September 30, 2011

Sacred Heart School Director Offers "Deeply Apologies" After Nazi Fiasco

From Prachathai - Notice the Strange Picture of John Lennon

I don't mean to pile onto the misery in Chiang Mai at the moment, because it is experiencing serious flooding that has destroyed a lot of people's homes and crops. However, the recent sports day event at Sacred Heart College where students dressed up in Third Reich regalia and marched around deserves some attention. It certainly drew a lot of scorn from the American, German, French, and British Consulates in Chiang Mai (article is in ภาษาไทย).

Obviously, the children did not deliberately mean any ill-will toward the millions murdered under the scourge of National Socialism and military imperialism. Judging by the letter from Sacred Heart College Director [pdf], I don't think the teachers meant any intentional. Rather, it appears to be a case of complete ignorance of one of the worst genocides in history. Sure, it's easy to get up on a high horse, but this is a serious problem with education in Thailand.

This is not the first time Nazi symbolism has been used as fashion in Thailand. You can walk into Chatuchak market (one of the biggest markets in Bangkok) and see tons of weird t-shirts with Hitler wearing sunglasses and the like. Also, popular band Slur has a video where they dress up in Nazi gear like some kind of joke.

A commentary in the Bangkok Post said that Thailand is over-militarized. I disagree. It's another example of why education is important, and with four Thai kids, I can only blame myself if they end up goosestepping.

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