK Geography of the World.  New York: DK Publishing,  1996.

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