Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby petegunter on Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:43 pm

thompson wrote:The general Thai view is that some farangs may know a lot about Thai politics, culture, way of life and so on, but they will never be able to reach the core of Thai-ness.

In retrospect, the traditional elite have always viewed themselves as being caught in the dilemma of whether to wipe out the threatening farang culture or to welcome its modernity.

Worthless writing

Go back to sleep Mr Pavin!!

http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/193802/farang-cannot-know-even-if-they-do-understand

This Post Bag reader reply is worth a read:


Contrary to the premise of the article about the impossibility of farangs to comprehend Thailand ("Farang cannot know - even if they do understand," Bangkok Post, Aug 31), Thais often have to turn to farangs living on the other side of the world to learn about their own country, as we have seen in many high-profile corruption cases as well as in the identification of other social ills, particularly in the areas of human rights and human trafficking.

Thais are often uniquely incapable of learning about their own country, being too deeply entangled in the characteristics of Thai-ness that prevent them from seeking the truth. They are hampered by superstition, the importance of image over substance and of social harmony over truth, a natural tolerance of social ills, and a willingness to smooth things over instead of addressing ugly problems head on.

Farangs are an asset to Thailand in many ways, including their objective view of Thai society that exposes obvious truths that are often invisible to Thais.

CHA-AM JAMAL


Good post,
Thanks for the info, that explains a lot. I have a lot of Thai clients, and I honour and appreciate their honesty and integrity, however, this sheds some light on their social skills....and explains a lot.
Cheers, Pete.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby flpt on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:26 pm

I like this forum. I found the comments were very intelligent and clear about the knowledge the posters have on Thai society. Thai way is always the only acceptable way because no one tells us differently and when you behave differently, the society will make sure you know. Family, society, and the old system have a lot of influence on us. It is a different experience all together when you live in it....and when you look at it from the outside. Criticism is never easy for Thais. It is the pride and we sure don't know when to put it aside...or away.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Ian Wensor on Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:14 am

The longer I live here, the more I understand Thai-ness and the less I like it :cry: ...Like recently when I donated 10,000 baht to have a road repaired in the village where I live :) ...I entrusted the money to the village boss man hoping he'd have the best contacts to do the job however, imagine my disgust when I later discovered that the road hadn't been fixed because he'd given the money to the local temple in the hope of making merit for himself :D ... at my expense :o . :o :o
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby dethco17 on Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:07 pm

I have been living in Thailand for almost two years now and I can say that there are many things I find frustrating or aggravating about Thai culture but (coming from the U.S.A.) I realize that this is a different world I'm living in. The positives of living here in a small town in Thailand completely outweigh the negatives compared to living in a major city in America. It will take a lot of effort and patience if one wants to get a fulfilling, authentic experience living in Thailand; and by 'authentic' I mean something that Isn't the tourist/backpacker/Bangkok/Pattaya experience. For anyone struggling with Thai culture I recommend this wonderful book- "Inside Thai Society- Interpretations of Everyday Life" by Mulder.

P.S. If anyone from America complains that Thailand is too much 'just about the money,' think of how much stress and conflict is created through competition to be on top (usually financially) in the States.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Voice on Wed May 02, 2012 10:13 am

Well it almost two years down the line and we still talk about this subject. Knowing or not knowing it isn't that important as Thai could never understand foreign sense of humour and foreigner will find it hard to understand Thai......Thai eat rice so do foreigner so what! we all human.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby baller3 on Tue May 08, 2012 6:17 pm

I've lived in Bangkok for 9 months. That's not very long, really. On the other hand, I was married to a feisty Thai woman for 6 years. After being married to a Thai woman and living here in Bangkok for the past 9 months I've determined that I know all I care to know about about "Thai-ness." I believe that learning any more about "Thai-ness" would only serve to reveal more of the warts that lie below the smiling veneer of Thai culture. Honestly? I really don't care to know any more. Furthermore, saying non-Thai people can never know the inner core of Thai culture is nothing more than vainglorious blather, in my humble opinion. People are people. Sure, there are unique aspects of Thai culture but in the end you're just people like everyone else on the planet. I say show some humility, get over yourself and your "Thai-ness" and have a good day. :D
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby cooked on Fri May 11, 2012 5:25 pm

why worry? even the Thais don't know Thailand. Ask a Bangkok guy if he has ever been in Isaan, he'll answer, ' why should I?' Plenty of other examples. It's just there way of saying go away. Nobody knows Thailand.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby commonman on Sat May 19, 2012 4:00 am

When I first heard this question many years ago it was phrased differently - "Can a white man sing the blues?"
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby sutheera on Tue May 22, 2012 8:28 pm

Although Thai-ness is never clearly defined and has difficulty to understand by farang. One of the most prominent scholars in modern Thailand, Kukrit Pramoj, confessed that he was not quite sure what identity means. Yet he was confident that it was imbued in him: " The identity belonging to the people of a nation. And it is well known among scholars of Thailand that the monarchical institution and Buddhism are the most important elements of the nation. I totally agree with your statement "Farang in Korat". Farang will never understand that the convenience offered by driving on the wrong side of the road outweighs the dangers created. As well as, Farangs will never understand why it is legal to generate unlimited amounts of noise in residential neighborhoods in order to sell a 10 baht icecream. That why the definitions of Thai-ness never end. Thailand is a nation, though not the only one, which concerns itself with the preservation and promotion of the national culture as if it might suddenly dissappear. Being a Thai means having such and such feelings, having a certain character. No one can change these things. That the reason why most farang couldn't know Thai-ness.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby geronimo on Wed May 23, 2012 9:58 pm

What is Thai-ness?? Chinese-ness?? German-ness?? English-ness?? All the story I readed in this forum is about daily life, that happen els where to the same extent, nothing more and nothing less ;). The story about money, you have it China, Russian, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia....and not to forget in all African countries. Ever try to get help in London without a coin? But the story is fun anyway :lol: :lol: :lol: keep on :cheers:
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