“It’s up to you”

In class teacher was talking about how Thai’s wear specific colors according to the day. But one of color she warned us about was wearing green, followed by – “but it doesn’t matter nowadays and it’s up to you”. Wait so what did she actually mean? Is it acceptable to wear green or not?

The only way I could find out the true answer was to put it to the test. So I bought a shirt with the exact green (shown in picture) that teacher warned about, and wore it on the day you’re supposed to. At first, I didn’t seem to notice any problems with it. In fact, the Thai’s in the school complemented me for being observant. But when I hit the streets, that’s when I found out what she really meant.

Notice something odd?

I was eating dinner at the MBK food court when this sight caught my attention. All the vendors were wearing the exact green I was wearing. This includes all the janitors, and those managing the cleanup. Oddly enough, most food courts use green in their logo, so it’s no wonder everyone working there is wearing it. Either here or in the lower end department stores like Big-C/Tops/Lotus/AIS (aka Walmart) only. Yes, even those logos all have green in them. But never on the streets, or in the office, or anywhere else for that matter – although I have seen people wear dark green. So my best guess is that bright green is associated with those of the lower class, so Thai’s (in Bangkok at least) prefer not to wear it.

I couldn’t help but feel a bit embarrassed. Here I was thinking how cool it would be to follow Thai traditions when subliminally (as Thai’s will never tell you directly what you are doing is wrong) it can make you the joke of the day. I’m glad I didn’t carry out the same experiment for red/pink/orange/purple, as teacher gave a different, although reasonable, objection for each. Don’t wear pink especially as a guy because it’s too girly. Don’t wear yellow unless its Monday because its reserved to commemorate the King. Don’t wear orange because you’ll look like a monk. But they were all prefaced with, “it doesn’t matter, it’s all up to you”.

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