Sawadee Lady Welcomes All Visitors
June 21, 2017
A Sawadee Lady is usually a wooden statue that stands in front of a home or business. She silently welcomes and bestows blessings upon your visitors and customers. She gives a look of the exotic as these statues come from Thailand and are fashioned in traditional Thai garb. Many use the statues in their gardens as the statues add a peaceful accent.
The word Sawadee is a greeting and a blessing when first entering a home or a business. In Thailand, you would say “Sawadee kha” if you are a female or “Sawadee Krup” if you are a male. The gesture to accompany a Sawadee greeting is hands in prayer position over the heart, head slightly bowed forward. Thus, the statues have this same hand gesture.
In front of our store you might see one of these ladies welcoming customers into the store. You would be delighted to see the number of people that want their photos taken with the lady, or kids who stop by to return the blessing to our lady. We once heard a little one, not more than four years old, say “Namaste” to our statue. The Namaste word comes more from India and Nepal.
The history of the word Sawadee dates back almost a 100 years to 1930 first used as a greeting by Phraya Upakit Silapasan (according to Wikipedia). It was taken from the Sanskrit root svasti which means “Well-being.” It’s customary to offer greetings to someone older than yourself but according to Thai custom, you should wait for younger children to offer a greeting first before returning your greeting.
There are many western symbols in Thailand that have adopted this polite gesture to try and fit in with the Thai culture. For example, if you see a McDonalds in Thailand, you might see Ronald McDonald out front in a Sawadee welcome!
Our Sawadee Ladies are carved in Teak wood and vary in size. The large sized beauties are 66” inches tall and some stand on a metal pedestal which gives them an extra few inches of height. The smaller sized statues are 50.5 inches tall. Each of these ladies has their own personality. If you are looking for something in particular, just ask and we’ll direct you to the correct lady for you!