Navy 'Gangnam Style' makes choppy waves
- Published: 1/10/2012 at 04:31 PM
- Online news:
A senior naval officer has apologised to some of his colleagues and superiors who were unhappy with the "Gangnam Style" video he helped produce.
Vice Admiral Tharathorn Kajitsuwan, the Third Naval Area commander, said the video was made for entertainment purposes and to be showcased at the unit's annual retirement party.
Some senior officers were said to have been offended by the "improper" spectacle of officers in dress whites prancing about, but Commander Surasak Rounroengrom said no harm was done to the Navy's image.
"I told my subordinates that the video should be entertaining to watch and help promote unity in the unit," Vice Adm Tharathorn said on Monday.
He said officers and employees in the unit including those who will retire this year were encouraged to participate in the making of the video.
"I told them my idea that they should make it fun, probably mimicking the Gangnam Style dance moves which are so popular now, but I didn't think things would turn out this way," the commander said.
"I didn't expect my subordinates would upload the video to YouTube, but they have the right to do so."
He said the video was shown at the retirement party last Wednesday, and much to his surprise, it was aired on Channel 3's news programme hosted by Sorayuth Suthassanajinda the next day.
The 4.21-minute video, posted on YouTube last Thursday, had about 390,000 page views as of Monday afternoon.
"There are many ways of looking at this," said Vice Adm Tharathorn. "I admit that in some respects it may not be appropriate, but I insist that we had no intention to insult or make fun of navy officers in uniform.
"We only thought about finding an activity that officers and employees would enjoy doing together to bid farewell to our retiring colleagues.
"Everybody [in the video] was willing to dance and looked very happy. But if anyone feels discontented or sees it as inappropriate, I apologise."
The mimicking of PSY's K-pop smash-hit by the Thai sailors has made Thailand the second country in the world to have men in white uniforms performing the rodeo-style dance.
Students from the US Naval Academy's 22nd Company in Annapolis, Maryland recently released their video on YouTube, saying they created it as a "spirit spot".
A source in the navy said some high-ranking people in the navy initially regarded the video as "improper" and were considering launching an investigation.
However, navy commander Surasak Rounroengrom believes a probe was unnecessary because the video caused no damage to the Navy.
Adm Surasak admitted that there was some impropriety about military officers doing their fancy stepping in uniform, which had sparked wide criticism. He advised officers to dress in sports outfits, saying it would look more appropriate.
He said he would talk to the officers of the Third Naval Area Command so that everyone would have the same understanding.
"I will only warn them like brothers and there will be no punishment," Adm Surasak said.
Meanwhile, PSY. aka Park Jae-Sang, has brought his Gangnam Style to the top of the British Singles Chart this week, the first Korean artist to reach No.1 in the United Kingdom.
His single has become the most viewed video in history with 326 million views as of Monday. PSY plans to visit the UK soon.
About the author
- Writer: Wassana Nanuam