Is Farang an f word?

Re: Is Farang an f word?

Postby johan on Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:50 pm

I live in Thailand and yesterday I met a 3 year old girl who, while sitting at the lap of her mother, called me a farang. "Mother, look over there, a farang!" Is she a racist?
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Re: Is Farang an f word?

Postby so-cal on Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:48 am

antony77 wrote:When I first came here 45 years ago I never heard the term "farang" used.
I do not like to be referred to as a "farang" and my well educated Thai friends would
never call me this. I would consider it insulting if they did.


and why would you consider it an insult ? that's the answer we are interested in. :roll: Since you are such an experienced faran...um western-guy-living-in-Thailand, have you noticed that there seems to be a high level of trashy farangs in certain areas of Thailand ? because I have.
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Re: Is Farang an f word?

Postby Ted on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:45 am

Having lived in Thailand for nearly 3 years and visiting for previous 11 years with my Thai wife, I have never felt offended by being referred to as a farang. People that know me always refer to me by my name. My twin daughters aged 8 that are fairer than most Thais in Surat Thani are never discriminated against by thais, but nearly always receive complementary comments. As they speak perfect Thai they can communicate with people. I speak reasonable Thai (and hopefully will improve as time goes by) and the majority of Thais I come into contact with are helpful and friendly. At the golf club, a few Thai men treat their caddies worse than I have experienced towards myself or my Thai wife and daughters.
The comment about Australians being racist is incorrect. Like all countries you will always have a vocal minority. Australia has a population of 23 million and have immigrants from over 160 other countries. The majority appreciate living there, but as I have stated before you will always have the vocal and/or violent minority.
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Re: Is Farang an f word?

Postby Isaannative on Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:36 am

so-cal wrote:
antony77 wrote:When I first came here 45 years ago I never heard the term "farang" used.
I do not like to be referred to as a "farang" and my well educated Thai friends would
never call me this. I would consider it insulting if they did.


and why would you consider it an insult ? that's the answer we are interested in. :roll: Since you are such an experienced faran...um western-guy-living-in-Thailand, have you noticed that there seems to be a high level of trashy farangs in certain areas of Thailand ? because I have.


Trashy Farangs in Thailand. Yes, many, lots of them. Go to Isaan, Chiangmai, Chiangrai, Pattaya and some of the islands in the south. These trashy, rude, crummy, tasteless, shabby, with tattoo plastered all over the body and big beer barrel tummy ugly dirt farangs you can see them all over in Thailand these days.

You can see them in the afternoon, at night and first thing in the morning or anytime of the day sitting in the coffee shop or bar with beer/whisky bottles on the table and cigarette in between their fingers. With only a short and bare body showing off their tattoo with pride. These uncultured farangs I doubt they’ve ever learned the meaning of shame or disgusting in school. Our humble poor rice farmers behave many times better than them. They are here in Thailand to exploits the cheap cost of living. Although they do somehow contributes to the local economic but the damages are much greater to the Thai cultures and influences to the younger generation Thai people.

Many just sit in the bar/coffee shop just drinks and smokes and criticizes and complaining nothing good but only all the negative things about Thailand. I am glad that some of you farangs noticed them too.
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Re: Is Farang an f word?

Postby Jason McDonald on Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:13 am

Hi Issan Native,

I agree with your description of Farang in Udon or the other places you mention. But I think you have been away from Thailand too long because where I live in Bangkhae I see Thai ladies and men walking the streets down to the market in their pyjamas every night; hardly the height of fashion. The thai men sit around the shop drinking the red bull and lao kao mix and sometimes 100 pipers if they are lucky. Most of the taxi drivers that you catch there seem half pissed on the stuff. A couple of ladies have black eyes because their thai husbands have disciplined them. I see poo ying thai fighting each other like kick boxers outside my room. so if you live in farang area you will see horrible farang types; if you live in thai area you will see horrible thai types. That's life everywhere you go.
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Re: Is Farang an f word?

Postby Michael Bukit on Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:41 am

so-cal wrote:
antony77 wrote:When I first came here 45 years ago I never heard the term "farang" used.
I do not like to be referred to as a "farang" and my well educated Thai friends would
never call me this. I would consider it insulting if they did.


and why would you consider it an insult ? that's the answer we are interested in. :roll: Since you are such an experienced faran...um western-guy-living-in-Thailand, have you noticed that there seems to be a high level of trashy farangs in certain areas of Thailand ? because I have.


Trashy Farangs or better word to describe them FARANG KHEE KAWI. They are everywhere in Thailand and not just certain places.
Last edited by Michael Bukit on Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Farang an f word?

Postby Isaannative on Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:46 am

Jason McDonald wrote:Hi Issan Native,

I agree with your description of Farang in Udon or the other places you mention. But I think you have been away from Thailand too long because where I live in Bangkhae I see Thai ladies and men walking the streets down to the market in their pyjamas every night; hardly the height of fashion. The thai men sit around the shop drinking the red bull and lao kao mix and sometimes 100 pipers if they are lucky. Most of the taxi drivers that you catch there seem half pissed on the stuff. A couple of ladies have black eyes because their thai husbands have disciplined them. I see poo ying thai fighting each other like kick boxers outside my room. so if you live in farang area you will see horrible farang types; if you live in thai area you will see horrible thai types. That's life everywhere you go.


Hi Jason, good to hear from you again.
Yes, you are right to say that's life everywhere you go. If you mess around in your own house who care. But if you mess around in your friend or host house what will they think of you?
For dressing, I do not expect people to dress at height of fashion to go down to the market in the night or out for a casual walk, but at least decently dressed.
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Re: Is Farang an f word?

Postby thaiteacher on Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:55 am

I too have been offended by the use of farang, but only occasionally. sometimes it is very evident that a whole lot of prejudice is being loaded on to me with the use of this word. most folks are rather surprised when they then find out that i am well versed in thai and quite pleasant to speak with (opposite the stereotype). what can one do though? really nothing. all we can do is hold our heads up through it all...

i agree whole-heartedly with the original poster however that what is too irksome is when media uses the term. i have begun watching thai documentaries, travel shows and the like, as well as listening to the radio and reading newspapers. when these forms of mass communication use the term its over - we have reached saturation.

funny story, i was living in mexico, and we went to the beach to swim and snorkel. this guy at the top of the stairs told us that we couldn't snorkel (or swim for that matter) because there was "mal aqua" (a not so direct translation being "bad water"). that was all the explanation we could get out of him, so we went down to the beach anyway thinking he was just having a laugh at me since i was a foreigner (polite - guerro; rude - gringo). dipping into the water we quickly realized what "bad water" was!

as the off-shore breezes change as well as the underwater currents (i think), cold waters from the depths come to the surface. with this water comes small jellyfish which are painfully surprising as there nematocysts unleash a sharp sting that leaves one looking for the quickest way away. we both jumped out of the water and found our arms and upper chest randomly slashed with light-red, spaghetti noodle-wide welts (which went away quickly).

after a bit of sunbathing we left laughing and climbed the stairs and talked to the man again. i was trying (in spanish) to find out what the name of the creature we call the jellyfish was in spanish, since this is obviously what he was trying to tell us before, but calling it "mal aqua". i kept getting the same answer - "they are called mal aqua". "OK, ok, he is just a regular guy" i thought. "i can't expect him to know everything". we caught a cab, and as we sped back to town i heard the news on the radio talking about the very phenomena that we had just encountered. rather than referring to an upwelling of cold water that brought with it jellyfish ("medusa" in spanish), they said "...the cold water brought "mal aqua" with it". so of course the guy at the stairs to the beach calls it mal aqua. how can we expect the public to be smarter or use more educated descriptions than the place they look for information and explanation.

so, yes i accept that regular folks will say farang, because its colloquial (ie. common) and not be surprised that they don't understand why a foreigner would be put off by the term, but i will always be saddened and dumbstruck by its use in the media, classroom and by other foreigners. i will also keep teaching my children that as common as it is, it is more appropriate to say foreign person(s) (kon (chow) dang chaat). And it wont make any difference!! : )
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Re: Is Farang an f word?

Postby Pekkaar on Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:21 pm

Thais have a unique way of picking up a word to call thing uncommon to their language and daily life and could not possibly be altered. Take "tennis racket" as an example, Thais call it "Mye Tennis", which translated as "wooden device for tennis". Although the wooden racket has long gone into the museum and no matter what material a racket today is made of thais still call it so. Same will go for the word Farang.
How long did it take "Black" American to replace "n*gro"? Not only time but "size" and "right" came into play. Without being populated large enough there will only be little influence, too weak for a change. And don't forget history about how bad ancestors of black american (and those elsewhere) had been through until so long after they were set free that they get these human right.
Very well, Mister Eggmeng, I think to affect a change Farang community needs to expand, to get Thai citizenship and voting right, save for the beating Thais won't beat Farang. It just takes time, perhaps in the day of your grandchildren. :lol:
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Re: Is Farang an f word?

Postby andresito on Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:33 pm

I have never liked the word Farang and I think it can be used as a racist word it just depends on the tone and the intention. But I have also made my mind that I have to live with it. Reminding people that they are foreigners is certainly unpolite, there is a lot of people who do that in my country too, I regard it as ignorance which doesn't necessarily mean they are militant racists. Probably they have problems accepting the diversity on our planet, everybody is a foreigner almost everywhere, everybody came from somewhere. Ignorance is certainly a precondition for racial prejudice. People that have suggested in this forum that members who find the term Farang offensive, should think about leaving the country, are people who seem to be afraid of open discussion. This is a forum, and I find the subject highly interesting, so think deeply before you write any offensive stuff.
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