Readers' Submissions

Thai Thoughts (Addendum)

  • Written by Anonymous
  • July 8th, 2005
  • 7 min read


By Newzheaven


Hi Stickman,

Hi! You know, I'm not a reader type and not a good writer type. But I love this kind of discussion and learning from people's experience. I'm not confident to criticize about the education system.. but I can share what I did in school or university. And this is not like a submission mail is more like complaining.. yep it's not well organized.. you may have to do it. I'm okay if you use these opinions to write your own article. It would be nicer to read. <Not at all, your writing is just fineStick>

What I wrote last time seemed like blaming Thais… It's not exactly like that. Something like complaining and just want to see it better. Better attitude to make jobs done efficiently. I'm not the one who talks big and blame others. The complaining also includes me. We should learn something. Changing attitudes or habits aren't easy for me… It's not that we should change our thoughts like westerners. It's just learning useful things and adapt them properly to our life under some circumstances. I'm adding more info on what I wrote last time.

Some characteristics of Thais are both good and bad. Such as life style with 'Kreng Jai', I think it's good for everyday life and it's what make us 'nice' (maybe). But in working environment, it doesn't come in handy. Together with gentle manners, helpful, sharing that create a warm feeling.

Seniority in everyday life, sure it's good to be kind and respect our parents or grandparents. But if adults believe that they're always right, that's the problem! The words 'PooYai Arb NamRonn MaKon' ok word by word 'Adults have passed the hot water'… -"- umm not very nice translation. It means adults having passed the world, adults know a lot (at least than younger ones). Adults use these words to tell their children to obey them without any objections or questions……. Yeah this is a 'factor' that makes most Thai kids don't think for themselves.. They just follow the orders.. They don't have to question why? Questioning or Excusing are considered as 'Tiang' or 'Talk back'.. that means 'disobey'……. Good thing… olders are supposed to support youngers… what's more… umm it's 'Katunyoo' or … (wait, I'm opening dictionary).. gratefulness, gratitude, sense of obligation… to who gives birth to us, feed us, teach us or good deeds to us. Good thing of 'Katunyoo' is warmth. If possible, Thais want to live the their parents to take care of them, support them both financially and mentally. We believe elders basically feel lonely… living alone could make things worse. You can usually see adults living with their parents. With this kind of unquestionable obeying concept, many Thai younglings don't think. They're not encouraged to study. They're forced to study. They're familiar to be forced. Even in school, just what exactly you have experienced, they are taught to just remember things. It seems like teaching is very easy, you just have a book, teach what a book says. So it's not only the education system.. it's related to family system. Oh man! Everything works as a system…..

One more thing about Forcing…. (We might be ancestors of the Jedi Knights.. use the force) what would happen when we are free… when we won't be punished…. someone does something bad to gain benefits regardless of Ethic just because it's not against the law especially when there's no punishment.

Seniority + Supporting system – Politically, do we really have true democracy?… equality? Someone is acting good to someone in order to make an obligation. As I mentioned in the last paragraph.. Without forcing in some way, sometimes we are expert pathfinders.. what path? a path to gain some benefits without being punished, or the law can't get 'em… These are parts leading to 'Corruption'.. once again everything works as a system……. If you remember CTX case, I heard that some law schools in U.S. use it as a case study.. an unique and excellent fraud to study… oh man!! should I be happy.. U.S. is learning from us.

Following orders + Loving easiness answers why we're not 'pro-active' workers naturally.. it's necessary to be to secure our careers. Nowadays many people work even if they're not happy or do the work that doesn't inspire them, except those who run own business. Plus a little laziness.. it's hard to be eager for jobs…. luckily, I'm quite happy with the current job which make me pro-active. But not everyone's lazy, there're many Thais working like crazy, there're those who try hard to succeed for their parents, their family even sacrificing themselves. hmmm I'm thinking of a phrase "short -term sacrifices for long-term gains".

Smiling..
Thailand, land of smile. Yeah we smile a lot.. At least this habit makes everyday life nicer and warmer. But sometimes we smile (unintentionally/automatically) in wrong situations. My ex-colleagues which are Koreans, English, American, Australian expect other reactions but smiling when Thais do mistake.

Avoid being center of attention, Avoid confrontation, Be Shy You can hardly see someone in a big party suddenly standing in front of everyone and announce something. In the class, you may need a volunteer for your lesson. You may hardly see them do it, or do it with hesitation. It might be that we care how to be seen and talked about. It's horrible if we do something stupid in front of people (we call 'NaTac' or broken face). Thais tend to avoid hard-time confrontation like confession, critizing, being criticized, though it's necessary. Just let it be…. and continue bearing, then problems are not solved but grown… Being shy… oh we are taught to be shameful to do bad things…. but I don't know why we tend to be shy for being center of attention…. I'm so sure you have seen a lot of students being shy to say something in front of the class…. even in universities, students are not very good in presentation.

I heard western teenagers work when they're 18. While they're thinking of
something big or chasing their dreams, 18 years-old Thais are being fed by their parents (except those whose family has financial prob). Basically Thais work after they graduate which is at age 22-26 years old. Our thoughts are developed later than westerners. One more thing, this society doesn't give that much opportunity to teenagers for a good job…. if they got jobs, they still get cheap compensation. Definitely they can't afford costs of their apartments, foods, education. Isn't it better to focus on education, finish it ASAP, then make money with for reasonable compensation. Here we go again, the system.

Massage (.. this is outta scope)
As you know, there're real massage and another massage here. Thai massage (real one) is one of highlight of tourist attractions. Another one is prostitution. I rarely see a westerner there. Why do I know? yep I'm also a customer. It's embarrassing to say I've never had sex with a girl who's not a 'massager' and my first sex is when I was 22. Not only girls suffer from strict culture on sexuality. Men at my age were taught that sex coming with responsibilities, bonds, blah blah blah. Gentlemen shouldn't do something like that blah blah blah.. Unfortunately, I've always been around with good girls.. I don't even stand a single chance.. It's pitiful that I've missed some experience… I have no choice but to go there. But it's now changed, it's said to be a simple thing for teenagers…. woah… why wasn't I born later than this just 3-4 years? hehehe (I really envy them).

Un-oh! my English circuit is running out of power! bleep! bleep! Well, next episode.. "Behind the scene, Thai thoughts to farangs"

Cheers!!
newzheaven (my internet name)

Stickman's thoughts:

GREAT STUFF! Please, please, would more learned Thais like this gentlemen send in submissions!