Shine Your Love Light

The Thai festival known as Loy Krathong will be held this year on the full moon night of November 16. On this occasion Thais flock to the nearest river, lake or canal, and float their krathongs (a circular object cut from the trunk of a banana tree, and decorated with flowers, candles and sticks of incense) on the water. Hundreds, if not thousands, of krathongs floating tranquilly under the moonlight, their candles flickering, is a most lovely sight.

But many Thais also use Loy Krathong night as an excuse to play with firecrackers – and play with each other. An article in local newspapers this week warned that “Thai youngsters may use the festivities as an excuse to become drunk and indulge in sex.”

Alarmed at this threat to the country’s morals, Social Development and Human Security Minister Watana Muangsook has suggested that, in addition to setting up ID-card checkpoints along major roads, police officers “train spotlights on teenagers walking in and out of motels in the hope of embarrassing them.” Watana also advised that police should detain and call the parents of all underage youths “caught in the act.”

The minister’s idea has brought howls of protest from local child rights activists and even from other government officials, one of whom blasted the plan as “idiotic.”

Watana is the same official that suggested using vocational school students (ones that had been suspended for fighting) to “hunt down” beggars as part of their probation sentence. Watana also proposed that state hospitals adopt the newborn babies of unwed teenage mothers.

1 comment:

John in Atlanta said...

Let's see some photos of the krathongs if you have the opportunity!