Creativity was let loose by the students of Phichit Polytechnic College on Thursday as they showed off their passion for contemporary trends, including the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018, in the designs of flower trays for the “Wai Khru” ritual.
In that ritual, students pay respects to their teacher, expressing gratitude and formalising the student–teacher relationship at the beginning of the academic year.
Thursday’s Wai Khru ritual began with a morning alms offering to monks and merit making for deceased teachers and students, at the college in Phichit’s Muang district.
Their presentation of Wai Khru flower trays attracted attention from many people as they moved away from the conventional form and instead portrayed a FIFA World Cup trophy, a compilation of mechanic tools, and a tray of fruit with a miniature effigy of Predator (a villain in US science fiction horror films).
Traditionally, Wai Khru flower trays feature dome-shaped clay pinned with colourful flowers, including the four key symbolic items – pointed buds of Ixora flowers, symbolising sharp wit; Bermuda grass, whose rapid growth and resilience symbolises perserverance and the ability to learn; “Khao Tok” popped rice, the cooking method of which symbolises discipline; and eggplant flowers, which bow low when nearing fruiting and so symbolise respect and humility.
The ritual is usually held around the beginning of the first term, on a Thursday, as that is traditionally the day of the week of Brihaspati, the Vedic god of wisdom and teachers.