Columnnist

Pornchai Sereemongkonpol

Guru section Editor

Guru section Editor

Email : pornchais@bangkokpost.co.th

Pornchai Sereemongkonpol
27 Mar 2020

Laughing in the face of Covid-19

Laughter is definitely not the best medicine for coronavirus, but perhaps, in difficult times like this, we all could use it the most. While we're all practising self-isolation, social distancing or working from home, I present you examples of people who find humour in the Covid-19 climate to brighten up your days.

27 Mar 2020 2
Laughing in the face of Covid-19
20 Mar 2020

Necessity is the Mother of Invention: Covid-19 Edition

The C-word has us all worried, confused and clean out supermarket shelves. The televised address by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday didn't help much and the temporary closure of various venues until March 31 certainly does not. A few venues have taken extra measures and have temporarily shut shop, namely theCommons Thonglor, Beam and Demo. I'm pretty sure the list is going to get longer in the coming weeks.

20 Mar 2020
Necessity is the Mother of Invention:  Covid-19 Edition
13 Mar 2020

A playlist for the PM

On Monday, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said, "Please stop criticising me. I've had it up to my ears this past weekend. My heart is worsening with each passing day." This was at a press conference during his visit to the Ministry of Energy.

13 Mar 2020 26
A playlist  for the PM
6 Mar 2020

#BehindTheHashtags

Many student protests that were partly set off by the dissolution of Future Forward Party over the past two weeks has also ushered in new hashtags into the lexicon of Thai social media. At the time of writing, it has been reported that there are 28 hashtags associated with campus protests. Some are humourous while others carry strong political stances and sharp gibes. Whether you agree with these students who've chosen to make their voices heard, it's better to get used to their protest hashtags as more student flashmobs are on their way (but many speculate that the designation of Covid-19 as a dangerous communicable disease may be used as a tool to suppress them). Not to mention, an online campaign calling for people to wear black on Fridays as a symbol to oppose dictatorship began last Friday.

6 Mar 2020 1
#BehindTheHashtags
28 Feb 2020

Superlative moments from the censure debate

At the time of writing, we were in the thick of the censure debate against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and five Cabinet ministers. It was scheduled to end yesterday at 7pm so, by the time you're reading this, you may be reeling in mixed emotions.

28 Feb 2020 2
Superlative moments from the censure debate
21 Feb 2020

Govt plans that sound like bad ideas

Pardon me, dear readers, for the headline betrays my inadequacy in wordsmithery. You see, I put as much effort into coming up with it as the following esteemed people perhaps with their "ideas". It seems you can always count on the government for questionable plans but these three recent examples take the cake. Read on for your entertainment (which may be tinged with hopelessness).

21 Feb 2020 3
7 Feb 2020

Thai Emojis For 2020

Amid the whirlwind of information, misinformation and daily tally regarding the novel coronavirus, you may not be aware that a new set of emojis is being introduced to enrich our online communication. Yes, it's not Earth-changing positive news but given what has transpired in the past month, new cute emojis feel like a flashlight in a big dark tunnel. The new 117 emojis include the famous "ma-che-vuoi?" Italian hand gesture, transgender flag, bottle-feeding parents, ninja, beard brides and smiling face with tear.

7 Feb 2020
Thai Emojis For 2020
24 Jan 2020

Subject(s) (That) Matter

Two things that recently happened made me wonder about the definition of education in Thailand. First, a uni professor in Phitsanulok drafted a new course called "My Beloved Country" but the board rejected it, saying its purpose isn't in line with that of a general education course. The professor said his subject encourages students to "understand and appreciate their own values, as well as values of others, society, culture and nature". It sounds fine and dandy until you see his list of 18 guest lecturers consisting of controversial figures, some of whom are seen as aligning themselves with the government. So, if you disagree with them, would you be considered disloyal to Thailand or something? Second, Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang ordered all schools under BMA to have their students sing the royal anthem after they sing the national anthem before classes every morning to remind them of Thailand's three pillars -- nation, religion and monarchy -- which I humbly think the kids are reminded of plenty already.

24 Jan 2020 6
17 Jan 2020

Uniquely Thai Logic

A school in Pathum Thani was recently exposed for having the controversial policy of gauging the loudness of students singing the national anthem. They were so serious about it that they divided the students into three categories, based on how loud they are: green, yellow and red. If a student is given green, then they pass. Yellow means they have to sing it twice. Red means they have to sing it thrice. WTF, you ask? This idea is supposed to measure how much students love Thailand. The louder they sing, the more patriotic they are. Simple logic. Of course, the school scrapped this unnecessary practice after receiving overwhelmingly negative feedback from the public. Simple logic, too.

17 Jan 2020
10 Jan 2020

Kids (and adults) say the darnedest things

Tomorrow is National Children's Day and, instead of telling you where to take your children/nieces/nephews to climb tanks and watch a fighter jet show, I decided to flip the script. You see, a little one can say something out-of-left-field and humorous. The same can be said for adults who sometimes give damnedest responses, comments or excuses despite their years of wisdom. Here are a few examples of when adults say the darnedest things, Thailand edition.

10 Jan 2020