Course Description

Throughout this course, students will learn how to communicate in Thai language as they develop their understanding towards Thai culture. The course will provide the environment where students will learn and practice basic skills of listening, speaking, writing, and critical thinking through the content relating to Thai culture in various aspects.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chui Chai Prahm

-video for the final project-

Chui Chai Prahm is a Thai classical court dance, performed as an introductory play to show sedate motions of a young Brahmin priest, who is Narayana God-incarnate, in one of the most popular scenes from Ramakien story.

Ramakien is a Thai version of the ancient India’s classic epic, Ramayana. The story is about Rama, who brought an army to bring back his kidnapped bride, Sita. In this particular scene where Chui Chai Prahm dance is performed, Ganesha tried to stop Parashurama, an avatar of Vishnu, when trying to visit his parents, Shiva and Uma, who were sleeping. Ganesha and Parashurama then got into a fight, where Ganesha lost one of his tusks. When Uma knew of the incident, she was so angry that she cursed Parashurama. Wanting to break the curse, Parashurama prayed to Narayana, who then transformed into a young Brahmin priest to dance before Uma. Uma was very pleased with the dance that she dispelled the curse as Narayana asked.

The dance that Narayana performed in front of Uma is known as Chui Chai Prahm or Chui Chai of a Brahmin. Chui chai itself means “transformation” while Prham means “Brahmin”. Therefore, this dance is about the transformation of a divine into a young Brahmin, who was so beautiful that could make a god forgive the person who hurt her son.

Chui Chai Prahm
Lyrics written by King Rama VI
(rough translation by Kalyakorn Naksompop)

Oh Chui Chai
The way you dance and the way you look
So elegant and so fine
More than a person could be
Those two eyes when glancing
How splendid they could be

Oh beauty

The more I look at you
The more amusing it be
Your hands and the way you move
So delicate and so captivating
As graceful as a divine


Admirable you Brahmin
Lovely and flawless
So radiant as if you’re golden
The more I look at you
The more admiring you be


Pretty young man
The way you smile
So innocent and so lively
Like a blooming flower
Enchanting and unforgettable


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Course Objectives

After the students have completed the course learning activities, the students should be able to:

1. Develop basic communication skills in Thai as well as the critical thinking ability.
2. Learn about Thai culture.
3. Able to account what is learned in class to create new meaningful things.
3. Know how to adapt cultural context into contemporary world.