Every country in the world has its own distinct culture, its own way of life, whether it's the government, the economy, the religion(s), the history, or what you have; every nation has qualities that separate it from all the others. Since there are so many different factors that make up these cultures, they can't all be summed up in one sentence. Rather, it takes a look at each individual factor to get an idea as to the whole culture. Like a mosaic, a culture can't be looked at as a big picture made up of several smaller ones. You can't tell a culture by looking at one characteristic, just like you can't tell what mosaic is of by looking at a single tile. In an attempt to create this kind of mosaic, I'll give brief summaries of these aspects as they apply to the nation I was assigned, Thailand. Hopefully these different categories of information will be enough to prepare anyone, including journalists, for a visit to this nation, and in turn, help create a better understanding of a foreign country, aiding in the development of a more internationally aware and informed public.
[...] The internet is also closely regulated, as shown by the recent controversy over the statewide banning of the popular video sharing website YouTube. The Thai government said that any YouTube videos criticizing the king would be blocked within Thailand. As eiu.com (the “Economist Intelligence explains, the government of Thailand was declared “moderately restrictive” by freedomhouse.org. After the 2006 coup, political parties were temporarily outlawed, but as of today the two biggest parties are the Democrat Party and the People's Power Party, which together earned almost 70% of the vote in the 2007 general election. [...]
[...] This short article comes from a December press report from Thailand and discusses the most recent and one of the most significant political developments in Thailand, the overthrowing of the democratically elected prime minister by a military junta in the fall of 2006. Like Plato once said, of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors” (Plato). Although the world of politics may seem like a disgusting or boring one to many, Plato has a good point that just about everyone is dependent upon them, whether they care or not. [...]
[...] For example, a tourist or anyone else making a quick visit to Thailand probably wouldn't find out that there could be tensions between the inhabitants of southern Thailand and the federal government. Only with a look at a nation's history, its background story, could the average person find out a subtle detail such as this, which would potentially prevent an awkward faux pas. In the 7th century AD when the Funan kingdom came to an end, the Mon people, who had migrated from southern China about fifteen hundred years earlier, filled the void along with their fellow migrants, the Khmer, by setting up their own kingdoms in modern day Thailand and Myanmar. [...]
[...] Economy Despite having some trouble in the 1990's and right after the 2006 coup, the economy of Thailand is doing relatively well as of now. According the CIA World Fact Book, Thailand's Gross Domestic Product is rated number 26 out of 229 countries, which is based mostly on exporting, which increased by 29% in just two years. The CIA World Fact Book also says that much of their exporting is based on crops and automobiles. Also, the CIA World Fact Book says that Thailand has an unemployment rate of just giving it the 12th best unemployment rate out of 199 countries, far outranking the United States which has and is at number 60. [...]
[...] Over the years Thailand had many dealings with foreign nations, some with good results, and others with bad. After losing land to France, Thailand, known as Siam at the time, joined the Allies in World War and even though they committed few actual soldiers, Siam was able to take part in both the Versailles Peace Conference and the founding of the League of Nations. In 1932 Siam took a sudden turn when a coup against several government ministers changed the century's old absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy which included a newly created parliament. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee