Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Felix_Qui on Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:45 pm

Thainess is easy to understand. There are examples of it in the news every day. The most recent being the wonderful debacle surrounding a minor accident when a Thai Airways' plane went off the runway. The Thainess is seen in the amazing sequence of subsequent face saving events:
1. emergency crew rushes out to cover up the logo.
2. Thai Airways' issues cover up story for the heat it takes for covering up the logo.
3. called out by Star Alliance flatly denying above cover up story, Thai Airways starts blaming others, preferably foreigners.
4. the cover up stories for the cover up of the cover up having failed abysmally except to self-egg the faces of Thai Airways, they stick their heads underground and hope those rude truth tellers will all rot in hell, presumably wishing that they could threaten such wanton truth tellers and seekers with 15 year prison sentences for making statements that are critical, negative, offensive and generally unwelcome.

And there we have one major facet of Thainess in a perfectly clear example, for which we thank Thai Airways.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby MrMoisture on Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:07 pm

EOD Ghost, I agree with you 100%.

I have seen many times EXACTLY all four of the examples you give - and coupled with the complete lack of ability to think and plan ahead, plus innate ingrained 3rd world superstition, it beggars belief at times.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Harkens on Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:51 am

A key element of "Thainess", from a farang who has lived here many years, is respect for those 'above' you - be they elders, elites, people in Mercedes, big haired hi-so matriarchs. You see it in their TV soaps, you see it in everyday life. A second and related key element is a lack of critical thinking. Thai education does not encourage such a thing. Accept things as they are - and accept your position. This is related to the national religion, but more broadly to cultural pressures that benefit those higher in the hierarchy.

Which brings us to the continuing political challenges. These result in my view from a breakdown in the first element - less respect for those 'higher' in society - in particular acceptance by the rural folk that the sophisticates in Bangkok should run things. And the beginnings of a growth in critical thinking, perhaps the result of mildly improving education and information technology. People just have so much more access to information, and can see for themselves that there is no reason for them to accept second class status.

The best path for Thailand would be to accept and in fact embrace these trends away from automatic upward respect and lack of critical thinking. In the information age, a thinking population, not locked into traditional roles and positions, will be key to actually doing well in the global economy. A dimmed down, accepting, non-thinking society is the path to stagnation. In the end, I would hope the elites of Thailand recognize this, recognize their role in helping overcome these elements of 'Thainess', and allow a more democratic, open and thoughtful society to flourish. But I am not betting on it happening easily. Because to some degree I do understand Thainess.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Omystic on Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:48 pm

I have been here for 4 months, have the same thai girlfriend that I met two weeks into my trip, and have not had the "issues" that most men face and cry about on these forums,

why?

I am not trying to change anyone, or anything.
I am trying to learn the way "to be" here


One thing I am not happy about in BKK, is the constant bombardment on trains, billboards on the approaches to the trains, TV's on the trains all geared towards:

I fear that the Thai's are going rignt to debt enslavement, and poor health from their already bad diets now being compounded by the many KFC's and McD's popping up faster than 7-11's here:

I feel sorry for what is going to happen to them, and am thankful I am with a girl who does not use credit cards.

The "gouging" of imports here is preposterous and as a guitar player, I can't tell you how many stores I have walked out of as they try to peddle cheap chinese guitars at 5 times the proce for a great Indonesian, or even Korean. I won't even get started on the guy in Pantip Plaza who tried to see me a Gibson Les Paul, for $45,000 Baht, that said Made in USA, had a serial number, but when I asked for a screw driver and opened the backplate, I clearly found the dials didnt have any markings, nor any dates, and he only then admitted, it was from China.............

I feel sorry for the guys who have women buying into all this crap.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby WakeUpYall on Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:54 am

So called Thai-ness will get its reality check when Bangkok is under several feet of water in 10-15 years time. The constant bickering between people about petty cultural differences will be irrelevant when the global fight for survival gathers speed in the not too distant future. Read and be awakened by Lester R Brown and his "World on the Edge" and turn your negative thinking into positive actions to support solutions for his Plan B. Facts as outlined by Lester Brown, not fiction or national differences, is what should be concentrating our minds.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Tim1101 on Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:54 pm

Nice thread, but I wouldn't restrict this to just Thai-ness. Lots of people do not know or even care to know what is happening outside their own borders. Can't remember where I read it, but a US article pointed out that the majority of Americans do not have a passport and something like 75% have no desire to travel outside the US. Being Canadian, I find it hard to understand American-ness, or more specifically, state-ness that is demonstrated by some Americans. Guess it can be equated to Thai and their Thai-ness.

I only noticed Thai-ness in Bangkok, upcountry not so much, yet this might be because I am viewed as half farang! LOL :lol:
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Tim1101 on Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:00 pm

Omystic wrote:I have been here for 4 months, have the same thai girlfriend that I met two weeks into my trip, and have not had the "issues" that most men face and cry about on these forums,

why?

I am not trying to change anyone, or anything.
I am trying to learn the way "to be" here


One thing I am not happy about in BKK, is the constant bombardment on trains, billboards on the approaches to the trains, TV's on the trains all geared towards:

I fear that the Thai's are going rignt to debt enslavement, and poor health from their already bad diets now being compounded by the many KFC's and McD's popping up faster than 7-11's here:

I feel sorry for what is going to happen to them, and am thankful I am with a girl who does not use credit cards.

The "gouging" of imports here is preposterous and as a guitar player, I can't tell you how many stores I have walked out of as they try to peddle cheap chinese guitars at 5 times the proce for a great Indonesian, or even Korean. I won't even get started on the guy in Pantip Plaza who tried to see me a Gibson Les Paul, for $45,000 Baht, that said Made in USA, had a serial number, but when I asked for a screw driver and opened the backplate, I clearly found the dials didnt have any markings, nor any dates, and he only then admitted, it was from China.............

I feel sorry for the guys who have women buying into all this crap.


LOL, sounds like you have experienced 'farang pricing', they spot us a mile away.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby karankohli on Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:21 am

The definition of “Thainess” originated within the context of the centralized political structure. This construction of “Thainess” then became the basis of the ideology that maintained the centralized political regime and the hierarchical social structure.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Rocks on Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:33 am

Having read and digested all the responses to the original posting I have to say I agree with all of them, particularly the ones from 'thompson' and 'EODGhost'. It is as if you guys were living with me as your comments were spot-on to my situation. I love my wife, family and friends (all Thai) but sometimes I despair at how reluctant they all are to accept that there may be, just maybe, a better way of doing things that a farang may know about and be able to teach them. Saving 'face' is alive and well in just about every daily situation I encounter and I frequently find myself having to leave the room rather than get heated about a situation I can never change. Anyway, I guess this is what makes Thailand and the Thais so appealing.
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Re: Farang cannot know Thai-ness

Postby Yeno on Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:05 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.


I've reached Thainess and sometimes I am so disappointed that I wish I wouldn't even understand Thai language :lol:
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