fountainhall wrote:I must disagree. I do believe there are general characteristics to virtually all Thai people
Can you be more specific and give examples of what some of those general characteristics might be?
Exactly. But I have an example of the exception. I have straight friends who were born and raised in the US, but have Thai parents. They moved back to Thailand with their families, raising children of their own, and do not share these so-called "general characteristics." Their children adopt the characteristics of the family. The same may be true for other Thais born from other countries. They do not share the "Thai logic" trait, and are not typically followers than leaders. If this were a true "general characteristic," there would be no ambition at all.
People and countries have been becoming too xenophobic for too long, and technology is helping to influence diversity. Air travel in only the last 100 years provide evidence of that and now cell phones. It used to be called the "information age." If Thai people were reading a book or a newspaper would that be as annoying a general characteristic as the cell phone? This is common on the BTS, and a reasonable expectation on board.
So, this is an example of some Thais which do not share the "general characteristics" category to my way of thinking. That's not to say there aren't those general characteristics to a large extent among Thai people, but it's that kind of belief that leads me and perhaps only me, to form prejudices, so I tend to overlook them. It is not fair for me to judge a whole group of people by my perceptions of their logic, following vs leading, obsession with gadgetry, etc. I have observed these traits, but they simply do not exist in all Thai people, IMHO.
What are the "general characteristics" of a person of color? Are they all generally shiftless, lazy and dishonest? What are the "general characteristics" of a gay person? Are they all effeminate and promiscuous?
How many experiences do we witness before a behavioral trait becomes a "general characteristic?" 10 out of 10, 9, 8 out of 10? If 10 out of 10, then what if future experiences accounted for only 10 out of 20? Are all "general characteristics" bad ones? Ah, but then, this is the "Not So Friendly Thailand" thread.
If one embraces this perception about Thais, then all police are corrupt, all high-so look down on lo-so, dual-pricing is rampant, etc. The problem I have is the use of the word "all." I believe tattoos and scraggly mustaches are the result of fashion. They are not general characteristics of only Thai people. People the world over have facial hair and skin decorations. In the West though, some fashions are short-lived merely because the individual is seeking self-expression and identification at an early age. Some of those here that grow mustaches have them because they can
There is a reason for everything. It is not just a general characteristic for which there is no excuse. Unfortunately, there are negative connotations to these certain characteristics: lack of forward-thinking seems to convey laziness, logic stories seem to convey stupidity, gadget obsession seems to convey OCD, and up-to-you syndrome conveys an apparent complacence.
No one is better than anybody else because of our notions, we just come from a different background, or "culture" if you want to call it that. We are all just different. As a liberal thinker, I personally try to veer far away from anything that resembles a preconceived concept. I recognize these traits, but if it really bothered me and influenced my thinking that much, then I wouldn't be living in Thailand.