Our guest writer Nal posted a question a while back on what constitute Thainess. Well, the recent Miss Thailand World shananigan brought up the topic again at the Nation:
Back in the 1996, “Cindy” Sirinya Vinsiri won Miss Thailand World title. She doesn’t look Thai at all. I mean, the girl’s eyes are green…or was it blue…or grey?. Doesn’t matter. They ain’t “black eyes”. But she’s born and raised in Thailand. Obviously she speaks, reads, and writes Thai. Take away her looks and she’s as Thai as, well, yours truly. (May be I’m even less “Thai” that she is with my opinionated big mouth. I don’t know her personally so I can only assume. Hehe.)
But seriously. What is a Thai? The article asks a lot of questions on that and it is indeed a subject to be explored.
I’m considered myself all Thai, but is my being “liberal/progressive” make me an American or less of a Thai? Is a Thai-Australian, raised in Australia, who could barely speaks Thai but won Miss Thailand World pageant Thai enough? Why is Tiger Woods considered Thai to us even though he counts himself more of African-American? Is Thai born and raised who has premarital sex and lives with a boyfriend Thai? Is Wit a Thai since he speaks Thai and loves the country? Could Master Bruce of Fong Naam be considered Thai because he pretty much is one?
A thought provoking Friday read, indeed. Now, back to work for me. 🙂