In my first blog entry, I mentioned that it’s been just over 18 months since I became interested in Thai culture. Before that my interest was mainly Japanese, thanks to the world of ‘manga’ and anime that I enjoy, and still do, which led me to be further interested in Japanese culture listening to their music, learning the words and so on.
I was excited at being able to understand more Japanese and of course I happily told my mother about it several times but one day she came out and said to me “Why don’t you learn Thai?” That phrase had triggered something in me.
Wimbledon Temple Grounds
In my family, I knew we would sometimes practice the Buddhist ways, e.g. going to the temple, going to festivals, making merit, etc. But I thought about that more as ‘routine’ then, given that I was younger. Sometimes the monks would speak with my mother and ask about us (my brother and I). Another trigger was when some Thai people would speak in Thai to me but I couldn’t respond. I felt bad. I wish I could’ve at least understood them.
The third trigger that I consider a big impact on me was browsing through the TV channels one day and coming across a daytime talk show that talked about bi/multiracialism. I watched the remainder of it and found out about this online community about people with mixed heritage. Reading the many articles and other people’s experiences made me realize there was more to me than I thought and that it was time to get in touch with the inner ‘Thai’ in me.
I know it sounds cheesy, but ever since those times, I feel I’ve changed as a person. Sometimes, I wonder what kind of person I would be, had my mother never asked me that question or had I never watched that talk show. Maybe I wouldn’t have been as aware? But whatever the outcome of that, I feel it is a good thing that I am able to embrace my heritage, not only Thai people, but halves and foreigners can enjoy Thai culture alike these days.
I won’t say that I haven’t had my share of difficulty but I’ll keep that for another future blog entry.