Monday, September 3, 2012

Neither Red nor Yellow- Buddhism, Karma & Thais

For the past few months, I have been busy preparing the final thesis for my MA degree. Apart from the practical submission, we are required to submit a critical report for the project. Therefore, i will be updating this blog more regularly with the progress and hopefully it will effectively reduce the burden of writing at the end.

The magnitude of the research and difficulties in getting contacts amplified when i decided to do something half a world away, in a country that speak a different language. Since this is also my first overseas documentary assignment, it is not going to be any easier even though I have been to that country a couple of times. Knowing someone that is native to the place is extremely important and can be really helpful in getting the project started. I am lucky to have a family member based in Thailand who can almost effortlessly get in touch with all the contacts needed for access. Having the storyline set and all administrative details sorted, the flight to Thailand is finally booked.

Why Thailand then? I am often fascinated by the history of Southeast Asia. As the only country in Asia not colonized by the West, the Thais are naturally proud of their heritage and culture. The Kingdom of Thailand is well known for its generation of highly revered monarchy from the famously known King Mongkut (featured in Anna and the King) to the current serving King Bhumibol AdulyadejOften described as the "Land of Smiles", Thailand is also a popular holiday destination known for its good food and shopping. However, in recent years, these peaceful facet were tarnished by its political dissentients. The country were divided into colors, mainly Red or Yellow and the once peaceful country of a moderate Buddhist majority was turned into a society of extremist and anarchy.

6 years after the military coup that ousted the then Prime Minster Thaksin Shinawatra, peace has seemingly resumed. Being a predominantly Buddhist society, I have decided to explore, through Buddhism, the unique qualities of Thais in their karmic pursuit and beliefs, the one thing that unites the country despite its political turmoil.

I will be updating the progress of my project on this blog with "behind the scene" images, so stay tune. Here are some images taken on the day of my arrival.

London - Singapore - Bangkok

1 hour transit @ home, Singapore.

Arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok and was greeted with portraits of the highly revered King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej. He is also one of the longest serving head of state in the world.

This is where i will be based for the next couple of weeks.

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