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A Facebook post by a doctor went viral last week and sparked a much-needed and perhaps overdue debate regarding the graduation ceremony at Thai universities. She claimed her employer friends wouldn't consider hiring graduates who didn't attend the ceremony to accept their diplomas from a member of the Thai royal family for fear of them being troublemakers. Being conferred your diploma by a member of the Thai royal family is a relatively new norm that started in the reign of King Rama VII. I would like to offer my personal experience regarding the tradition and my two satangs on the topic.
Thailand's English proficiency is on the decline for the third consecutive year, according to a global survey conducted by Education First. The survey, which was announced in November last year, ranked 112 countries that don't use English as their official language in order of their English Proficiency Index. Thailand is No.100, being the lowest ranking country in Southeast Asia. In 2020, we were at 89 and in 2019, we were at 74. Not so promising.
Despite the fact that a majority of the Thai population claim to be Buddhists, they go all out to celebrate Jesus Christ's birthday every year. Even though they may not be aware that it's his birthday and Xmas isn't even an official holiday despite all the lights and Christmas trees that pop up across the country. I've gone down Bangkok Post's archive (Xmas pun intended) to present a few quirky and local twists on the worldwide holiday. While they may not be unique to Thailand, they are definitely memorable. Merry Christmas, everyone!
Collins Dictionary recently picked NFT, or non-fungible tokens, as 2021's Word of the Year and it got my language pedant self thinking two things. First, isn't NFT an acronym and hence it should be "acronym of the year" or two words of the year if we want to be that anal-retentive. Second, why don't I give the same treatment to the Thai language for your edutainment? Here's my personal pick of TWOTY.
If you've been spending a lot of time on your phone or computer, you've probably come across suggestions of items that may be of interest from several e-commerce platforms. While most suggested items relate to what you've been looking up on the internet, a few items seem to come out of nowhere. Have you been recommended a see-through bikini, as well as a shelf for Buddha images at the same time? No, just me? Some items you can't even believe exist!
I don't think you really need to be reminded how ironic Loy Krathong is every year. But in case you need a refresher -- you thank the goddess of water by floating a decorated basket that ends up as garbage the next morning. Not to mention, bits from these baskets break off and contaminate water. What a way to show gratitude, huh?