Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Thailand Mother’s Day!

Every country has its own Mother’s Day, which is a time to pay respects to all the mums for their undying love and care they bestow upon their children, and in the Land of Smiles, this day falls on the Queen of Thailand’s birthday, August 12th. Mother’s Day in Thailand sees many activities and gatherings that are dedicated to mothers everywhere and as this day is also Queen Sirikit’s birthday. Mother’s Day is a national holiday.

Her Royal Highness Queen Sirikit and The Royal Family

The Queen of Thailand is regarded as the mother for all Thai people and throughout her life, Queen Sirikit has tirelessly devoted her time and energy towards helping the poor and needy. The preparations for Mother’s Day would begin a few weeks before, with flags and buntings adorning the streets, along with images of the beloved queen. Rachadamnuen Avenue is beautifully decorated with fairy lights leading up the Mother’s Day and it is definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in the capital at this time.

The Royal Thai Family

Queen Sirikit has four children, the eldest being Princess Ubolratana, who is the founder of the very successful, “To Be Number One” project created by Her Highness to combat the scourge of drug use around the country. The second oldest is King Rama X, His Royal Highness Maha Vajiralongkorn, who was crowned king in 2016, after his father, King Bhumiphol The Great, or Rama IX, passed away at the age of 88.

The second oldest daughter of Queen Sirikit is Princess Sirindhorn, who has taken over many of her deceased father, King Rama IX’s rural projects and spends much of her time with official duties. The youngest daughter, Princess Chuladhorn plays an active role in medical research and speaks at seminars and conferences around the world on a variety of medical topics and she is also very active in performing Royal Duties.

Mother’s Day Celebrations

So, what does the typical Thai family do on this auspicious day? It all begins with an early morning visit to the temple, where the family (led by mum) gives alms to the monks. The children would each hold a lotus flower, three lit incense sticks and a candle and pray to Buddha for their mother to enjoy good health and fortune and to thank her for her never-ending support. After this, each child would kneel before their mother and present her with a garland of white jasmine flowers, which are a symbol of maternal love.

Traditionally Mum’s Day

It is traditional for the family to pamper mother on this special day and all of the popular restaurants in Bangkok would be full to the brim on the evening of August 12th, as families treat mum to a well-deserved special evening. The Thai government promote many Mother’s Day activities and awards are handed out to special mums who have been nominated by their children.

The Back Legs of the Elephant

The elephant is much revered in Thailand and indeed, for many hundreds of years, this noble creature was used extensively. In the past, elephants were used to clear ground and when the army went into battle, the mighty elephant was always evident. Thai women have been compared to the back legs of an elephant, mainly because they are very much supporting the infrastructure of daily life. If you were to get up before dawn and take a trip around Bangkok, you would see the women who are preparing their food stalls, sweeping the streets, opening their stores and generally getting ready for another busy day. Thai women are enterprising and very hard working and without them, the country would literally grind to a halt!

Empowering Women

If you admire the strengths of the fairer sex and would like to make a positive contribution to Thai women, why not enroll in our Women’s Empowerment Project? Based in Chiang Mai, you will be involved in helping women who are single parents and victims of abuse. As mentioned earlier, Thai women are extremely resourceful and hardworking and when they are in need of some help and support, our empowering women projects support them in a variety of ways. Single mothers can work if they have a safe and secure place to leave their children, so working with children of a young age makes up a large part of our work in this field.

Pre & Post Natal Care

Many young women in Thailand are single parents and are often living on the breadline and our volunteers spend most of their time in a slum area, giving you a unique insight into the realities of being poor in Thailand. It is a wonderful feeling to know you are helping these amazing people and if you are considering a career in social development, being involved at the grassroots level with a women’s empowerment initiative is the ideal foundation for a career in social development.

Critical Language Skills

There are many job opportunities for Thai women who can speak English and we devote a lot of our resources towards helping single mothers develop their English language skills. This is an ideal placement for anyone who is interested in becoming a language teacher and whether you are confident enough to plan your own lessons, or would rather assist another volunteer, your input will be very welcome.

Friends For Asia are proud to be involved in the many projects that empower the local population and all of our volunteers take away a unique experience when they return home, and for many, it is the start of a new career.