March 22, 2010
TSEA p. 1
Animist Interview with My Mom
Relationship to Interviewer:Interviewer’sMother
Date and Place: March 15th
Languagein which interview wasconducted:Thai
1. What are some things you do to practice your religion?
“I pray and meditate beforeIgoto bedeverynight.Prayingandmeditationmakesme
concentrate andalsomakesme thinkaboutgoodthingsaftera full dayof stressand work.
Meditationisa formof cumulatinggoodkarmas.Duringmeditation,Ithinkaboutthe mind,
Buddha,Buddha’steaching,andBuddhistmonk(the three mainelementsneededto
concentrate onwhile praying)”
2. Whydo we have a spirit house?
“It isthe house of spiritsandangels whoexistsineacharea.Buddhistsbelieve thatspiritsexists
everywhere andthatwe needtorespectthem.The spiritsandangelsthatlive inthe housesare
to protectthe membersof the householdsfrombadspiritsandbadluck.”
3. Is there spirit house at your work place? Why?
“Well,itisfor the same reasonfor havingspirithousesinhouseholds.Butinadditionto
protectingthe householdmembers,the spirithousesare alsobelievedtohelpimproving
businessandbringingingood thingslike opportunityandincome tooffice places.”
4. Whenyou visita spirithouse,what do you have to do?
“Pay respecttospiritsthatexist,askfor protectionandgoodluck.People alsobringfruitsand
coconut juice and/orsweetsodas.”
5. Do you know why the offeringshave to be sweetfood?
“I’m notreally sure aboutthat”
6. What are the occasionsthat you have to displayrespect?
“Whenwe boughtthe land,there wasa veryoldspirithouse locatedinthe areaso we had to do
a religiousceremonyto kindof asktheirpermission,more like toinformthem, tobuildanew
and nicerhouse forthem.It isa form of showingrespectsothatthese spiritsprotectus.”
7. What are some of the amuletsyou own?
“I keepa marble inmywallet,Iweara necklace with a Buddhaimage sometimes,Ialsohave a
“Palak-Krit”(awoodencarvingof a penis) inmywallet.The marble isbelievedtoreflectoutbad
thingsandI wear the Buddhaimage whenItravel for travel.Asforthe woodenpenis,itisa
symbol of birthof a mankindsimilartothe storyof Adam andEve,I guess.Most people believe
theyattract moneyand wealth.”
8. What about an astrologer,can you describe one of your experiences?
“He can predictforanythingthat people wanttoknow abouttheirfuture;work,love,enemy,
business,etc.The differentmethodsastrologersuse topredictone’sfutureare birthdate and
time,handpatterns,orthe one that Thaislike the mostiswhentheyare possessedbyaspirit.
Theyare usuallypossessedbyaholyspiritthatwill speakthroughthe personabouttheirfuture.
9. Do you think it’s real?
“For mysteriousthingslike this,IwouldsaythatI don’tbelieve itbutIwouldstill respectit