Guru section Editor
Guru section Editor
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Your year-end schedule is probably pretty hectic, trying to get everything done so you can have a worry-free break during Christmas and New Year. You may be so busy that you may forget to write the annual letter to Santa Claus (indulge me, readers). To make it easy for you, I have created a template that you can fill in to secure your gift at the last minute, despite having being naughty or nice. Don't forget to send it to SantaClaus@NorthPoleMail.com when you're done. Merry Xmas, everyone!
It seems every Thai was talking about Miss Universe 2019 earlier this week (and I'm sure we'll be hearing about it for another week). Even though our Fahsai didn't win the title, she reached the top five and made us proud. What got people talking so much, besides how gorgeous she looked, was how she answered the question, which many think was picked for Thailand. MC Steve Harvey asked her, "Government surveillance is used to keep many nations and their people safe. But some believe this invades our right to privacy. What is more important to you, privacy or security?" Fahsai gave a PC answer, saying the government should find a way to keep people safe without invading people's privacy. A very safe answer but how would you come up with an answer to a complicated question in 30 seconds? A few people said her safe answer was because she wanted to return to Thailand.
The point of setting up holidays and special days is to celebrate or observe a cause, a thing or an event of significance. But as I scan through the 2020 calendar (to plan to use all of my days off in advance), I can't help but find that some special days in Thailand have taken an ironic turn.
The purpose of an advertisement is primarily to sell products but it also serves as a mirror to reflect the culture and societal values of its day. Before the bombardment of ads on YouTube and on our Facebook newsfeed, there were ads from the past that have accidentally become amusing by today's standard.