something's bothering me...
by, 06-30-2011 at 04:00 AM (513 Views)
I am angry today because I have seen some Thai people comment that a certain professor should not in the position to comment about the political situation in Thailand because he is not 'Thai'; he is a mix of British and (Thai-)Chinese, so what can he possibly know about Thailand?
It bothers me a lot because this is a popularly echoed sentiment, and none of his naysayers have even bothered to address each point he has made and refute them, but instead resorted to reflexive ad hominem attacks.
I, by their definition, am largely not Thai either, but let's face it, 14% of Thailand's population claim to be of Chinese ethnicity, and intermarriage means the percentage of Thai people with Chinese descent is a lot higher. But for a lot of us (as in, us Thai people of Chinese descent), Thailand has been our home country for the past few generations and we don't know of another home. We are, just like the indigenous Thais, have been [I]indoctrinated[/I] to believe in the indivisible trinity underpinning the Thai society - [I]chart, sasana, phra mahakasat[/I] (nation, religion (aka Buddhism), the King), and all the other ideologies of what it means to be a Thai. I'm sure the same goes for the Thai people of other ethnic descent.
Personally, neither I or my family were ever treated differently in Thailand due to our Chinese heritage. In fact, I wasn't even aware of such a concept until we moved to Singapore, when I was in a taxi and the driver engaged me in small talk. He asked me where I came from, and I told him I'm from Thailand. He said, 'but you look Chinese', and I was very puzzled, I just told him, 'uhm, no, I'm just Thai...'.
In fact, Chinese people of Thailand have it a lot easier than Chinese poeple of neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, due to the easygoing, accepting nature of Thai people.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's really bothering me that the Thai people, normally so charming, easygoing and laid back, are now using differences in ethnicity as an 'argument' to discredit difference in political views of others who are as equally and legitimately Thai as they are...