Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spirit House Ceremony and Grand Opening

Unlike the United States, Thailand does not separate religion from any thing, it sneaks into business life quite often. For example, when we first started building the plant one year ago, they had a Stone Laying ceremony. Another ceremony that most business in Thailand have is the Spirit House ceremony. 

For those of you that don't know, almost every building in Thailand, from large hotels to a small homes have a spirit house .This is where is where the spirits of the building live and offerings of food, flowers and incense are made to appease the spirits and to bring favor to the home or business. They are highly respected and most employees wai to them as they walk by.

When our plant's spirit house was assembled, there was a big ceremony associated with it. All the employees went outside and listened or prayed with a monk, then about 16 people lifted the main house part on top of the pedestal. Most of the people were managers, but I happened to get selected because I was close by, and because I am known world wide for my feats of strength. So I helped lift the house! Yay! And during the lifting and moving process I almost fell into a drainage ditch. Which could have been rather embarrassing and probably bad luck. Luckily I looked where I was walking and was able to avoid the fall.

Fast forward to February. The next ceremony we had was our Grand Opening. This is when all the "Big Bosses" fly to Thailand and meet local influential Thai people, like the Governor, customs officers, lawyers, police officials, US embassy people, well, you get the idea. For this ceremony there were also dancers and baby elephants. Oh, and MCing the whole thing was a famous news anchor lady. There were a lot of speeches, some dancing, watching elephants and more speeches.

After the speeches and dancing were all done, I had to be part of a mini plant tour. We each stood by a window that looked into our manufacturing bay and briefly explained our process and how awesome we are. If you know me very well, you know that I am quite shy around people I don't know. (but once I know you, I don't shut up) So it was stressful for me to talk to all these big wigs, no one laughed at me and said "you suck!" so I'll take that as a victory!

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