By Saksith Saiyasombut A recent survey has found that the Thai youth is increasingly abusing drugs, cigarettes and alcohol as early as about 15 (although one Thai news outlet has horrendously ‘misinterpreted’ the numbers). The pollsters have cited “studying difficulties, family issues and financial problems” as causes for young people to turn to narcotics and...
By Saksith Saiyasombut Thailand’s National Knee-Jerk Outrage Machine (“กลไกสร้างปฏิกิริยาอย่างไร้ความยั้งคิดแห่งประเทศไทย”*), also known as the self-proclaimed cultural heralds of everything ‘Thainess’, have struck again! After clamping down on farang chefs, topless Songkran dancers, religious tattoos on infidel skin, they are now targeting another absolutely inappropriate, un-Thai abomination: planking!!! Yes, the craze, where everyone lies face down in the most...
By Saksith Saiyasombut Yesterday’s post on the Thai Ministry of Culture’s declaration of intent to stop foreign tourists from getting religious tattoos has created quite a buzz around the net. No wonder, since this is a) a story affecting a lot of tourists, and b) quite honestly yet another stupid idea by the self-proclaimed heralds...
By Saksith Saiyasombut Tattoos have a very special place in Thailand. They’re more than just permanent fashion statements, not unlike amulets they are regarded as spiritual guardians. Tattoos with religious or spiritual motives, called Yantra tattoos, are yet another sign that Thais take their beliefs skin-deep. Philip Cornwel-Smith dedicated a whole chapter in his excellent book “Very Thai”...
By Saksith Saiyasombut The debate about Thailand’s draconian lèse majesté law, Article 112 of the Criminal Code, gains more traction with several groups either discussing or demanding to at least amend the law, which forbids any discussion about the royal family and can be punished with up to 15 years in prison – and there’s at...
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