Thailand and Elephants

  Sah wah dee khaa – Hello Greeting in Thailand 

Just like there was a show written after visiting Africa and Japan, there is now a Thai show on the way. Having just come home from Thailand I am enjoying translating their language and customs into a fun children’s show. Do you have any Thai children in your classroom? “Renata’s Thailand Adventure Show” will educate children on all the fun and interesting facts through songs, dress ups and an inspiring story of an elephant named “Saza.”

My Thai experience included the priveledge of volunteering at ENP (Elephant Nature Park) and learning the sad  plight of all elephants used for entertainment in Asia. We may think “Wouldn’t it be great to ride an elephant?” but there is a sad truth behind the scenes for these magestic animals. Many people may have absolutely NO idea of the cruel process taken to ‘control’ elephants for human entertainment. The reality is a brutal ceremony that is accurately described in the name: “Breaking the Spirit.” This is where elephants are chained by all legs in a tight holding pen, stabbed painfully with a hook like hammer all over their body (especially their ears) and starved for food and water for as long as it takes to break their spirit. If you want to witness this ceremony, here is the LINK. A warning, the sound alone is very upsetting.

Now of course I am not going to come to your school with a Stab and Ride the Elephant Show that is going to leave all your children seeking counselling! I am after all the “Queen of Fun!” There is a lot of cool fun facts to teach children about Thai culture and elephants. For example, did you know that Thai people have a specialised respectful bow (“Wai“) especially for you, their teacher. Did you know you are not allowed to touch a persons head? (What about if there is a spider?) They are modestly dressed covering shoulders and knees, so please, do not wear a bikini (or mankini) in a public place! Asian elephants are also interesting…..They are matriarchal and are very protective nannas, mummies, aunties, sisters and cheeky brothers. The baby elephants love a good bowling game so look out, you are definately a pin! They are adored and nurtured by the females in their lives. They are also the biggest herbivores on our planet… much for the weak vegan theory! 😉

So a Thai show is on the way including a story about one elephants life struggle with a happy ending. The storytelling in this show will be acted out by the children and there will be drama……but there will also be a message of kindness aimed straight into their little hearts. If you have seen my shows you will know how colourful and fun I love my set to be! I had such a great time shopping for the props and costumes at the Chang Mai markets

Just for your personal information incase you ever travel, you can visit and meet elephants in a responsible ethical way, either in their natural habitat or at a kind sanctuary like ENP.  Asain families do use their elephants as an income which means they rely on your tourism dollars. We as the consumer have the power to divert our money to the ethical sanctuaries that are kind.  This in turn will motivate and inspire the change of treatment that is needed to stop breaking the spirit of these magestic beings. Our choices can inspire elephant owners to transition to elephant carers and still be rewarded with an income.

The next generation, just like us, will love to travel.  It’s our job together to get important messages into their hearts, through fun experiences and education. Hopefully from this show they will remember how to have good manners in Thailand, and not to pose for a selfie on an elephants trunk.