Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thai time

Traditionally the Thais divide the day into four parts and the way they tell time relates to that. Back when there were few clocks and means to tell time the monasteries rang gongs or beat drums to indicate the time of day. They used a gong during the daylight hours and a drum in the evening and the people making the security rounds after midnight beat some type of metal plates that were supposedly quieter. So the daylight hours are reported as moong (from the sound of a gong) - so you have one moong, two moong, etc. Then starting at seven PM you have one tum (sound of the drum), two tum, etc. Then after midnight you have dtii one, dtii two (dtii being the sound of the metal plate supposedly). Noon, midnight and the six o'clock hours divide up the day and were rendered by many rapid beatings of drum or gong depending on the time of day. It's complicated but makes sense once you understand the reasoning behind it. That's some of what I learned in my Thai lesson today. Kind of cool actually.

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