Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby OzGeoff on Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:05 am

DrKranky wrote:Thank you to those who have brought up the racism issue. As a researcher.................................................. My conclusion is "Thai-ness" denotes the behavioral and emotional development failures confirmed in current research, conveniently the headliner from today's Bangkok Post. We predict Thailand to be stalled in its development status fully due to development failures on a cultural level and advise businesses accordingly. Note that this usually doesn't happen until there is a start at judicial tools for gender protection, for which Thailand is 4 decades behind the developed world.



Out of the mouth of babies :)

Farang will understand this idiom, others may need to "google" it.
Wherefore art thou jocuri?
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby puek on Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:47 pm

been here 50 years and still don't have all the fine points figured out. having said that, thais do not and cannot totally understand western thought processes and general 'farang-ness' imho
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Ezra on Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:02 am

Dr. Pavin wasn't saying that he himself thought that westerners didn't understand 'Thainess' (whatever that is) the article seemed to be more about those Thais who don't like people telling them they aren't wearing any clothes.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby OzGeoff on Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:22 am

I would still like an indigenous Thai academic or journalist explain to us foreigners, what "thainess' is?

It is easy to criticise someone but it would be far better to increase understanding by educating people.

The challenge is out there now! As Nike would say "Just do it"
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby ayamin on Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:54 pm

I am Thai and please do not mind my writing.
I could at least giving some thoughts for foreigners about Thai-ness. and some Thai things that normal Thai might not be able to answer (or don't want to).
anyway, this is just my pure and naive thought about Thai-ness in my opinion.
Thai-ness is tradition thinking, ways, values, morals and any other things that has been passed through generations and well-accepted by Thai people. Something that Thai people couldn't explain in words and easily labelled - Thai-ness.
one thought on the topic that Thai people said that Farang cannot know Thai-ness that popped up in my mind is that it's obvious! first reason, Thai people couldn't even describe Thai-ness in proper Thai words, how could they explain it to Farang in English or second language? Second, when you're from different viewpoint, different stand, one wouldn't - couldn't understand others' viewpoint perfectly or 100%. I'm not talking about Thai and Farang but anywhere in the world. You could surely understand it to some extent though.

I accepted that Thai people is kind of twisted :D
Their uneducated background, lower income give them the inferiority complex which resulted in any bad actions against Farang. The problem is about the comprehension about Farang of normal Thai.
To make it simple, normal Thai do not have the whole understanding about Farang (that they're just human-being). normal thai thinks that Farang is some species that is more superior, knows more and any words from them is absolute. Hence, in front of Farang, they would agree to anything you say (but not afterward). However, when they meet some Farang-kii-nok, the bad bunch, normal thai often got discriminated and looked down upon (a serious case in Thai - losing face). i'd say they hold grudge and treat the latter Farang with less respect in front or behind Farang's back. There are many boastful Farang too who are very egoistic trying to give a BIG presence to Thai people which at first work but later on got pitied upon by Thais.
Obviously, they are some bad Thai groups (not just to Farang but to Thai too) who see Farang as Money bag who they could in any way possible squeeze out all the money.
I often get upset seeing this kind of people and felt ashamed as fellow Thai people, however, it's not just me, I dare say many Thai people that I know feel ashamed and do not like this kind of situation either.
but that's Thai... (Thai-ness :D)
it's the people value that value money as the most importance that raised up throught out many years with the beginning of some daughters neighbors who married to Farang, gave some allowance to the parents, built new houses and other things. After awhile, the parents in its neighborhood would support or force their daughters to marry Farang and get the money out of Farang just so the parents would be in high admiration from the neighborhood and having "BIG face"! Or just from the ladies to (self-thinking)fulfill their duties, repaying the Parents.

I have many other words about this and about the Buddhism too but later... hope this at least clarify some.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby O000o on Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:13 pm

To say that Farang cannot know Thai-ness is basically to say that Farang are stupid. Some Farang will live in Thailand for 30 years and never understand anything, others will do in a question of months. Something else is to say that Farang cannnot establish an emotional link with Thai-ness in the same way that Thais do.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby OzGeoff on Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:42 am

ayamin wrote:I am Thai and please do not mind my writing.
I could at least giving some thoughts for foreigners about Thai-ness. and some Thai things that normal Thai might not be able to answer (or don't want to).
anyway, this is just my pure and naive thought about Thai-ness in my opinion.
Thai-ness is tradition thinking, ways, values, morals and any other things that has been passed through generations and well-accepted by Thai people. Something that Thai people couldn't explain in words and easily labelled - Thai-ness.
one thought on the topic that Thai people said that Farang cannot know Thai-ness that popped up in my mind is that it's obvious! first reason, Thai people couldn't even describe Thai-ness in proper Thai words, how could they explain it to Farang in English or second language? Second, when you're from different viewpoint, different stand, one wouldn't - couldn't understand others' viewpoint perfectly or 100%. I'm not talking about Thai and Farang but anywhere in the world. You could surely understand it to some extent though.

I accepted that Thai people is kind of twisted :D

Their uneducated background, lower income give them the inferiority complex which resulted in any bad actions against Farang. The problem is about the comprehension about Farang of normal Thai.
To make it simple, normal Thai do not have the whole understanding about Farang (that they're just human-being). normal thai thinks that Farang is some species that is more superior, knows more and any words from them is absolute. Hence, in front of Farang, they would agree to anything you say (but not afterward). However, when they meet some Farang-kii-nok, the bad bunch, normal thai often got discriminated and looked down upon (a serious case in Thai - losing face). i'd say they hold grudge and treat the latter Farang with less respect in front or behind Farang's back. There are many boastful Farang too who are very egoistic trying to give a BIG presence to Thai people which at first work but later on got pitied upon by Thais.
Obviously, they are some bad Thai groups (not just to Farang but to Thai too) who see Farang as Money bag who they could in any way possible squeeze out all the money.
I often get upset seeing this kind of people and felt ashamed as fellow Thai people, however, it's not just me, I dare say many Thai people that I know feel ashamed and do not like this kind of situation either.
but that's Thai... (Thai-ness :D)
it's the people value that value money as the most importance that raised up throught out many years with the beginning of some daughters neighbors who married to Farang, gave some allowance to the parents, built new houses and other things. After awhile, the parents in its neighborhood would support or force their daughters to marry Farang and get the money out of Farang just so the parents would be in high admiration from the neighborhood and having "BIG face"! Or just from the ladies to (self-thinking)fulfill their duties, repaying the Parents.

I have many other words about this and about the Buddhism too but later... hope this at least clarify some.


I just want to say khob khun krap to ayamin for her response about Thai-ness. It is good that a Thai national has made the effort to try and explain to us foreigners what Thai-ness is so that we can be more educated and understanding of each other and I look forward to your further upcoming comments. Once again, thank you for taking up the challenge and if you enjoy a drink from time to time :cheers:

"Happiness is not a goal but a way of life"
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby StephenM on Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:14 am

To me, this is just Thai culture and means:

[list=]Respect for the family and real tribute to the family matriarch – she is almost like a mafia don and must get a small percentage of all business as a freely given gift. You must show you want to belong to the family by contributing. If you do this, then the family must give you all the benefits of belonging to family.

Family is always the first consideration in anything. Don’t do anything to embarrass or bring shame on family (or people you do business with).

Understand concept of face – be respectful and always allow an honourable way out (don’t make ultimatums or force people into a corner).

Don’t get publicly angry with Thai people – at the end of the day we are the foreigner and are at a disadvantage (this is the same in any country).

Don’t be stingy in little things – Thais expect ferangi to pay for meals and drinks whether we like it or not. At the end of the day, hospitality doesn’t cost much (compared to Australia or other country).

As a philosophy, a sensible way to live is probably to learn from history, live for the moment and plan for the future. Thais, I think, live for the moment. They are fun, spontaneous and generous. If they have a windfall, they will spend it all and not save for a rainy day. There are many good aspects about living this way.

Perhaps Thai culture is too nuanced for people to meaningfully learn from their history. If they do not, and are not honest about past mistakes, they can be doomed to recycle history. Not planning for the future means that many Thai people must borrow heavily to maintain face, be seen as shrewd business people, and keep up with the neighbours. Thai people will gossip and you cannot risk dirtying your own nest.

As a comparison, I think Chinese people are very good at planning for the future, but they may not be so spontaneous. Again, you cannot learn from your past history if you are not honest about it.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby TrooperR on Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:55 pm

I'm an Aussie, I've been married to the most wonderful Thai woman for eleven years now, the best years I've had so far.
We travel to Thailand regularly. I respect the Thai culture and the Thai ways, but I don't feel I have pick everything to pieces or to try to understand every little aspect like it was a damn autopsy. I enjoy and respect my wife's ways without feeling the need to gain a PHD in THAI-NESS. I prefer to relax and be next to some of that Thai-ness and let some of that wash over me if it comes my way,
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby zulu on Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:58 pm

Upon my last arrival in bangkok, just 2 weeks ago, my first steps brought me to an ATM. for ages i have my hotel at sanam luang and this time i noticed the amount of beggars around the place had increased tenfold, . and as i stand in front of the ATM in front of the 7/11 to get my cash i realized this blind beggar eagleing in my direction. having no coin on me, but only a twenty baht note, i decided that the day of my return to bangkok will be his lucky day, so i folded my little note, pressed it into his hand, and walked off. 15 seconds later a young boy run up to me shouting "Mr. Mr. you forgot your ATM card!" - and gave it back to me. T.I.T. -- thainess means accept the unexpected. in both ways, in good (and in bad). thais have so very unique ability to link, or knot the things. that's the "thai magic". be good and you will receive good. it's not as easy to detect as it was 25 years ago, but it's still there. thai people can be wonderful. specially when you compare them with this old grumpy farts roaming walking street.
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