My half-Thai sibling – opposite faces

My aim was to blog at least once every Friday to coincide with Richard’s suggestion on ‘how to blog’ because I’ve also taken a full-time job recently. I realized it would be a better idea for me to move it to the weekend instead where I have more time. Anyway, onto my post…

I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs that I have a brother. This obviously means he is also a ‘luk kreung’ (half-Thai) but it is a little strange in some ways for me to think of him as a [half] Thai. We only have a year and five days age difference which is pretty close to same age and we’re both born in June under the Gemini (twins sign). As kids, we were sometimes even dressed in matching outfits and almost mistaken for actual twins. One wonders, “So if you’re both half, and you’re interested in Thai, then your brother must be too, right?” Not exactly.

We have both been exposed to western culture a lot more than Thai culture. Our western attitude would be considered more ‘American’ but I’d say that my brother drives that one home a lot more than I do.

It used to be that I was moreover my dad’s daughter and my brother, our mother’s son but our roles have switched too. Matt relates more to the western side of things in which he is able to relate to my dad better. I, on the other hand, were it not for my interest in Thai culture, probably would not have as close a relationship to my mother like I do now because Thai ‘stuff’ tends to form a bridge so-to-speak.

As far as I’m aware, my N’Chai (little brother) knows little about Thai culture and so he isn’t as familiar with the customs or traditions as I am aside from the major ones we do as a family like Loy Kratong, Songkran or Taam Bun (merit-making). Perhaps he knows more than he lets on but he doesn’t show it so I wouldn’t know for sure. We tend to stand on opposite sides of the fence.

However, in terms of appearance, I think my brother has quite a few Thai traits. For instance, his hair is black/darker than mine and he is also more tanned compared to the fair-skinned me. If there is one thing that he shows keen interest in, it is Muay Thai (Thai kick-boxing). I like Muay Thai too so I think that is one Thai bridge we both stand on. Maybe in future, he will see the interest in our Thai heritage as I already have and we can walk along the same Thai bridge.

8 responses to “My half-Thai sibling – opposite faces

  1. harald nygaard

    Sawatdee khrup Jen!
    Thank you for scaring this ! My daughter is also half Thai, also born in the geminy in june. Shes only 3 and i hope she will have the same interesst as you as she grows up.
    God luck in the future

    Harald

  2. Hey Jen,

    Excellent entry! The last paragraph with your metaphor of ‘standing on’ and ‘walking along the same Thai bridge’ was very well written. It was very cool 🙂

    Congrats on writting a terrific blog.

    Wit

  3. Hi Jen I am glad to read your blog. Like yourself I am of mixed Thai and American and neither of my 2 brothers or sister have any idea of our Thai culture. Our mom is no longer with us and I find it my responsibility to carry on our Thai culture and in doing so hope that one day they will know where WE come from.

    David

  4. @ Wit: Thanks for the feedback. Hope I’m not getting too lame with my metaphors.

    @ harald: Sawatdee kha. It will be good if your daughter is interested in Thai culture and as she’s a gem too.

    @ David: Glad you enjoy my blogs. It’s a shame when siblings don’t take an interest (like my bro, he’s semi-interested). Sorry to hear about your mother’s passing… but… good on you for carrying on Thai culture (^_^). I think if at least one is interested then all is not lost.

  5. jack thompson

    jen , I really enjoyed your blog.I live in america,I have a daughter age 3 living in a small apartment in bangkok,so your writting will help me in the future.as of now my wife does not desire to come to u.s. ,mom is very old .i spend lots of time in thailand,i am missing it now as i write.please keep writing i find it very interesting chok dee!

  6. Hi Jen,

    Im a first time blogger, and i just stumbled across this great site! and read ur entry. Ive been meaning to find a site like this 😛 coz i luv everything to do with Thailand! Like yourself im 1/2 Thai 1/2 English with a little Malaysian mixed in. I have been travelling to Thailand 3-4 times a year since beginning of last year. i luv the atmosphere, the humidity, the people and esp the CULTURE! i just recently returned from a trip in early july and i was sooo emersed into the culture and the ‘thai way’ of living (as i was born in England moved to bangkok, lived in Ramintra for 2 years as a baby. then went to Sydney, Australia for school, and currently uni and work). It was so cool to hang out with locals and my cousins and to see them go about their lives. and what shocked me the most was when the Thai National Anthem was played in Siam Square, everybody stopped what they were doing and paid respect. which just took my breath away! i was proud to be Thai at that point. ( i even got a tattoo in thai on my arm which is my ‘kun yai’ grandmothers last name, Rodphothong)
    i also have an older sister, who is similar to your younger bro. which i hope will learn more about the Thai culture.
    “and walk along the same thai bridge”
    😉

    p.s. i would like to write more blogs on this site. how do i get permisson etc…. ?

  7. @ Jack: Thanks for reading my blog, I will surely keep writing because the feedback from this entry gives me an idea for a future post. Chohk dee ka.

    @ Adrian: Glad you found the site and it’s good to know others can relate in similar ways. Sounds like you’ve been enjoying yourself in Thai culture, that’s great! If you want to blog, scroll to the top of this page and you’ll see the ‘how to blog’ and there should be instructions on how to register.

  8. Sawadee ka N’Jen,

    What a great blog you posted! I hope you will show us more pictures of yourself and your lil bro.:D Do you and your brother ever get into a fight in case of a different interest in culture?

    By the way, if your bro is interested in Muay Thai, I recommend my dad to be his coach (hehehe…when he and you come to Thailand na) My dad’s part-time job is a Muay Thai referee. His fulltime job is a teacher and I’m prone to be like him if my current job doesn’t work out. I will devote myself for Thai children! (woohoo…sounds like a Miss Universe! lol)

    Be good, n’Jen. I’ll look forwarding to reading your future blogs. Enjoy writing naja…pretty!