Buddhist Kindness and Thai Superstition
A Thai colleague of mine noticed that I was wearing a Buddha necklace one day and asked if I was Buddhist. Our school follows a Buddhist approach, and I try to follow life with a Buddhist approach.
A few days later he stopped me on my way into school and showed me a Buddha amulet. “Suay” (beautiful) I said.
Then he said, “For you,” and gave it to me. I was touched.
With his limited English and my nit noy Thai he explained to me (and my bilingual Thai colleagues who translated when I didn’t understand) that it was a Buddha from the King. Inside the pendant there are 9 hairs from the King as a relic.
“Why 9?” I asked.
“Nine is the lucky number for Thailand,” my colleague Goy explained.
“Why is it lucky?” I wondered aloud.
“Nine is pronounced gao, which sounds similar to what means a step forward.”
I am now stepping forward auspiciously with my new 9 King haired Buddha amulet. Khap khun kha Kru Tee. I feel blessed, quite literally.