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Thai bird symbolism

Religion, customs, politics, film, music, television

Moderator: acloudmovingby

Thai bird symbolism

Postby spot » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:45 am

Hi,
My Thai language study has been in hibernation for quite a while now. I think I remember reading that birds are thought to represent something important to Thai people, perhaps identity as a Thai person. There are sayings like Thai people eat like birds. Am I remembering correctly?

Can you tell me what birds symbolize? I don't mean Garuda, or releasing birds.

Thank you.
spot
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Thai bird symbolism

Postby David and Bui » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:45 pm

Here is a metaphor from the first verse of a lovely old Thai song:

เรื่อยเรื่อย
มา เรียงเรียง
นกบินเฉียงไปทั้งหมู่
ตัวเดียวมาไร้คู่
เหมือนพี่อยู่เพียงเอกา

Here they come as evening falls
The flock flies in formation
One bird is alone without a mate
Who, like me, is all alone

Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6RgxCq1iyo
David in Houston
David and Bui
 
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Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Thai bird symbolism

Postby David and Bui » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:15 pm

And, another metaphor from an old song:

"นกน้อยในกรงทอง" (someone who is being protected or raised in a "golden cage," a happy, luxurious, and pampering environment or manner), similar to the English "bird in a gilded cage". The Thai lyrics:

"นกน้อยตัวหนึ่ง
เขาขังในกรง
เจ้าหลงดีใจในความสุข
ที่ถูกเลี้ยงถูกเอาใจ
อยู่ในกรงสวย
นกน้อยลำพอง"

A little bird
Locked away in a cage
She remains satisfied with her happiness
That her every wants are satisfied
She lives in a beautiful cage
This little bird all alone.

Listen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D674j_5_4Ls

I wonder how close this is to the English song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqliIu0E2bc
David in Houston
David and Bui
 
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Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Thai bird symbolism

Postby David and Bui » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:38 pm

Then, there is the metaphor of the "นกสันติภาพ" ("birds of peace" or "folded paper cranes" meant as consolation to those troubled by events)

There is a Thai song for that also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrr4cfWwc_Q

Lyrics:

"...นกสันติภาพ
ช่วยรับไว้หน่อยนะเธอ
แม้เราจะไม่ได้เจอะเจอ
แต่ฉันเธอได้สัมผัสมัน
นกตัวไม่ใหญ่
แต่ความหมายสูงค่าอนันต์
เป็นสื่อรักสื่อความผูกพัน
ส่งถึงกันจากทุกดวงใจ
ฉันเอานกมาฝาก
ฉันเอารักมาให้
มองไปทางไหนก็ไทย
ยิ้มใสใสหัวใจเดียวกัน
ยืนใต้ร่มธงไทย
เย็นได้เพราะบารมี
รู้รักรู้สามัคคี
ถิ่นไทยนี้มีความร่มเย็น"
David in Houston
David and Bui
 
Posts: 6145
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Thai bird symbolism

Postby David and Bui » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:46 pm

Then, there's the famous reference to birds in King Rama IX song "ชะตาชีวิต", called "Hungry Men's Blues" in English.

"นกน้อยคล้อยบินมาเดียวดาย
...คิดคิดมิวายกังวลให้หม่นฤทัยหมอง
ขาดมวลมิตรไร้คนสนิทคู่เคียงครอง
หลงไหลหมายปองคนปรานี
...ขาดเรือนแหล่งพักพำนักนอน
ขาดญาติบิดรและน้องพี่
บาปกรรมคงมี จำทนระทม"

To listen, scroll down on this page: https://xn--72c9bva0i.meemodel.com/%E0% ... 8%E0%B9%8C

Interestingly, the official English version at https://www.dochord.com/4862/ does not seem to follow the Thai original.
David in Houston
David and Bui
 
Posts: 6145
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Thai bird symbolism

Postby spot » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:49 am

Wow, thank you so much! The picture of the cage in that one song makes me sad because of the phenomenon of catching wild birds to sell in cages so they can be let free again...

So, my sense of what the symbolism would be is close maybe. This a unpolished thing with words that I wrote after asking the question here (not really related to Thailand, sorry). The pauses are because there are pictures.

I sometimes dream that you are a bird that visits me, when I am alone

The bird glides, and turns swiftly...
diving and ascending, while it sings beautifully

Then, I realize it is your voice when you speak to me..

You fly... away from me... and fly back...

You warm my heart... as you light up the night...
I see your grace... every action perfect... never wasting energy

As you are free... you teach me beauty ... that slips past my poison words;

Frozen prisons... a death for she... who I would have failed to love

I will never catch you, thankfully

Then, we can be together... forever... your true self and mine
spot
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:00 am


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