Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby sweetsugar on Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:35 am

Most of you who made a comment here are Fa-rang…I don’t personally shrug my shoulders and quietly say "see Fa-rang no understand"!! I strongly recommend most of you to take cross-cultural training or something similar those who live and work here. You live in this country and I think it’s fair enough to put an effort to get a better understanding of “Thai-ness” to take an interest in the country, language and people. There is no right or wrong. “It’s just the way we live our life here”. We are HUMAN...get over it!! I’m sure it happens in your own countries as well. Correct me if I’m wrong.

@ EODGhost- It’s about morality and ethical senses, I’m pretty sure you drive selfishly sometimes as well? - there is no one perfect in this world (end of story.) but I do agree with they afraid of losing their faces so they don’t dare to express what they have in mind which sometime may be they do have a great/ better idea if they dare to speak up but it doesn’t mean they are stupid. What a shame! May be poor English but does it matter? English isn’t our first language.

We grow up with unheard of the word “Assertiveness” at the same time Fa-rang also never heard the words of Kreng Jai- an effort by an individual to avoid causing difficulties to someone else/ Nam-Jai- Generosity/ Hai Kiad- Treating others with respect/ Sam Ruam- Moderation with respect to speech, thought, action and Alum Alui- Compassionate & responsive to extenuating circumstances. If anyone wants to stand yourself up to this point please feel free to!

@gohmer- thanks for sharing your appreciation.

@ ccabaugh- It’s not all about money. I personally think that you just hang out with a wrong crowd (whose mostly special type of girls). That’s all! Thai people say “It takes two to make a quarrel”.

As you are outsider, you should accept and respect the way we do things here more than “to change” because you can’t. You can’t live with a peace of mind in any country if you keep spotting only bad things and skip to appreciate a good things (I understand, it’s normal for human to do that as we always capture bad things over good things but we can change our own perception rather than change the others) I hope you all enjoy your life here and learn how to give more rather than take!. :)
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby dutchboy on Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:45 pm

Dear Sweetsugar,

Most of what I'm going to write, I posted before, but here we go.

My point has always been that the so-called "Thai-ness" does not exist.

I recently moved house. In straight line about 500 meters. The "Thai-ness" I am experiencing in my new area is very different than in the old area.
Also what amazed me before is the attitude from Bangkok born and raised people towards people from so-called up-country. They see them really as a lower class of people. In my opinion if there is something as Thai-ness, this would not happen.

This is a country with (correct me if I'm wrong) 60 million + people. That many people that many characters. Not all Thai people are the same, just like not all Farang are the same.
This however is independent from respect and interest in the country, its culture, its people, etc.
Where it goes wrong though is when Thai people are explaining to me how they do things, and why, they are expecting me to say oh, ok, I understand. As soon as I try to explain to them, without trying to degrate what they explained to me, how similar things are in my country, or other countries around the world, the automatic reaction is: See, you don't understand.

No matter how much I try and talk, if I don't 100% agree and comply, it's no good.

It's duly noted, this is not my country, and the people are different, culture is different, religion is different, but if there cannot be a dialogue to exchange experiences from other parts of the world, in my opinion there is something wrong.

And again, this has nothing to do with not having respect, or not having interest in the country. Understanding is a 2-way process.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby retep on Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:03 am

By watching Thai TV farangs can learn a lot about Thai-ness, speak Thai-mess.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby sundayjam on Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:12 pm

Dunno...
I see a lot of misunderstanding on both sides of the fence.
After living here in Bangkok now for a number of months. I can now say that I can appreciate the Thainess in some, but I recognize that it is a subjective characteristic. Many have posted acclaim regarding the supposed patience and courtesy of Thais... I have never seen any evidence of this. What I like most about Thainess is the heart.

:roll: lazy school kids and rip-off business tactics are hardly a sign of patience or courtesy. What I do see is an aptitude for love and compassion. I see a love of family and community. However, farangs are rarely seen as a part of this.

Thais also have a great sense of humor.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby mutley on Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:23 am

My Thai wife is gradually getting to know 'farangness'. She is learning to respect other people, not drive stupidly, not cheat 'farangs', think before speaking or doing. I find that with Thais it is all pretence and 'face'. A smile is not enough I'm afraid. Park your car or motorbike somewhere where it doesn't interfere with other road users rather than somewhere where you can save walking an extra one metre. It is actions which count, not words. Not all Thais are the same just as all 'farangs' are not the same but in general they seem to have a younger mental age than westerners. Children scream and have tantrums when they can't get what they want. So do Thais. Thai TV 'soaps' tell it all.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Voice on Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:34 pm

Sweetsurgar wrote “Most of you who made a comment here are Fa-rang…I don’t personally shrug my shoulders and quietly say "see Fa-rang no understand"!! I strongly recommend most of you to take cross-cultural training or something similar those who live and work here. You live in this country and I think it’s fair enough to put an effort to get a better understanding of “Thai-ness” to take an interest in the country, language and people. There is no right or wrong. “It’s just the way we live our life here”. We are HUMAN...get over it!! I’m sure it happens in your own countries as well. Correct me if I’m wrong.”


After read your comment I kinda disappointed that you have that kind attitude. It not Ok to cut the queue and it doesn’t haven’t in Europe that for sure. So don’t tell me that anyone should accept that is the Thai way of doing thing. I am Thai and I don’t like it if anyone tries to cut in front of me while I have been waiting for a long time to get on the bus or try to get a taxi. Yes you’re right we all human being so why should we behave like an animal when we should have known better.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby thaitiger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:02 am

That is not the general Thai view at all, It's also racist,
It's racist against Thais as it tars all Thai people with the same brush,
It's racist against Farangs as it debases their right to knowlege,

I've spent 7 years in Thailand, ranging from Pha-Ngan island to remote areas of Isan,
never have i had anybody claim i can never engage full with or undestand fully Thai culture?

i go to the temple a lot, people are pleased when u tell them things like Buddha was not a Thai, people I know are really happy that their belief systems are univeral and not exclusively Thai,

You've been watching too much 'Bang Rajan'

"caught in the dilemma of whether to wipe out the threatening farang culture"
yeh okies u nasty little right-wing agent prov,
I would consider that post an incitement to hatred and violence,
refering to an elite that only exists in the mind of the author...

i am a farang and I know Thai-ness! I would suggest that whoever wrote the original post is the person who is naive,
and that they are so naive they risk inciting hatred unless moderated...

All my thai friends call me Pi-chai or Pi and I've got many many many friends, and i go to the temple in isan where i am the only farang in a wat of 300 people, none of them ever once said i was incapable of learning their culture,

the core of Thai-ness is certainly not racist little ba ba bor bor, like whoever wrote the oringal text
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby ATM on Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:27 am

Thaitiger calm down and read the original post properly and not just the title of the thread. Also mate just because you go to the temple and hang out with thais all the time doesn't mean didley squat to the thais you will always be an outsider even if you don't care to admit it. All your ranting and raving about racism just proves you know nothing of thainess. ;) "referring to an elite that only exists in the mind of the author" hmmm I think you better lay off the lao khao mate and take notice of whats been happening in Thailand lately. Seven years I don't think so mate more like 7weeks.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby europe on Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:31 pm

Hi Folks,

this is my first post, so be warned .... more might come :mrgreen: !

Well this thread is very interesting since I try and have to try, to understand the Thai culture - since exactly 20 years now !

Since this time I also buy products from Thailand. Until now I have understood exactly nothing of the "real" Thai culture.

There are some things that are puzzling to me. I do not live in Thailand, but I am buying from Thailand, which means, I am the customer. So, I have certain requirements as to products, qualities, etc. - and I pay a lot of money for all that.
Nevertheless .... it happens occasionally, that things go wrong ....... the result is, I have to pay !

Now talking to those people in order to understand the matter and avoid it for the future reveals sentences like: "You have to understand that .... " or "you have to understand people / Thai culture, etc., etc. ...).
I always have to understand ... :( .... and to pay for the damage !

What I have never heard until now, are sentences like: "Well, we are sorry, but we did it wrong, how can we correct the problem?".

Furthermore I have experienced that it does not matter, how often I explain habbits in business at my side - in order to convey a better understanding about the processes at my side - I can repeat the story millions of times, it has no effect.
So, I do not know, how to get something into the brain of the people I do business with.

It is very difficult for me to seduce a Thai to answer a question with "Yes" or "No" - I always get to hear a long story about everything and I have to listen very carefully to understand between the lines, what might have happened in reality.

The extract of all this is, that I tend to agree to dutchboy that "My point has always been that the so-called "Thai-ness" does not exist."

It seems to me to be a kind of protective shield that is used to do whatever one likes and to fence off other people, no matter where they come from. So, also the "stupid people" from Isaan or the "criminals" from the south.

Well, it seems, I got "writing-diarrhoea" as we call it, so a lot to read :roll: !

Have a nice evening to all !


Now, I also do business with other countries - when something goes wrong there, it is normal to admit things.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Voice on Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:55 pm

Europe wrote “There are some things that are puzzling to me. I do not live in Thailand, but I am buying from Thailand, which means, I am the customer. So, I have certain requirements as to products, qualities, etc. - and I pay a lot of money for all that.
Nevertheless .... it happens occasionally, that things go wrong ....... the result is, I have to pay !”


As far as I know Thai business people don’t care much about customer service. They only concern that you pay them whatever it worth No refund, No replacement, No sorry for their mistake. In 2004 I had a project in Thailand we had order some mirrors glass for our prefabricated bathroom unit. The first order arrived were very poor quality and damage so when I call them to complain they didn’t want to know and insisted that it was OK. They will not take it back or replace the damaged mirrors one and No refund. This is the way the Thai business are conduct themselves.
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