Jeff's Mid-Life Crisis goes Round the World (RTW)
About Me (1)
HONG KONG (2)
* ST. ANDREWS
* FROM TRAVELER TO TOURIST?
* HONG KONG
* BANGKOK TO HONG KONG
* BANGKOK TO PHUKET
* PHNOM PENH
* ANGKOR AND SIEM REAP #2
* ANGKOR AND SIEM REAP #1
* CHANGES IN LATITUDE CHANGES IN ATTITUDE
* VANG VIENE
* LUANG PRABANG #2
* LUANG PRABANG #1
December 25, 2004
CHRISTMAS IN BANGKOK
It is Christmas morning as I write this. I have no pictures for this particular blog but have a bunch ready to publish in the next few days and will endeavor to get them up as soon as possible.
Christmas is not celebrated in Thailand, at least not officially. Today (Saturday) is a normal, weekend day with only the normal business closures. The religion of 95% of the Thai people is Theravada Buddhism, Islam makes up 4% of the population and the remaining religions including Hinduism, Sikism, Animism and Christianity make up the other 1%. Christmas is a Christian (and primarily western) holiday that has no comparative in Buddhism. Although I have noticed alot of little kids with presents and things with pretty wrappers on them. I think this is an opportunity for the Thai people to give their kids gifts and the kids, obviously, love them!
One thing I have noticed in my short wanderings is the love the Thai's seem to have for children and animals. There is desperate poverty here and I have seen things that really tugged at my heart strings and make me very sad but the children seem to be a priority and are taken care of as well as possible by the adults and society. There are lots of stray cats and dogs around the city and while they tend to look a bit mangy and skinny I see many people feeding them and taking care of them, I like that!
Back to Christmas. With the significant media influence and the very high number of western foreigners in Bangkok there is an industry that is trying to market Christmas here. Thai's are a very industrious people and see the marketing opportunities, particularly in the city districts with the most foreigners. I hear occasional Christmas music and see vendors selling Santa hats and Christmas-type stuff. Some bars and restaurants are serving Christmas meals.
So, it obviously dosn't feel like Christmas to me and I do miss the season and the good feelings it brings out in people. I didn't think I would miss it as much. Also, it's hot and sunny, unlike most places in the USA (particularly Rising Sun - as I look at www.weather.com I see that the current temperature there is 1 degree!) and that is very un-christmasy.
The hostel I'm staying at is having a Christmas dinner tonight and small gift exchange and that's very nice. The majority of the people staying there are westerners and I bet most of us miss our loved ones and miss the Christmas spirit, although most people I've talked to say otherwise. Many people out on the road are escaping from something...
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. I miss the USA and I miss Rising Sun and miss my family and friends.
Love you all!!!
Thank you for reading this. I hope to make this blog both interesting and entertaining. Please post a comment and let me know your thoughts, observations or counsel. Hearing from readers and knowing I have an audience is a great motivator and will be a great morale booster during down times on the road. Don’t forget to bookmark this site and tell a friend! Please feel free to e-mail me at “JeffMichie at Yahoo Dot Com”
Posted by Jeff on December 25, 2004 12:41 AM
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