Big Brother is Watching You!

For about a month or so, UBC have been broadcasting the Thai version of Big Brother. If you didn’t know, this is a tv program where people live in seclusion in a house for two or three months. Each week someone is voted off until only one is left. This person then wins the big prize of a house. Big Brother is broadcast 24 hours a day on UBC 16 with highlights on ITV every evening. This reminds me a bit of our school. We have cameras every where and our every move is watched by the administration. They even have a camera and microphone in our staff room.

I have watched Big Brother briefly a few times but it has been a bit boring and tedious. Basically there has been no drama. It is the nature of Thai people to be non-confrontational. So, there are no big fights or arguments. Everyone seems to be getting on well with each other. I haven’t seen Big Brother in the UK but I guess this is in complete contrast.

However, the newspapers have been full of stories this week of the hot and steamy scenes that have been broadcast live. Apparently two of the contestants have fallen in love and have shown affection for each other. The behaviour has been labelled as very “un-Thai” and the shows producers have been summoned to appear before the House committee on religion, arts and culture. What did they do? Well, according to the newspapers, they were seen “holding hands, touching, hugging and lying together on the sofa and sharing a blanket on the bed”.

What I find most strange is that there is no mention of the men massaging each other and actually spending the whole night sleeping in the same bed. In Thai society, no-one blinks and eyelid when two policemen walk hand in hand down the road. But, according to the Bangkok Post column Gor’s World, when Panrit walked down the market holding hands with his girlfriend he was scolded by his teacher! Then, what about Thai soap operas? Is the House Committee really proud of how these soaps portray Thai life? Wife battering, mafia bosses and a lot more is portrayed as the norm. Then, two people hold hands on national tv and it becomes headline news!

Anyway, as can be expected, I am sure the ratings for this reality show have gone through the roof this week. I even have it on now as I type this. Sadly, Toto the man who acted in an “un-Thai” way was voted off last weekend. All that is happening at the moment is some boring talk around the kitchen table. Time to go to bed.

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