Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby orsha on Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:06 am

eh... squash it. yes i am a foreigner who spent a fair amount of time in thailand both with travellers and locals and i learned a lot from experiences with both: farangs can be loud, disrespectful, cold and generally unpleasant. thais can be cheap, condescending and superficial. kinda both the same animal. i worked for thais and i hated it. they'd probably hate me if i was their boss. whatever. i will say this- as far as both sides of the fence are concerned, no one is perfect and no one wants to admit to their faults. but in the end we all eat rice, right?
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People are people!

Postby charlesh1 on Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:17 am

I've travelled a lot. when it comes down to it people are very similar all over the world. Thailand is of course quite a strong country culturally, but its not that hard for some who's stayed here a few years to start to understand 'Thai-ness'. I would say as with all cultures, its mostly something expressed through language, so until you learn Thai very well, then you're not going to pick up on the cultural nuances.

What i always think is fascinating is how people 'within' a culture dont really know each other, in a country with such a broad socioeconomic mix as Thailand then i think its hard even for Thai's to understand what Thai-ness is.

Just to say something positive, on the subject of 'Thai-ness', there's a lot i love about Thailand, and many aspects of the Thai culture i try to integrate into my own culture, which is 'global-ness'.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby nok77 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:09 pm

A very interesting topic. With many views and many suggestions. Or life experiences. Only a few posters are getting it. Buddhism can show you the way. Can help you to be aware ( without fully understanding) why farang don't always understand the thai way of thinking.

For those who had bad experiences (which I hope not many) or don't get it I can only say don't go too deep into it. If you make the choice staying in Thailand for a long time just float on it. I know the scams about money (had several bad ones in many ways) or the talking behind your back. Or having the feeling not to belong in the family of your thai lady. Or having the feeling to pay for it all.

That is just part of it. And you blind yourself if you keep thinking like that. You make the choice.And to any choice there is a limit. Keep in mind that for Thais what you do is important. Not what you say or try to explain. A complete contradiction to western thinking. But it is bad? If it is then why you make the choice to stay for a long time in Thailand. In the west we have that urge to belong. Why? If you belong what then. Only your ego will feel happy. And blind you. Until it goes wrong. Or until there is a misunderstanding. Then for some of us there is that feeling like I don't belong here. All without no use.

Do I say that the Thai system is perfect and we as farang should accept? No. Be aware it is your choice. Life in Thailand can be like a hologram. Accept no matter what that you always stay farang. Is that bad? I don't know. It doesn't bother me. I keep in mind one quotation from the buddhism. If a person is wounded get a doctor first. Don't nag how he got wounded or what the cause was. Understand this (and you don't have to agree) and you understand a part of Thai thinking. Just a part.

Forget about Western society. Thais don't care. Even the ones who have seen the west. Most of them still consider thailand as the place. In my experiences I met many educated and uneducated thai people. One thing I saw that no matter what they always stick to Thailand and their tradition. With all its faults and double standards. If you have a problem with that then another quotation from the buddha might help you about judging.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby mutley on Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:47 pm

Dear nok77, It is a good thing you don't live in USA, UK, or many countries in western Europe as what you have written could be considered racist. Some Thais think they can never be wrong, think that 'farangs' are always wrong, and see the graft and corruption as a normal way of doing business.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby nok77 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:27 pm

dear mutley

First part of the year I live in the West. I don't consider myself as a racist. I don't condemn people or their race or tradition. In my post I just put a view. Racist is a word often misused. Especially in the West. For me the West is a big joke. Not the people but the system. Pretending to know it all. Pretending to have answer on any issue. Pretending to judge or put people into a certain group. Like you do now.

When I read your post carefully in the end I see the same prejudices about Thailand I hear over and over. The graft and corruption are widespread. Also the behaviour of some Thais thinking they never go wrong. All true. But you missed my point. Anyone staying for a long time in Thailand should be aware. Persons who start to judge or disagree burn their own fingers. Thai thinking is essentially different then Western thinking. I am fully aware of that. Only I know to a certain degree to accept it while staying in Thailand. Being aware doesn't mean being a racist or thinking I can change this behaviour. Every person should decide if he can go along with it or not.

My views about the west are based on many experiences I made. Having a western background and education Asia helped me to see through. My view. That's all. And is the west without graft and corruption. I doubt it. Ask how some guys became president of the United States. Or what we see in the financial world. Or how construction companies get a big project. Or how pharmaceutical companies act on introducing a new medicine nobody needs. They call it bonus money. Just another word.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Dave1101 on Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:05 pm

Supression of information and knowledge is what has been happening in Thailand for far too long. It's difficult to see Thainess changing into informed choice any time soon. Perhaps after a civil war, and 20 years of reflecting, things may change!!
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Arlang on Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:27 pm

No one can be objective if they are the subject.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby OzGeoff on Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:49 am

Arlang wrote:No one can be objective if they are the subject.


I agree with Arlang. However, any society, Western or Thai needs to recognise what is “wrong” in order to move forward to a better society. Many westerners know what is wrong with their society but it is very hard to change the course of the ship. Many are trying. Thai society appears not to recognise what can be improved, so that betterment can take place. Democracy make not be perfect but it is still better than whatever is second if you value freedom of choice. In Thai society there appears to be those who are fearful of losing “status” (control?) by accepting the right of individuals to determine the country’s future. I am not a citizen of England (or the UK) but the English still hold their royal family with respect although the Royals have no control over the politics of England. Perhaps it is time for Thais to let go of the old order (but not of respect for the Royal family) and allow the will of the people, through the ballot box, to elect their representatives who must be transparent in their financial dealings, to properly govern their country. Their governance should be what is for the good of the country and its peoples, NOT self-aggrandizement.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Ian Wensor on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:55 am

Apart from a few academics and those educated overseas :P , most Thais will never understand farang-ness just as most farangs will never understand Thai-ness :? ... While most farangs have been taught to adhere to the Golden Rule which states "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you' :), many Thais, particularly politicians and bureaucrats, believe that their interests can best be served by completely reversing this noble and civilized way of doing things and subscribe to the very opposite... 'Do others before they do you'. :( :cry: :cry:
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby ubuntu on Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:32 am

Voranai has shed much light on Thai-ness through his numerous articles. I personally like traditional music/dance/instruments and the food is wonderful.
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