Daily Archives: September 18, 2005

Thais vs. Farangs

It’s been a while since I blogged but if you’re wondering about the title, it’s not about a match or anything. Well, not sports wise anyway, but the Thai way versus the Farang way of living and doing things in my family.

There’s the Thai side (my mom and me) and there’s the Farang side (my dad and brother). Often there happen to be clashes and sides tend to switch a lot.

For example, when it comes to food, my mother needs rice with most of her meals. In fact, she could eat rice with almost anything but without; she doesn’t enjoy eating anything meal-wise on its own. For my dad and brother, while they do like eating Thai food occasionally, they could not solely eat it everyday, they just like other (mostly Western) foods more. In my case, I could eat either, but I find that Asian food is much more interesting and delicious and possibly healthier even but considering that we live in the West, we pretty much tend to eat Western foods. I try and opt for Asian though.

So, Thais = 2, Farangs = 2

When it comes to religion, my mother is Buddhist, like most Thais, and she prays most ever other night and does Tawai Aaharn Phra (ถวายอาหารพระ) which is giving daily food offerings to the Buddha. While, my father is a non-practicing Lutheran (and my brother and me are supposedly also), I’d have to say that I’d consider myself more of a Buddhist believer and I practice like once in a while since I’m still learning about it.

So, Thais = 2, Farangs = 2

When it comes to temple visits, it’s always my mother and I that are keen to make the effort and go. No reason for it, it’s just what we do and like to do. My brother and dad, unfortunately, aren’t as interested unless my mother asks them to come also. Despite them not joining in, I think it isn’t too bad as long as they leave us to do what we want at Thai events.

Thais = 2, Farangs = 2

So, the score is pretty much even 6 -6 considering that those are just some examples of how the Thai ways and Farang ways tend to mix in my family.

Land of Nagas: Part 2

Nagas in Cambodia

In Cambodian legends, the Nagas are a reptilian race who had a large empire in the Pacific Ocean region. The Naga King’s daughter married the king of Ancient Cambodia, and gave rise to the Cambodian people. This is why, still, today, Cambodians say that they are “Born from the Naga”. The Seven-Headed Naga serpents depicted as statues on Cambodian temples apparently represent the 7 races within Naga society, which has a symbolic association with “the seven colours of the rainbow”. Cambodian Nagas also possess numerological symbolism in the number of their heads. Odd-headed Naga symbolise male energy, infinity, timelessness, and immortality. This is because, numerologically, all odd numbers come from One.

Even-headed Nagas are said to be female, representing physicality, mortality, temporality, and the earth – I haven’t come across any of this kind browsing the net.
(I’m wondering whether the English words “odd” and “even” reflect an opposite perception of how many is odd and what is even in the world?)

Originally, Nagas came to Cambodia from India, together with Hindu religion, philosophy, legends and architecture. Naga cult is still part of Indian culture, and has even found its way into the Muslim communities in Kashmir. In Thailand, the Naga is usually depicted as a large crested serpent. However, at Angkor, the Naga loses its crest in favor of a more ominous multi-headed appearance reminiscent of the Hydra from Greek mythology. When visiting Angkor, the outer gates are flanked by seven-headed Naga serpents leading to the central temple complex.

Many fantastic abilities are attributed to the Naga, including the power to shape shift into human form and walk among man. (One of the questions at the ordination of monks inquires whether the applicant is human, just to make sure its not a sneaky serpent in disguise.) Buddhist scriptures describe a variety of killing methods available to the Naga, including a fatal poisonous bite, the strength to constrict its victims within its deadly coils, and the ability to spit a paralyzing venom.
What could be the trick of this one?!

Most ominous of all, the Naga is said to be able to kill simply by staring into the eyes of its victims. – I can fully believe that looking into these eyes!

– the last bit will be about Nagas in Isaan, including those fireballs –