How old are you?

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plien
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How old are you?

Post by plien » September 4, 2010, 3:55 pm

When meeting thai people for the first time, I often get the question, how old are you? at an early stage. After telling my age, the response is usually that my new friend thought I was 5 to 15 years younger. While in other asian countries, people are usually spot on, give or take a year or two.
It seems like this ritual of estimating your age in a flattering way is a thai thing.

Do you have any thoughts about this?



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stattointhailand
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Re: How old are you?

Post by stattointhailand » September 4, 2010, 4:06 pm

Most Thai's will ask how old a new aquaintence is, as this will then enable them to address you in the correct manner.
Saying that you look much younger is the usual "Bu**sh*t" used to make you think good of them, much the same as I told my ex mum in law she looked far too young to have a daughter as old as my ex girlfriend ...... works wonders, and members of the human race (especially female) fall for it EVERY time

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arjay
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Re: How old are you?

Post by arjay » September 4, 2010, 4:18 pm

In bars, I don't doubt it's a way to make conversation that isn't too demanding on their English language skills, or on your Thail language skills. Also, they can then better assess things like whether you are retired and have huge wealth, :lol: or whether you are still working and can send money home to them. :lol:

There is also other routine polite language like where are you from, and have you eaten yet. They use the latter amongst themselves a lot.

Amongst Thais generally, in view of their hierarchical way of treating each other with respect, they will need to determine who is older/above their status and will be addressed as Pee, and who is younger or below their status and would normally be addressed as Nong.

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parrot
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Re: How old are you?

Post by parrot » September 4, 2010, 5:09 pm

I think it's along the lines of many girls commenting 'ah, you handsome man'.

I don't mind the folks asking my age (I've taken a liking to asking the พู้เฒ่า elders in the area their age as well). I prefer that question in the first few minutes to "so how much money do you make a year?"

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FrazeeDK
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Re: How old are you?

Post by FrazeeDK » September 4, 2010, 7:56 pm

since I'm all white haired and thin on the top at 56 1/2, when a Thai tells me I look younger, I know it's mere flattery...

Hah Parrot.. when asked how much money I make, I invariably put on a big smile and say "Koy boh bok." That usually gets a laugh...

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SanukJoe
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Re: How old are you?

Post by SanukJoe » September 6, 2010, 1:17 pm

If Thais tell me I look younger they are right, so I compliment them with that :lol:

When Thai women say I look good they are right again and I compliment them with their good taste \:D/

It gives me also the opportunity to ask for their age, something that is "not done" usually.

On a more serious note: it's true that they do it to categorize you in the social standard. Age, education and financial position are used to define if one is a highly placed person or not so high, or not high at all.
The not so well received question about your finances is part of it.

Joe

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old-timer
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Re: How old are you?

Post by old-timer » September 6, 2010, 8:31 pm

well old

OT........... \:D/

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Eazy-Going
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Re: How old are you?

Post by Eazy-Going » September 6, 2010, 9:12 pm

Well I love it here because when I walk into an establishment, the Thai people always say "oh, farang young" as if they're surprised there are any sub 50 yr old Westerners in Udon, even my farang associates call me the young one...at 43 I'm absolutely loving it...been able to extend my youth a little.

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stattointhailand
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Re: How old are you?

Post by stattointhailand » September 8, 2010, 4:40 pm

After you've been here for 10 years or so you will look as old as the rest of us thirty-somethings.

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Khun Paul
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Re: How old are you?

Post by Khun Paul » September 9, 2010, 7:47 am

One could answer you are as old as the partner you feel next to you.....lol.however when I say my age a mere 61, the loks and comments do actually make me feel younger. A give rise to the natural comments you are young or still handsome, at that point I offer the speaker my glasses and we all laugh.
yes i do feel iot is a Thai thing, age to them is important anyone over 60 is OLD, as over 70 is very old when you consider their life span is considerably less normally although over recent years it has been rising. Once you reach 80 you are positively saintly more than that a very revered person . So I say enjoy the adulation and bask in its warm glow you ain't going to get that in your home country I can assure you.

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