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Money Giving Haggling Summary

The Thai Perception of Money

How much to give

Giving alms

Certain expenses for Thais are on food, bills, etc but there is an amount of money referred to as a "social tax" for Thais. ѧ pahsee sangkom is an informal word for such money given to others on weddings, funerals and other religious occasions.

On most occasions, an invitation card is given to guests and what people do is to take the card out and put money in the envelope and give it back. The name of the guest is on the envelope so the host knows who the money is from.

The amount of money given varies from occasion to occasion and depends on the position of the guest in relation to the host and how close they are to the host.

New bank notes are selected to put in the envelope. For weddings even numbers are perceived to be good, however a 500 Baht note may also used. The amount of money given to the couple is usually a figure like 200, 400, 500 or 1000 Baht. 200 Baht is very low these days but it depends on how much you can afford. 500 Baht or more might be appropriate for bosses and 200 is acceptable for people you know, however, if guests are partners they might give 400 Baht or more between them. An odd number (the first digit) like 300 is acceptable for a guest to give.

People tend to put less money on other occasions like funerals or religious events. 100-200 Baht is OK to give. One typical religious ceremony is when a man becomes a monk. Like other occasions, invitation cards are given out to friends and relatives. There is a reception after the end of the ceremony and it is always held during the day.

The most popular religious events in Thailand are һ paba or Թ gatin. On these occasions a group of people hold an event to raise money for a temple. A number of envelopes, with a letter stating the objectives of the event, are given out to the people they know. Unlike weddings, anyone could be given a һ or Թ envelope but it's mostly the people the organisers know both intimately or extended family. When the organisers are going to the temple to give the money is called ʹһ tod paba or ʹԹ tod gatin The spelling of ʹ tod is the same as the verb to fry but it has a different meaning. It means to give, but only in this context. How much do you put in a ͧһ song paba or ͧԹ song gatin ? A 20 Baht note is fine as in some parts of the country like Isaan one might be given more than 10 envelopes from different organisers so not everyone can afford to put a lot in every ͧһ or Թ

Value of money

Coins are considered low value for Thais so when you give money to people avoid using all coins. For tipping at small restaurants or car parks (car park attendants) 5 or 10 Baht coins are acceptable. For beggars, giving 5 or 10 Baht coins is fine or even 1 Baht is OK.

ѧsocial tax for ceremonies
һ/Թrobes/robes or offering for a Buddhist monk
ʹto give

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