Who to greet, when and why.

As already mentioned a number of times, we’re being greeted along the road all day, thousands of times. Great friendly smiles an hello from children and adults. Especially the very little ones make it a sport to yell as hard and as long as they can, running and waving in the mean time. We wondered why we, and not everyone else, are bestowed with all this kindness. As a test we once rented a motorbike (in Phonsavan to see the 3 sites of the plain of the jars). We drove app. 60 kms and nothing happened. But as soon as we’re on our bikes it’s bingo. It appears that a falang must be clearly recognised as such, so low speed and good visibility is necessary.

My idea is as follows; a long time ago Buddha told the first mother of all mothers to train her children to wave and greet all falang (westerners). This is considered a good deed and will earn merit. This will contribute to the chances of a better next life. So since then all mothers were trained by their mothers and that’s why we see so often a baby’s arm waving to us through the manipulation of the mother. And also the voice is being used. This training conditions the choldren in such a way, that they cannot but greet and be enthousiastic when a falang comes in sight. And that good behaviour sticks is proven by the friendliness of the older pepole.

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