If you make Thai friends while on a trip or living in Thailand, eventually one of them will tell you “Su su” (or “Suu suu”). When I first moved to Thailand and heard the term, I didn’t have the foggiest idea what it meant until my closest Thai friend told me it comes from the Thai word สู้, which means “to fight”.
When a Thai tells you “su su”, often with fist raised in the air or the “V for Victory” sign, they’re saying “Don’t give up! Fight!”. And then encouraging you to keep going.
Thai friends also tell me the term is used a lot in Thai universities when their team is competing against another university in sports, debates, business competitions etc.
It was also used at my last job in Thailand — at an international company where, almost every day, something in the office was broken down or not working correctly. There, the Thai employees seemed to use it as a daily mantra just to help them get through the day.
So, the next time you hear “Su su”, just smile, nod and get on with it. After all, what’s the alternative. Lying down to die?
Meanwhile, here is a video called “Thailand SuSu”.
It shows Thai football fans encouraging Thailand’s football team, which unfortunately isn’t one of the best.
“Su su” indeed, “Fight!”.