ASHAMED TO BE A THAI CITIZEN – This article was written by Fon, a Thai national living in Chiang Rai, a northern province in Thailand. Fon’s name and certain details have been changed in order to protect her identity. Meebal.com has edited Fon’s story in order to provide clarity and all such editorial amendments have been approved by Fon.
I am ashamed to be a Thai citizen. I am reasonably well educated but come from a very poor background. Both my parents have long passed away after years of scraping a living on their small farm.
I understand that all countries have their own unique set of problems but I often take to reading English news websites, such as meebal.com and ThiaVisa.com, so that I might try to learn and understand how a foreigner thinks and even what their aspirations are when living in Thailand.
12 years ago I met my husband, a German nation who is 10 years my senior. We have two beautiful children and I have learned through him that marriage is not simply about the man taking care of the woman but rather a marriage is about working together; in other words we take care of each other.
I’ve read so many horror stories about how foreigners are treated in Thailand and it saddens me deeply and often makes me totally ashamed to be Thai.
One of the first things I learned from my husband was not to refer to him as a ‘Farang’. He is German and he advised me that I try to learn sufficient about an individual so that I can determine where they come from and therefore refer to them by their nationality. It is, in my eyes, far more respectful and if the Thai people want more respect from foreigners then they should learn that respect is a two way street.
It often saddens me that many foreigners view all Thai women as bar girls. Yes, Thailand does have a very bad reputation for being a country whereby sex can be brought easily but that doesn’t mean all Thai girls will readily sleep with a foreign man for money.
I have little or no time for the Thai Government, they are all crooks and anyone believing they are there to help the people are simply delusional. The Thai Government does nothing more than sweep important issues under the carpet; issues that affect both Thai citizens and foreign nationals residing here.
Thais are often perceived as xenophobic, nationalist, greedy and corrupt and this is yet another reason why I am often so ashamed of my heritage. We seem unwilling to put aside for one moment personal gain and look to the greater good and what Thailand could really achieve on the world stage if only we could look beyond our own greed.
I read the article yesterday on meebal.com regarding foreign nationals being robbed of their property by Thai wives. It is a common thing and far more wide spread than many actually know; even foreigners who have been living in Thailand for many years are not fully aware of just how rife this element of theft is and yet the Thai people and Thai Government think it’s perfectly acceptable.
As a Thai person I worry that the future of Thailand is likely to be bleak; there is little chance of us being able to compete on an international level once we join the Asian Economic Community (AEC) due to the uncontrollable amount of corruption.
The Government continuously tells us they are tackling corruption but the truth is they are all raping Thailand for their own personal gain; you only have to look at the affairs of Government contracts to understand just how crooked Thai officials are.
I am tired of being ashamed of being Thai. My husband supports me by telling me that all developing democracies go through growing pains but the abuse needs to stop.
We must learn to respect foreign nationals and in turn we should expect their respect of us. We are after all just human beings that are simply looking for quality of life.
We need to change the laws so that my husband and all foreign husbands of all Thai women are not subjected to the annual appraisal of their worth in order to stay in Thailand. Yes people should be able to support themselves but there are also many Thai women who work hard to support their foreign husbands in times of hardship – again a marriage is about a partnership.
As for land and property ownership the only reason I see why the laws cannot be changed is to allow the ongoing process of stripping foreign nationals of their assets. It is nothing short of open theft and something every Thai national should be thoroughly ashamed of.
The argument for not allowing foreign nationals to own property is weak in that Thais don’t want foreigner to take their land. The truth is they are not taking it anywhere and indeed their very involvement in purchasing land helps to make Thailand more valuable.
We must find common ground so that Thai nationals are not squeezed out due to rising land prices that have become evident in certain parts of the country; most notably the tourist areas such as Phuket, Krabi and Pattaya.
I know, as a Thai, that Thais often look upon foreigners as being rich but also second class citizens; this is another attitude the Thai people must change. Just because someone is rich does not give others the right to think it is acceptable to fleece them.
I am ashamed to be Thai for these reasons and others but I do love my country and hope that one day we will have a better understanding of the world and those in it and through this bring about change that will allow both Thais and foreigners to live together whereby respect is mutual and upheld.
For all those who have been robbed or duped by a Thai woman I can only apologise but also say that not all Thai women are the same; I certainly wouldn’t dream of taking anything from the man that I love in a deceitful way.
Thank you Fon for your words and we are sure that many foreign nationals living in Thailand are more than happy to be there and certainly don’t tar everyone with the same brush.
We are all people of this very small planet but with our varying cultures we must learn to respect one another, as you so poignantly point out.