Wan Wai Kru – The Teacher Memorial Day (23 June)

Every year on June 23rd Pahuyuth free warriors celebrate the so-called Teachers’ Memorial Day (Wan Wai Kru).

Background

Thanking a living teacher is easy. You just go to him or her and say “Thank you”.

But how do you thank all those who are already deceased, unreachable or not personally known?

In memory of all those known and unknown Pahuyuth warriors and Pahuyuth teachers of the past who helped to develop and pass on the Pahuyuth knowledge, Pahuyuth people celebrate the so-called Teacher Memorial Day (Wan Wai Kru) once a year (June 23rd).

The Teacher Memorial Day is a non-religious ritual – a voluntary, personal gesture with which Pahuyuth free warriors can thank their teachers in their personal way or not.

Wai Kru anlässlich des Lehrergedenktages

The Origins of the Teachers’ Memorial Day

In the distant past, when fighting knowledge was used directly to defend the country and freedom, many scholars of Pahuyuth lost their lives bloody.

Without these teachers it would not have been possible to pass the knowledge on to future generations. Therefore, this day is dedicated to the teachers of history who, through the dedication of their lives, have ensured that Pahuyuth has been handed down to this day.

The archetypal teachers of PAHUYUTH are:

  1. Kru Srietreirat – The Creator Teacher (Nature, Parents, …)
  2. Kru Schid – The Close Teacher (Living Teachers)
  3. Kru Nueg – The grateful teacher (intuition)
  4. Kru Tagt – The spontaneous teacher (tipster)
  5. Kru Lag Jam – The Thief Teacher (indirectly related knowledge)
  6. Kru Pieh – The Ghost Teacher (inspiration or dreamed knowledge)

The role of the teacher in traditional martial arts

A teacher in the understanding of Pahuyuth is never a “master” or “ruler” over his disciples, but always a simple but experienced warrior and human being who shares his knowledge willingly and always with a recommending character.

The role of a teacher is similar to that of a ferryman who has already crossed a torrential river himself and is now helping others to cross it.

The Teachers Memorial Day in Modernity

The Teacher Memorial Day is a non-religious and non-commercial ritual – a voluntary, personal gesture by which Pahuyuth free warriors can thank their teachers in their personal way, or not.

There is therefore basically no coercion to do or do not anything on a teacher’s day. Common teacher memorial days are never organized by a teacher, but only by students. If a Pahuyuth Teacher is present on this day, he or she will only participate in this ceremony as a student.

A teacher memorial day organized by a teacher or an institution, maybe with a fixed schedule and entertainment program, would contradict the traditional ideal and self-image of a teacher (see above). The same applies to any form of worship or glorification of living teachers that does not exist in Pahuyuth.

Pahuyuth originated from the rebellion against oppression and slavery and the pursuit of peace and freedom. Therefore in the understanding of Pahuyuth, all people are equal and no one has the right to place themselves above others. For this reason, the traditional Wai Kru (teacher’s greeting) is never performed in honour of a living teacher.

The Traditional Ritual

On this day (23 June), Pahuyuth students often come together and hold a ritual or ceremony to symbolically thank and commemorate the teachers. If June 23 falls on a regular training day, there will be no training on that day.

The traditional ritual consists of different things, so one dresses on this day in bright colors, if possible in white. One tries not to swear or have bad thoughts on this day and tries to do something in some way to help someone.

Three things are brought to the ceremony at the memorial: One to three incense sticks, a white candle, self-picked plants, which should be pointed if possible. These plants are not bought but picked by hand on the way to the ceremony – simple grasses, as they grow on the roadside, are sufficient.

Pahuyuth Saiyasart Lehrertag Tradition Ritual

Silent Remembrance – Simplicity and modesty characterize the Teachers’ Memorial Day.

At the memorial site

After the arrival, the grass or plants, the incense sticks and the candle are placed in a designated place. Then each free warrior will remember his or her teachers in his own way. Usually the execution of the teacher greeting (Wai Kru) is thereby common. Only afterwards this greeting ritual one greets the other participants.

Wai Gruß
Pahuyuth Krieger grüßen ihre Lehrer
Wan Wa
Pahuyuth Wai Kru / Waih Khru

Usually the teacher of the school, who does not take part in the ceremony as a teacher but also as a pupil, will tell something about the origin and tradition of the memorial day. It may happen that he or another person present spontaneously acts as a medium and gives additional information or advice to the students present.

We have recorded two of these channelings on video and linked them below.

Teacher Memorial Day Channeling 2017

Teacher Memorial Day Channeling 2018

The ceremony ends with a relaxed get-together. For students attending a teachers memorial day for the first time, this is usually an extraordinary and interesting experience that brings them closer to cultural aspects of Pahuyuth.

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