SAWAD-DEEKA (Hello from Thailand)

SAWAD-DEEKA, (Hello from Thailand) this is the most common greeting you hear in Thailand. It is equivalent to our Hello! I would like to share with you a little of my experience while working with the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Bangkok, Thailand.

The invitation came from the Formator of the Congregation, after attending a month’s sabbatical at Baulkham Hills in November last year. The Holistic programme offered in Thailand needed to be translated verbatim. This proved to be challenging, as well as humorous on some occasions. The group consisted of five sisters preparing for life commitment, five Silver Jubilarians, and five Golden. The Mother General, her Assistant, the Formator and the Interpreter formed part of the group.

The fact that I was the only non speaking Thai person in the group, gave me the opportunity to observe and to be fully immersed into the Thai culture and traditions. It also gave me an intimate experience of the customs and life of the Thai people, especially the sisters and their associates with whom I worked. During my time in Thailand I was privileged to visit villages in the South of the country and to see the many works initiated by missionaries from Italy and France, in particular.

The gentleness of the demure Thai people with their customs and traditions are richly steeped in rituals and symbols which form a very vital part of the Thai culture.

I was indeed greatly enriched by the experience and privileged to partake in a culture so diverse from my own European one.

by Lianella Girardi rsj