Good day, travelers
Today, I would like to share ones of the most common misunderstanding SOME foreign travelers think Thai people are. They are 4 basic stereotypes (usually) Farang (aka westerners in Thai), who have never been in Thailand or have never met Thai people, think we are. For Thai people, they can be sort of an insult. I’ve been to other countries before, and got asked these weird questions which were unexpected like, ‘Do you guys still riding elephants to places in your country?,’ ‘Do you guys have donuts back in our country?,’ ‘You’ve had marshmellow before in Thailand, right?,’ and so on. Some even mistook Thailand for Taiwan.
Let see what are the most misunderstanding stereotypes of Thai people here…
1. Riding elephants everyday/ Having a pet elephant at home
This might be the affect from the most famous movie of Tony Ja, Tom Yum Goong (or you may know as The Protector). We, Thai people, have the similar pets like any other people around the world. Although we love elephants, and they are like Thai symbols, we don’t get to ride elephants everyday. We don’t have a pet elephant. Elephants are at zoos, animal shelters, or in the wood. I remembered once I was asked if we were riding elephants to school everyday. lol
2. Eating Tom Yum Goong
The second thing come to mind when Farang fellows think of Thailand. Of course, Tom Yum Goong is delicious and is one of the signature Thai dishes, but there are many dishes that are so yummy and very popular amoung foreign traveler such as, Som Tum, Pad Thai, Pad Kra Pow, Lard Naar, etc.
3. Practicing Muay Thai
Another influential image from the movie ‘Tom Yum Goong’ here…Some people believe every Thai people learn Thai boxing since we were young. Absolutely not true… only those who are interested in Muay Thai would sign up for a boxing gym and get trained.
Last but not least, I know that the red light business in Thailand is known by the World, but, please do not assume that every girl are hookers or easy-to-get. I heard a lot of Thai girls said they were always asked ‘How Much?’ by many Farang guys when they were walking by sidewalk or even when they are traveling abroad. It’s very offensive to Thai girls though. I was once grabbed by an old Farang guy in Silom area while I was on my way home. Fortunately, my guy friend was right behind me, so he covered me. Totally not cool guys…please be nice to girls 😉
As you can see, we are all influenced by media, end up assuming people or things from different country or society to be the way certain medias present, and believe that they are all true. My personal thought toward this is to say that we are all human. Even we live far apart in different continents, we are all the same, so sometimes being considerate and putting yourselves in others’ shoes are essential. Movies like Hangover, or Tom Yum Goong are only taking some parts of Thai culture, and manipulate/exaggerate them to fit certain trends in order to sell.
Alrighty guys, that’s it. Comment to let me know what your thoughts are about this. I’m writing this content all according to my opinion and experience only.