The Thai New Year just ended, and I wanted to share everything I learned about my ancestry/heritage this week! This was the first year ever I got to spend Songkran in Thailand with my family. It was such a new, and fun experience that I am so grateful I got to be apart of.
A Brief Overview of Songkran
Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year festival. The celebration focuses on embracing goodwill, love, compassion. and thankfulness, using water as the means of expression.
The word Songkran comes from Sanskrit meaning to move forward as well as referring to the passage of the sun from one sign of the Zodiac to another. This technically means that there are twelve Songkrans each year, but the significance of this specific Songkran is when the sun enters the sign of Aries the Ram. The event was also closely related to the Vernal Equinox.
In the past, celebrating New Year at the time of the Vernal Equinox was very common. Songkran can be compared to celebrations similar to the Indian Holi Festival, the Chinese Ching Ming, and the Christian Festival of Easter.
The dates of Songkran were originally set by astrological calculations, but the celebration is now fixed on 13 -15 of April.
Songkran was the official New Year until 1888, when it was switched to a fixed date of April 1st. However, it wasn't until 1940, that New Years was shifted to January 1st. Currently in Thailand, New Year is now officially celebrated on January 1st like almost all other countries.
Day by Day Activities
The Focused Values
Studies show that only about 4% of people who start to learn a language through school reach basic fluency after 3 years. Therefore, on is able to conclude that about 96% of students either drop out or fail to achieve basic fluency. Learning a language is not necessarily hard, it just takes time and practice.
How long does it take to learn a language?
It depends. Learning a language can take anywhere between three months to two years including speaking, writing, and reading.
Why learning another language is important to me.
I just moved to Thailand from New York, USA and the language has probably been the most difficult thing for me to learn. I took three semesters of Thai at Hills Learning in NYC to prepare me for the big move, but I have so much more to learn. A semester at Hills Learning included one 3 hour class once a week for 8 weeks. Taking the classes was great at teaching me basic beginner Thai language but since I could rarely practice Thai in a natural environment the language was difficult to maintain. Now, since I've moved to Thailand I have been able to practice more of the language in person. I have three months to prepare for Miss Universe Thailand and my own personal goal is to have basic fluency by the competition (which is three to four months away). Learning a new language that quickly is extremely hard but not impossible.
After some mild research, I have come to the conclusion that I must maintain a strict learning schedule in order to become fluent in the Thai Language in three months. The Thai language is categorized as a level 3 (out of 5) language. This means that Thai is one of the more difficult languages to learn. For a level 3 language it takes about 720 hours to reach fluency, which is between 48 to 72 days (2 to 3 months) if one is able to study 10 hours a day. This will be difficult for me to accomplish, but I can definitely do it! I have made myself a schedule that I must follow in order to accomplish my goals.
1. Education has the ability to increase Employment Opportunities
Finding a job, let alone a career, is not easy, especially during these periods of economic turmoil. One often finds themselves in competition with hundreds of applicants for an open position. Additionally, when the education level is lower there is an increase in because of the number of applicants is greater for the same low-paying entry-level position. However, when one is able to increase qualifications and educational background, that person is able to increase the chances of obtaining a fulfilling job.
2. Education has the ability to secure a higher income
Higher educated individuals with varied experiences are more likely to receive high-paying, expert jobs. Credentials are extremely motivating to a potential employer. Intense studying throughout higher education shows potential employers you are not afraid of hard work, and you are able to fulfill your goals. Motivation and goal setting is a huge advantage as employers prefer a responsible and knowledgeable workforce.
3. Education helps to develop Problem-solving Skills
The educational system teaches students ways to obtain and develop critical and logical thinking while creating independent thoughts and decisions. When children grow up, they are faced with many challenging issues. If a person has spent years educating themselves, he/she should be able to make confident and sound decisions on various topics and situations. Education helps people to form independent opinions as well as discovering solid and reliable arguments, and evidence to support and confirm decisions.
4. Education improves the Economy
People who grew up in poverty but received the opportunity of continuing eduction have a higher chance of transforming their lives, therefore contributing to a decrease in society’s poverty rates. Education assists countries in growing economically since obtaining knowledge and being able to apply knowledge to the everyday domestic and global markets fosters the improvement of everyones lives.
5. Providing a Prosperous and Happy Life
Education ensures more opportunities to obtain a comfortable lifestyle. Therefore, people should consider educating themselves to help find a career that to be successful and satisfied in. Education helps increase individual reputation. In turn, increasing once education has the opportunity to provide financial resources for stable lives. Education can provide stability and increases self-confidence. Ultimately, education can lead to creating a positive environment for families and communities.
6. Educating yourself is giving Back to the Community
Educated people are able to understand the importance of a stable and secure community. Educated individuals are more likely to take part in projects that improve the neighborhood and society. After all, getting involved in your community is extremely important in helping the less fortunate in building a better place for everyone.
7. Education can encourage the creation of a Modern Society
Education is a key essence for modern society. Individuals must learn about culture, history and other important aspects of a society to contribute to the progression of economical and political stability. Education molds people into leaders through the knowledge about varying subjects as well as fostering emotional intelligence and a true value system.
8. Bridging the Domestic and International Borders
Specifically, digital education is able to connect various individuals and organizations around the world. Borders are no longer relevant in the exchange of education. Being able to communicate and share opinions with people from other countries and cultures created broader horizons and helps the world understand and appreciate each other.
9. Creating equal opportunities
The importance of education in society has always been as irrespective as caste, race, gender, religion. Educated people tend to be treated as equals based off of individual knowledge and competence. Educated individuals also tend to be more open-minded, and they are able to listen, understand, and accept various views regardless of the differences.
10. Introducing Empowerment
Education is the key in turning a weakness into a strength. Education offers numerous tools and ways to understand, and resolve problems. Lastly, education provides individuals with considerable mental agility to make the correct and informed decisions to answer call to actions when needed.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” - Nelson Mandela
Having a platform you wholeheartedly support is crucial in making a positive impact on societies around the world. That is why I have chosen to make education the main focus of my platform. Volunteer teaching in Thailand is a powerful way that I will be able to make a difference. Teaching English will be the ultimate goal of volunteering. Through establishing a strong grasp of the English language, students in Thailand will be able to access greater opportunities in terms of further education and careers.
Volunteers are an extremely valuable resource to teachers and students. Volunteers not only benefit the community around them but also their own personal growth including sharpening teaching skills, becoming better leaders, and developing a sense of pride in contributing to students' success. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” as Nelson Mandela said. Education helps people become better, well-rounded citizens by influencing morals and increasing overall knowledge of society and the world as well as creating opportunities to obtain life-long career paths. Education shows society the importance of hard work and perseverance while also helping individuals mentally grow and develop. Therefore, through education, teachers are able to influence the improvements of society through the knowledge of science, history, rights, laws, and regulations. Specifically, learning languages through educational processes assists in the interactions with different people in order to share ideas, knowledge, and practices. Learning languages encourages people to live in harmony.
I believe a platform that revolves around serving the growth of children can be a positive, influential method to help the innocent humans make tremendous impacts in the future.
Perpetua Smith has been studying business for over 7 years. Her main goal is to spread awareness on various topics to encourage and foster the education of others. She understands that information online has become oversaturated and hard to consolidate, therefore she is hoping to make information more easily understood and accessible.