In this post, we’re going to talk about Thai tattoos and in particular an attempt to understand exactly what Sak Yant means. First, Sak Yant is performed only on a donation basis, which is handed to the monk that actually does the tattoo. So, it’s important to realize that this is not a payment, or at least it shouldn’t be considered to be a payment to the monk. This is a donation, and a donation that’s an amount decided by the person getting the tattoo. Now, some people will pay a lot and some people will just cover the cost of the needle and the ink, that is the difference here, and why the sacred art of Sak Yant is only meant to be a donation only service.
So let’s help you to know exactly what to do and what you really shouldn’t do when you decide to get Sak Yant Thai tattoos while staying in Thailand, or visiting or whatever. We really wish that more people understood more about the culture of traditional Thai tattooing and Sak Yant before they enter a sacred temple and without doing the right things, causing offense to the monks. One thing for example is not to wear your shoes in the temple.
The worst thing a foreigner or ‘farang’ as they are known in Thailand can do is actually cause offense to the monks. As has been so tastelessly portrayed in Americanized movies such as The Hangover part 3, this is a big no no and the monks and their cultures should be respected, first and foremost. Now then, Sak Yant tattoos are not souvenirs. And in terms of the artwork itself, it’s not supposed to be a fasion statement, despite a lot of people getting them for this purpose. They also will not be symmetrical and if that’s what you want, you should not get a monk to perform a traditional Thai tattoo.
It is often mentioned incorrectly that actually a lot of tattoo artists can perform a traditional sak yant tattoo but this simply isn’t true. If you want one doing properly, you have to get the real deal and be respectful during the process. Once you’ve had it done and have done things correctly according to Thai culture, only then will you be blessed by Buddha and be on the road to enlightenment if you should want to take yourself there.