Thais lambast S. Korean TV show lampooning monks

Thais lambast S. Korean TV show lampooning monks

A screengrab from a video posted on the Comedy Big League TV show’s Facebook page contains several scenes that Thai viewers considered an affront to Buddhism.
A screengrab from a video posted on the Comedy Big League TV show’s Facebook page contains several scenes that Thai viewers considered an affront to Buddhism.

Local internet users didn’t hold back when critiquing a South Korean television comedy show that lampooned Thai Buddhist monks.

Strong language and expletives, both in Thai and English, littered comments posted on the Comedy Big League TV show's Facebook page, which published a video of the parody broadcast on South Korea's TVN.

''Bad-mannered,'' ''stupid'' or ''what a disappointment Korea' were the milder reproaches posted. Thai commenters also urged the show's producers to translate their views so they understand the depth of the anger.

The four-minute video, which has received more than 14 million "likes", features a man and a woman dressed as Buddhist monks.

Comedy Big League's two hosts try to speak to the "monks" in Thai, saying sawasdee krup and khob khun krub ("hello" and "thank you"), but the man in an orange robe responds to them in Korean.

According to unofficial translations posted on web forums, the man told the hosts he could speak Korean because he likes K-Pop and is a fan of the Korean boy band Big Bang.

At one point, the man strips part of his robe off to reveal his torso. The woman also touches him, a prohibited act for Buddhist monks.

After that, another man made to appear like a Buddha image appears. During the skit, the woman, who also dressed in an orange robe, slaps the Buddha's head several times, prompting laughter from the audience.

Most Thais told the programme's producers on the Facebook page that the show was an insult to Buddhism.

They said that religions should not be parodied. One Thai commenter said he will petition the South Korean embassy to order the programme to delete a record of the show, said a report on Matichon Online.

One comment in Korean, however, said that South Korea enjoys both freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

Since satire is part of free speech, nobody should have the right to order the programme's producer to take the show offline.

The commenter also urged Thais to respect Korea's freedom of speech, according to the Matichon report.

One Thai user said many Thai people have admired Korean singers, movie stars and pop idols for more than two decades.

The person said this ''idiotic'' act of mocking Thai Buddhism will torpedo the good image of Korean people in the heart of Thais.


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