Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Russian Orthodox Churches in Thailand

Russian Orthodox Church in Bangkok, Thailand

Russian expatriates have colonized parts of Thailand in the same way that British expatriates have colonized parts of Spain and southern France. I suspect they are probably as badly behaved as Britons abroad.

The Russian Orthodox churches in Thailand, ministering to the large Russian expatriate community, seems to have adopted the local practice of removing shoes in their churches, as you would in temples or other public buildings in Thailand. This is a very interesting example of cross-cultural mixing. While the Thai custom of removing shoes in homes is nothing new for Russians, removing shoes in churches is not part of the Russian Orthodox tradition. I have also seen photographs with men wearing shorts in the Orthodox Churches in Thailand, which you should definitely not do in an Orthodox Church in Russia or anywhere else. This is a fascinating example of cultural adaptation in Eastern Orthodoxy.

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