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October 27, 2012

Simple And Poignant Things In Bangkok

Last decade saw raise of economic prosperity in Thailand. Today progress can be seen in every nook and corner. Thai upper middle class is burgeoning at a steady pace. At the same time, we can still notice the simple and poignant things all around. Few examples here:

- Last year I went to see a movie in MBK (MahboonKrong, one of the popular malls in Bangkok). When the movie was about to start, suddenly all the people in the theatre started standing up. I was confused as to why they were trying to leave when the movie is about start. I was wrong. They were all standing respectfully as short clip about King Bhumibol Adulyadej was going to be shown next, that is before the movie. I felt so moved that I too stood reverentially.

- During my recent visit, at the buffet dinner in the hotel, I saw unusually more number of vegetarian dishes. There were also few yellow flags around these dishes with Thai letters. My Thai colleagues explained that for nine days, Thais practice vegetarianism, some of them very strict. These nine days coincide with Dasara or Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra days!

- Nationalism is pervasive all around. Every day at 8am  and at 6pm the Thai national anthem is played invariably in all the channels both radio and TV!


During my childhood, cinema theatres were ending shows with our National Anthem - Janaganamana being played, with all of us standing up with respect. God knows, why and when this practice was stopped.

Why don't we have the Indian national anthem played everyday at 8 am in all Indian channels? How difficult is to bring such measures? Or it doesn't matter?

14 comments:

  1. Well said Ravigaru. Hope our netas will understand the national pride, and our Babus will observe them.

    Thailand seems to be an exotic country. Psychologically, we feel a little closer to them, considering their beliefs, names, and the temples!

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    1. Thanks...I am at a loss to figure out how and when playing Janaganamana, except on Aug 15 and Jan 26, was stopped

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  2. First let me thank you for accessing my post.
    And thankful also to find your post that informs us about your experience of the place and people. Simple things are not ordinary. I am touched by your post.

    Many of my acquaintances and students have gone abroad. Some are on the Facebook. But rarely anyone shares their experiences, wherever they are, in-spite of my request.

    I am aware that we have cultural link with Asian countries... Long ago Emperor Ashoka had colonized these countries by sending Buddhist monks - a very different colonization - not military, not traders.

    Culture! Once upon a time, it was compulsory for every cinema show to begin with a documentary films made by "Films Division of India (FDI)", which informed us about places, people, monuments etc. Now that is taken over by consumerist advertizements.

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    1. Thank you very much for your kind comments...simplicity and along with world famous Thai smiles are pervasive all around when you visit Thailand...

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  3. On my BKK trip, I was struck by how much regard the King still holds in Thailand!

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    1. The reverence that they have for their king is legendary... Thais also have colour coded dressing to pay their respect to the king!

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  4. Wow. This is really wonderful info. Yeah, i am also wondering why they stopped playing the National Anthem. It is very nice to know vegetarianism is popular option there in Bangkok. A few hundred miles and here at Seoul, it is pretty much close to non existent. :(

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    1. Glad you liked it. Thanks for the feedback. Frankly first time I discovered vegetarianism in Thailand. Hitherto,my options were only limited to rice with vegetable green curry. :-)

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  5. The piece about dusshera was interesting . Yes , playing the national anthem at a fixed time is something we can definitely adopt !

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Actually they also follow Lunar calendar similar to Hindus and the people who practice vegetarianism are generally buddhists.

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  6. So true of Thai people, I have been to Bangkok and to MBK too :)

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    1. agree...btw, of late Bangkok is slowly losing its charm as a shopping destination with Jakarta emerging pretty fast as a preferred location.

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  7. Quite interesting fcts...How nice it would be if we were to adopt a few good practices in other countries and cultures that we come across...

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    1. Thanks...in our country we have too much of democracy and there is no one to bother about our cultural heritage or about of patriotism.

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