Thursday, December 16, 2010


Thailand was one of the few countries NOT to be colonized during the twisted, long era of colonialism (even while all its neighbors were).  So while it can be said that they value "Western" things like, say, Winnie the Pooh (they like them some Winnie the Pooh), there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of inferiority complex.  They have their own racism though, where lighter skin is privileged (bad sun!)  - the darker-toned Isaan people from the northeast suffer discrimination, and there are lots of "whitening" products available.   But generally Thais go about the business of being Thai as a perfectly valid, valuable, and EQUAL cultural option.  They don't seem to sweat the "West" that much, and for the most part, it seems to work for them.  At this point they've got their own language with its own script, their own take on religion (that borrows as much as it needs), and their own distinctive cuisine.  It's refreshing to see a country like Thailand in the face of enduring "Western" world domination.

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