Saturday, July 30, 2011

Words & No Pictures

          Although this blog began as a project for the people in my faculty, I feel like they have forgotten it. So, I'm going to do something here that I've been wanting to do for a while, and that is write a personal post.
          What I've been wanting to discuss is how apparently my life has already changed since entering into Thai university, particularly Chulalongkorn. 
          Just a little background for you kind strangers who take an interest in my life: I'm a half-Thai kid, who has lived in Bangkok my whole life, but within an international society. What this basically means is that there were days living here that  I could get away without speaking a speck of Thai. Over the years however, I learned the value of having a Thai cultural identity and caught up with it. Still, I am very much 'foreign'. It's hard to explain without writing you a book, but I can show you how leaving high school and coming into "Nitade (Comm-Arts) Chula" has given me so many 'aha' moments about the true Thai society

The Breakdown of My Top 10 'Aha' Moments in Nitade Chula: 
  1. Thais care about who you are carrying.
    I'm talking about Louis Vuitton and relatives. It was just never a topic among my circle of "farang" (white/foreign) friends in high school. It was however very much a thing in the Thai group, as it is in Thai university - my faculty notoriously.
  2. Thais are so open about sexual orientation.
    In the Christian international high school I went to, the third gender was such a taboo topic. There, everyone seemed straight. Here,  if you're going to be gay, you gotta flaunt it. 
  3. Thais are the most 'community' people you'll ever meet.
    Especially in my faculty, where networking clearly takes precedence over academic studying. What really amazes me is how everyone looks out for each others' backs actively.
    • Ex: standing around to remind passerbyers about tuition fee deadlines.
    • Ex: calling everyone about upcoming exams and what to bring for them.
    • (Both these people were freshies just like me.)
  4. [My high school academic standards were impossibly high.]
  5. Thais are super friendly and "ngaii-ngaii' (easy-going).
    It doesn't take years, not even months to become close friends - people you go out with on weekends, ask for help, help out, tell your concerns to, etc. And if you think it was just a one time thing, THINK AGAIN.
  6. Thais are big likers and commenters on Facebook.
    I call it Thai-Facebooking. It's growing on me.
  7. Thais take activities seriously.
    Especially relevant to my faculty. Right now we're developing a play. All the work is virtually volunteer, yet there never seems to be a lack of people willing to help out. And they are so enthusiastic about it! Where were these kinds of people in my high school when the student council needed hands?! I'm lucky though that I have this trait in me. I'm definitely an activity person. =]
  8. Thais are so nice about pitching-in. 
    Seriously, people were so bad at this in high school (especially the guys - sorry if I'm talking about you!) I don't think it's a matter of wealth. In Thai society, it's just an unacceptable thing to keep someone hanging in cash.
  9. Thais take birthdays seriously.
    I swear I hear "Happy Birthday" at the "kana" (faculty) everyday. There is always a surprise cake - customized - and remorse from those who didn't remember! Where I came from, you have a 12-month margin to celebrate someone's birthday. Not complaining, just saying. =]
  10. And lastly, Thais are not ashamed to be sweet.
    Last night I was at a well attended birthday party for one of the girls in the kana who I've actually become particularly attached to. A beautiful surprise video and song left her in tears... It just confounds me to think that less than 3 months ago we were all practically strangers.


  1. Most interesting post yet. I like hearing about the Thaiversity!

  2. exactly my discoveries when I graduated from ICS and entered Nitade. Lol

  3. I should print this out for future reference 8D