Thailand Dancers

It’s a no brainer- It isn’t that hard to choose (Thailand)

Thailand is a country that is located in Southeast Asia. The country’s official name is the Kingdom of Thailand, and it used to be called Siam.

Thailand’s National Flag

Thailand Flag

The National Flag has five horizontal stripes of three colors: Red, White, and Blue which has a very significant meaning.

The vibrant color red signifies the life-blood of the Thai people. The white stripe symbolizes the purity of Buddhism, the National religion and the dominant blue stripe represents the Thai King, the Monarchy and the important part it plays in the daily life of Thais.

The present national Thai flag, the “Tri-Rong” or three sacred colors, was designed by King Rama VI.

Thailand General Knowledge

There is also the magnificent capital city of Thailand called Bangkok, and it is also the largest city in the country.

The country has a population of approximately 67,959,000, making it the 20th most populous country in the world. The country has a total area of 198,120 square miles and is the 50th largest country in the world based on area.

The largest ethnic group is Central Thai and the official language spoken is also called Thai, and over 95% of Thailand’s residents practice Buddhism.

National Symbols of Thailand

Guess what else I was happy to learn? There are several National symbols of Thailand.

First is the Emblem of Thailand featuring the Garuda.

Emblem of Thailand

Emblem of Thailand

The National Flower is called the flower of the Ratchaphruek or Golden Rain Tree (Cassia fistula) as seen below:

Golden Rain Tree in bloom

Golden Rain Tree in bloom

And guess what I just learnt? We have it in the Cayman Islands too. Where? At Camana Bay of course.

If you look close enough, you will see many signs identifying Camana Bay’s unique flora and fauna from the Dart Nursery- which is home to more than 180 unique species of palms and 500 species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. Cool!

Then we have the opulent Thai pavilion or Sala Thai as national architectural element.

Thai pavilion

Thai pavilion

Sala Thai, is an open pavilion, used as a meeting place and to protect people from sun and rain. A person who builds a sala at a temple or in a public place gains religious merit. A sala located in a temple is called a salawat. Some temples have large salas where laity can hear sermons or receive religious instruction.

These are called sala kan parian meaning ‘pavilion where monks learn for the Parian examination.

The city halls or offices of the province governors are called sala wa kan (literally meaning ‘government pavilion’) or sala klang changwat (literally meaning a ‘provincial main pavilion).

And finally, there is the National Animal which is the Thai Elephant.

Thai Elephant

Thai Elephant

Thailand’s Constitutional Monarchy

The country of Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and has been since 1932. It has also been said to be one of the few remaining countries in the world to have this type of government.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn has been on the throne since 2016.

King

King of Thailand, King Vajiralongkorn

The King of Thailand, King Vajiralongkorn (or Rama X), is the current monarch, reigning since the death of his father Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) on 13 October 2016. He has only exercised the role of monarch since 1 December 2016.

The constitution stipulates that although the sovereignty of the state is vested in the people, the king will exercise such powers through the three branches of the Thai government.

Under the constitution the king is given very little power, but remains a figurehead and symbol of the Thai nation.

As the head of state, however, he is given some powers and has a role to play in the workings of government.

According to the constitution, the king is head of the armed forces. He is required to be Buddhist as well as the defender of all faiths in the country.

The king also retained some traditional powers such as the power to appoint his heirs, the power to grant pardons, and the royal assent. The king is aided in his duties by the Privy Council of Thailand.

Cost of Living in Thailand

Thai currency

There is no magic number for the cost of living in Thailand because everyone is different.
Everyone comes from a different background, has different tastes, has different spending habits and different budgets with different life styles.

 

I recently watched a fantastic romantic comedy called Crazy Rich Asians, which was about a poor girl who finds her Prince Charming – and is then thrown into the extravagant, glitzy, catty world of the Singapore elite.

The idea that an everyday woman could meet a dashing man and end up marrying into aristocratic society is as we all know, a well-worn, and well-loved, story convention that has built the foundation for tales like Pride and Prejudice and Cinderella.

However, in reality, for those of you considering Thailand as your premier destination for building a family, here are a few other things to consider:

• Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?
• Are you married?
• Do you have children?

Thailand’s current constitution

The country’s current constitution was put forth in April of 2017. Thailand has so far had seventeen Constitutions. Throughout, the basic structure of government has remained the same.
The current (2016) constitution, drafted by a body appointed by the military junta (NCPO), states in section 4:

“The human dignity, rights, liberty and equality of the people shall be protected”.

[1] This is unchanged from the 2007 constitution.[2] Sections 26 to 63 set out an extensive range of specific rights in such areas as criminal justice, education, non-discrimination, religion, and freedom of expression.

Heroes Square

Cayman Islands

The government of Thailand is composed of three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary.

The system of government is modelled after the Westminster system.

All branches of government are concentrated in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand.

Miss Universe Thailand "Sophida Kanchanarin

Miss Universe Thailand “Sophida Kanchanarin

Speaking of systems and branches- did you know that recently a 23-year-old investment banker was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2018 in a glittering finale held June 30 at the at Royal Paragon Hall, Siam Paragon.

Miss Universe Thailand “Sophida Kanchanarin”

Sophida Kanchanarin, who holds a finance degree from the University of Nevada in the USA, will now represent the Land of Smiles in the next edition of the Miss Universe pageant.

It has been said that Sophida Kanchanarin has big shoes to fill following Thailand’s recent resurgence in the Miss Universe competition.

After three consecutive placements (2015 – Top 10, 2016 – Top 6, 2017 – Top 5), and guess what? The Land of Smiles is setting its sights on winning its third Miss Universe crown.

What do you think? Is it a no brainer? Lol!

Here’s another fun fact that I found- A common greeting in Thai culture is “Have you eaten?” followed by “How are you?” Cool!

Agriculture and Tourism

Thai Ladies

Agriculture and Tourism are the two most important and lucrative industries in Thailand.

One of Thailand’s many attractions is called Udon Thani.

Water lilies

Image credit: @puyfai_th

Although Udon Thani is off many tourists’ radars, it’s known to have one of the largest expat populations in Thailand, making it one of the best places to visit for those who don’t speak much Thai (like me!). The best part is, it only takes a 45-minute flight to get here from Bangkok.

Muek Lek Sunflower Fields

Muek Lek Sunflower Fields: image credit: @izzy__z

Thailand’s biggest sunflower field is called Muek Lek Sunflower Fields and it is tucked away in this little province of Lopburi in central Thailand.

According to my research, it only takes approximately 2 hours from Bangkok to get there.

Apparently, you can find all things sunflower-related there-sunflower seeds, honey, and oil just to name a few. Cool!

Mistreatment of Elephants

During my research however, I was grieved to learn that it’s common knowledge that elephants in Thailand are often abused and tortured for human gain.

Thai Elephant

Thai Elephant

The mistreatment of elephants is one of the most notorious animal welfare problems in Thailand.

There are elephant camps across the country that raise elephants in captivity (or snatch them from the wild) and use them in shows and for tourists to ride on.

For the most part, the training of these captive elephants involves wrenching young elephants from their mothers, and torturing them into submission, breaking their spirit. Even then, life isn’t good for them.

Many are kept in chains, with limited room to roam and are controlled by the use of force, and made to do unnatural tricks. If you want to see elephants in Thailand, do your research and find a responsible elephant project.

Elephant Nature Park is one of the most famous organizations and best-known elephant conservation project in Thailand. The center was founded in 1995 and is located near Chiang Mai, in Thailand’s north.

More than 35 elephants roam free here, and many of these have been saved from torturous camps that exploit elephants for tourism or logging purposes. The center is also home to dogs, cats, and other rescued animals.

Thailand is a country whose landmarks showcase its history, while its cities show the modern conveniences of today.

As I stated in my title- it’s a no brainer; the country of Thailand is a land that boasts stunning flora and fauna, natural beauty, and historical landmarks and that is what makes that country a great place to live or visit.

It’s a no brainer! It isn’t that hard to choose.

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Night School

Night School-Day School: The Power of AAA Dow Jones Performances (Aptitude + Ability + Ambition)

We all were young once. Many of us still feel that way even though our bodies have a different interpretation.

Night School

I believe education or schooling, whether its Night School or Day School, is important for everyone and the extent of schooling in any society is tied to its level of economic development.

According to my most recent studies, the word school is from a Greek root word that means “leisure”.

In ancient Greece, famous teachers such as Socrates, Aristotle and Plato taught aristocratic, upper-class men who had plenty of spare time.

Plato (429-347 BC) was born in fifth-century Athens to a wealthy family. As a young Athenian of his station, he was expected to pursue politics and such worthy matters.

Instead Plato decided to follow the path of his mentor, Socrates (470-399 BC) and became a philosopher. In ancient times Athens was home to some of the most extraordinary accomplishments of philosophy, art, and science in human history. Plato was born in a time known as the city’s “Golden Age” in the fifth century BC.

I’m delighted to also suggest a movie I’ve watched years ago which I thought was magnificently created to depict what life must have been like during that time. Even though the emphasis was placed on Sparta, which was a small city in the rugged mountains of southern Greece and was feared for its military might, we are still able to see the connection to their neighbors in Athens.

Leonidas (GERARD BUTLER) bids farewell to his son Pleistarchos (GIOVANI ANTONIO CIMMINO) and wife Gorgo (LENA HEADEY) as the 300 begin their march north in Warner Bros. Pictures’, Legendary Pictures’ and Virtual Studios’ action drama “300,” distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.
PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE — USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION

Based on evidence of the past and clear and continuous events experienced in the present, it has now been widely perceived that both politics and religion are still the most heated topics and note-worthy matters in our society today. Many cultures around the world and their people are passionate about these topics.

The same has been reported to be true in ancient China, where famous philosopher Confucius (K’ung Fu-tzu) was known to have only shared his wisdom with a privileged few.

Speaking of China, guess what I found out? The Musuo is a very small society in China’s Yunnan province, in which women control most property, select their sexual partners, and make most decisions about everyday life.

The Musuo appear to be operating with the Matriarchy (“rule of mothers”) type of system. This is a form of social organization in which females dominate males and have only rarely been documented in human history.

I’ve mentioned that interesting fact only because further on I will explain what Patriarchy (“rule of fathers”) is all about and how that has affected equality in our world today.

However, I strongly and passionately believe that neither one of these systems should be the standard or the social-norm in our world today.

Did you know that the limited schooling that takes place in lower-income countries reflects the national culture? The way that country is view by the rest of the world?

In Iran, for example, schooling is closely tied to Islam. Similarly, schooling in Bangladesh (Asia), Zimbabwe (Africa), and Nicaragua (Latin America) has been shaped by the distinctive cultural traditions of these nations.

Unfortunately, all lower-income countries have one trait in common when it comes to schooling. There is not much of it.

Here are the facts- According to World Bank 2011, In the world’s poorest nations (including several in Central America), about one-fourth of all children never get to go to school.

Another fact- World-wide, more than one-third of all children never reach the secondary grades or high school. As a result, about one-sixth of the world’s people cannot read or write. Research shows that reading and writing skills are widespread in high-income countries, where illiteracy rates generally are below 5 percent.

I’ve also learnt that in much of Latin America, illiteracy is unfortunately more common and one of the consequences are due to limited economic development.

Statistics also shows that in twelve nations-most of them in Africa- illiteracy is the rule rather than the exception. Many of their people rely on the oral tradition of face-to-face communication rather than the written word.

So, based on what you’ve read and after scrutinizing the above world map, do you agree or disagree and how can we help each other raise our standards?

However, saying all of that, you know what I have come to realize- its even greater odds to be educated if you’re a girl in certain countries. Many poor families depend on the earnings of their children, and in places like India where child labor has already been outlawed, many children still continue to work in factories-weaving rugs or making hand-crafted items which limits their opportunities for any time or kind of education.

Patriarchy (rule of fathers) is a form of social organization in which males dominate females and is found almost everywhere in the world. This type of system shapes Indian education and most Indians parents are joyful at the birth of a boy because he and his future wife will both contribute income to the family.

Whereas it is seen as an economic cost to raising a girl. In their culture, parents must provide a dowry (a gift of wealth to the groom’s family) and after her marriage, a daughter’s work only benefits her husband’s family. Therefore, many Indians see less reason to invest in the schooling of girls.

Did you also know that education has not always been part of the way of life for the Japanese? Before industrialization brought mandatory education in 1872, only a privileged few attended schools.

Now, Japan is a force to be reckoned with and its educational system is widely praised for producing some of the world’s highest achievers! Results continue to show that Japanese schooling continue to produce impressive results and in many notable fields such as mathematics and science, Japanese students continue to outperform students in almost every other high-income nation, including the United States. Wow!

I hope they make time for a love life eventually or there won’t be many of them left. Lol!

In Great Britain during the Middle Ages, education was a privilege of the British Nobility, who studied classical subjects, having little concern at the time for the practical skills necessary and needed to earn a living.

However, as the Industrial Revolution came around it became evident that there was a need for an educated labor force, and as working-class people demanded access to schools, a rising share of the population entered the classroom. British law now requires every child to attend school until the age of sixteen. I like that!

Now we can’t forget the United States in this article- after all they were among the first countries to set a goal of mass education for their people. Studies show that by 1850, about half of the young people between the ages of five and nineteen were enrolled in school (1 Thessalonians 5:19, “Do not quench the Spirit”). We still need the bible in our schools!

And by 1918, all states had passed a mandatory education law requiring children to attend school until the age of sixteen or completion of eight grade.

1 Thessalonians 5: 1-24 (The Day of the Lord) says,

5  Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2  for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3  While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

4  But you, brother and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5  You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6  So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8  But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet (Kind of like a Spartan Soldier).

9  For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10  He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

12  Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13  Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14  And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

15  Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16  Rejoice always, 17  pray continually, 18  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19  Do not quench the Spirit. 20  Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21  but test them all; hold on to what is good,

 
22  reject every kind of evil. 23  May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24  The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

The United States history states that Thomas Jefferson thought the new nation could become democratic only if the people learned to read. Today, the United States has an outstanding record of higher education for its people.

Education is constantly being promoted in the United States and nearly all American’s dream of higher education and equal opportunities. National surveys show that most people think education is crucial to personal success, and more and more people are starting to believe the dream!

Everyone should have a chance to get an education, and it would be wonderful to receive one that is in line with the personal ability and talent of that individual. Oh, what a dream that would be! But we all know that is everyone’s dream around the world but not the actual reality.

Many of the countries that I have mentioned above and others that were not mention but are definitely in the mix; realize the significance of education and its crucial importance to their economic development and increased equality.

So, what’s makes schools, colleges or universities so important? There are several variables. Well, number one’s pretty easy. It’s a good place to meet new people and interact.

Now please understand, everyone is different, and some people may require or function more effectively in a different environment. We are all not the same.

However, according to the definition of Sociology, which is the systematic study of the human society and the world around us, I can see such compounds as a great place to mix and mingle.

Second variable in the equation is that schools help to or at least they should help to identify and measure a child’s intelligence or aptitude. See my previous article called: An aptitude simply to Live

Alfred Binet was a psychologist who was commissioned by the French Government to devise an objective method for identifying children who were not doing well in school. He designed the first comprehensive intelligence test in the early 20th century. Then later on in 1916, Lewis Terman and his colleagues at Stanford University revised Binet’s test for use in the United States, resulting in the administered test gaining wide acceptance during the 1940s and 1950s.

From there, the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale was introduced and is still widely used. (Fourth Edition SB-IV).

I was also intrigued to find out that as time progressed test researchers developed a formula for expressing a child’s intellectual level that made it possible to compare children of different chronological ages (CA), which apparently are expressed in how old in years and months the children are.

This measurement was called the intelligence quotient (IQ) and is defined as follows:
IQ = MA/CA X 100

The computation of IQ made it possible to understand how a child’s intellectual ability compared to that of peers of the same chronological age.

However, there were problems with this ratio approach to IQ and now IQ is assessed using the deviation IQ approach. This approach assigns an IQ score by comparing an individual’s test score with the scores of other people of the same age range. David Wechsler (Wechester, 1974) is primarily known for developing this technique and was applied to IQ tests that both he and his colleagues developed.

The test for early childhood is the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, or WPPSI.

The test for childhood and adolescence is the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children or WISC and the test for adulthood is the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale or WAIS (“wace”).

An individual who takes any of these tests obtains a score that is compared statically to the scores of other people of the same age. The Wechsler IQ test is widely used although there are many other intelligence tests being used.

IQ is assumed to be normally distributed around an average score of 100, with about 2/3 of the general population scoring between 85 and 115 and almost 96% of the population scoring between 70 and 130. That leaves roughly 2% of the population scoring below 70 and another 2% scoring above 130, which is a popular cutoff point for defining giftedness.

However as much as we admire or perhaps despise the gifted, we can not and most not leave behind those who need us the most. Many children with disabilities around the world have either been hidden out of shame, misunderstood or mistreated.

Nevertheless, in the United States of America, the passing of the 1997 Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA-97), the reauthorization of this act in 2004 (IDEA-04), and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in 2002, we can safely say that they are making considerable steps to the needs of their most vulnerable citizens.

Within the Cayman Islands, the Government and the general population has also been working diligently to make improvements were necessary in this regard and I strongly believe this will only facilitate more unity, hope and ambition for the people of the Cayman Islands.

Remember , Influence should never have to stop with our generation or a person’s disability.