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puang malai (พวงมาลัย)

Thai. ‘Cluster of flowers’. A flower garland, primarily made of fragrant jasmine in Thai called ma-li (fig.)– and commonly decorated with other colourful flowers. Often, also the flowers of the kradang nga ngaw (fig.) are used. Thai garlands are used as a traditional welcome gift, to pay homage and as an offering. There are many different kinds and models, the most notable being the ‘malai khlong meua’, a round-shaped garland to wear around the wrist; the ‘malai song chai’, a double garland with two ends connected with a string or band to wear around the neck; the ‘malai piya’, an oval-shaped garland with below a tassel of flowers and at the top a string to be hung from one point; and the ‘malai tum’, a somewhat bulbous garland with below a floral tassel and on top a bowed band for hanging. Also transcribed phuang mahlay. Garlands are a specific type of kaan jad dokmai. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.