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The Philosophy of Fun

7th Nov 2017

Thailand is widely known as ‘The Land of Smiles’ and sanuk contributes significantly to that well-earned reputation.

One of the first words I learned when I moved to Thailand was ‘sanuk’ and how important it is in Thai culture.  Loosely translated it means ‘fun’ and the use of the word is widespread. In fact it means much more than fun.  It involves taking pleasure and enjoyment from whatever is happening, mundane, boring, exciting or challenging.  Sanuk adds another dimension to the experience of Thailand and the culture is imbibed with this playful and light hearted approach to life. 
 
The Philosophy of Fun | SenSpa, Hampshire Blog
Perhaps it is attributable to the Buddhist influence, but it seems to me that maintaining harmonious relationships and engaging in a friendly way is as important as achieving the goal in Thai culture and sanuk plays a major part in this. For example when haggling in the market it is vital that a good dose of sanuk is added to oil the wheels of the deal.
 
Becoming bellicose, outraged or too serious in any negotiation always ends badly. Keeping a sense of humour and playfulness, no matter how outlandish the price generally wins through. The more fun loving, the lower the price!  It’s a bonus that both parties have a jolly nice time in the process.
 
In fact, rather than dignifying a customer who adopts an aggressive negotiating style a street vendor may simply refuse to cooperate and will wave away the deal. Humour goes a long way in building rapport.
 
We Westerners can be perceived as taking things far too seriously and when compared with the good natured and fun loving Thai way, they might be right in thinking that. We can learn from the Thai people in this respect and I certainly did when I lived and worked there - my goal orientated ways did not always achieve results.
 
My first year working in Thailand was fraught with confusion but when I realised that my task focused approach sometimes overrode the importance to my Thai colleagues of harmonious relationships, I soon got the message and then life became less stressful, smoother and more enjoyable. Tasks were completed and jobs got done, but in a different way.
 
The Philosophy of Fun in Thailand | SenSpa, Hampshire Blog
In a nutshell, sanuk is an essential concept to understand when visiting Thailand. Adopting it is one of the best strategies for an enjoyable life with the added bonus of remaining young at heart.
Inspired by the concept of Sanuk, find out more about the NEW spa day offer:

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The Philosophy of Fun | SenSpa Blog

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