March 18, 2010
TSEA Animist Belief in Thailand Interview
Interviewee: Jitprasong Phaken, 37 years old, Originally from Udon Thani from a
family of rice farmers.
Relationship to the interviewer: Maid and nanny
Date and place of the interview: March 18 at my house
Language in which interview was conducted: Thai
Y: First of all, do you have an amulet? Where did you buy it and why?
J: Yes, I have three, I donated money to a temple and the monks gave them to me.
They protect me and calm my mind.
Y: Do you buy amulets for your children?
J: Yes, my son got his amulet the same way I did.
Y: Do the amulets bring good luck?
J: Hmm, let’s just say they protect me and help me suffer less
Y: Have you ever seen an astrologist?
J: Not really, some are accurate and some are not, I don’t bother myself with them. I
prefer going to temples the traditional Buddhist way.
Y: Is there a spirit house back at your home?
J: Nope, I only go to temples, some people are scared of ghosts and believe in all that
stuff but I’m Buddhist so I don’t concern myself with those things.
Y: Do you believe in ghosts?
J: Yes, they definitely exist but let’s not talk about them.
Y: Do you have a tattoo?
J: Some people have them but I don’t, I’m scared of getting them because they must
Y: Have you been to a lai phee ceremony?
J: Yes, I’ve been to them at my village. It was very big and it’s village wide. I was
just an observer though.
Y: Have you been to a Sai Sin ceremony? What is it for?
J: Yes, it was at a temple. There are two types, one is a form of exorcism and another
one is to bring in good luck. The exorcism kinds are usually in forests but I’ve only
been to the ones in the temples, those are the auspicious ones.
Y: How many times do you make pilgrimages to temples per year?
J: I go a lot, I don’t really remember. I always go during religious holidays like
Visakabucha day and the like. Even when there are no special occasions I still go.