Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Farang

A bunch of Thai people were eating outside a Seven Eleven Store and suddenly a foreigner came and passed by the table where they used to eat and accidentally, I heard them say something.

"Farang"!!!

Photo Courtesy: Google Images

it is not particularly offensive, and is not exactly complimentary either.

"Farang" is a generic Thai word for a Westerner. A general term for foreigners is "khon tang prathet" which means "people from other countries". There is no expressly negative or positive implication in the word itself. However, when it is used with other words, it can bring a negative meaning depending on the context. It is common in Thai to just say "farang" to point out a presence of one without making a whole sentence and sometimes it's more of an expression. Farang is basically a neutral word, but people who respect you will not use it coz' it would probably mean as an insult while a taxi driver or a market vendor doing the same is unlikely to mean any offense at all.

My workmate, an American, brought out this topic. We used to chat at times, and he told me almost every bit of information he'd know about Thai's life and living. He continued to stress that Thailand is "evolving" but it is slow because Thailand is trying to protect their traditions. I never did argue with what he said, and just think that maybe he's right.

Photo Coutesy: Google Images

He also mentioned that the word is politically incorrect! And that really adds up more confusion on my part. What is it anyways? Here we go...

Political correctness means the alteration of one's choice of words in order to avoid either offending a group of people or reinforcing a stereotype which is considered to be disadvantageous to the group.

This reminds me of a song "My Stupid Mouth", to think first before speaking. We cannot be exempted from the fact that there are times we just say whatever we feel saying so and sometimes unmindful of what it could cause.

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