From MICT: Why do we have to love Thai culture?

Below is an amazing cartoon from the LINE account of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (it may ultimately be from the Ministry of Culture). It expresses a long-held belief that true Thai culture is being polluted by mixing in English words or by otherwise speaking incorrectly.

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A. School opens.
A girl, named Sticker, says: Homework, homework, having only homework [Is the name “Sticker” just a trendy English name given by parents who do not understand English?]

B. Dog: What are you complaining about?
Sticker: Khaodam… [a dog’s name]

C. Sticker can’t do the homework.
Sticker: A teacher has assigned me to write an essay on the topic “Why do we have to love Thai culture?”

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A. Sticker: Khaodam, please don’t tell anybody that Sticker likes Western culture more than Thai culture because it’s modern… So, I can’t write this essay…
Khaodam: I could tell even if you didn’t say it.

B. Sticker: I’ll go to bed… let’s do it tomorrow…

C. Khaodam: Ao.. [an exclamation of surprise]

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A. Voice: Sticker. Sticker…

B. Sticker: Who’s calling me?
Angel: Angel…

C. I’m an angel of universal culture.

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A. Sticker: Do we have an angel like this?
Angel: Of course, we do.

B. Angel: I know that Sticker has a problem with your homework related to culture. So, it’s my job to help you…

C. Angel: I will help Sticker understand why we must love our culture.

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A. Angel: Tonight… I will send Sticker to the opposite world where everything is transposed. The developed country will change to a developing country while the developing country will become a major power which everyone wants to follow!

[“Opposite world” is literally something like “reflex angle world” meaning an upside down world or seeing things from another angle.]

B. Sticker: How can it be like that even in a dream?

C. Angel: That’s why I have to make you sleep and dream it again.

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A. Angel: Sweet dream and when you wake up, you will see how people think about you… when you’re not yourself anymore…

B. Dreaming in a dream… Then, wake up in the “opposite world.”

C. Sticker dreams in the dream that… Sticker is going to the U.S… with Khaodam.

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A. In the opposite world… Sticker is a Thai person who is visiting the U.S. without applying for a visa. She can take the plane to go there easily… because every country wants us [Thais] to go.

B. In her dream, Sticker feels so happy to be a person from a developed country that every country wants to follow…

C. “Opposite world…” Dream in the dream
On the Thai map: Thailand
Arrow pointing to Thailand: Major power
On the green map: The USA
Arrow pointing to the U.S.: Developing [country]
Above the U.S. map: Cost of living, food and accommodation are very cheap like everything’s free. [All of this is showing that in their imaginary dream the roles of Thailand and the U.S. are reversed.]

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A. The first thing that attracts Sticker is that American people [in the opposite world] like to use the Thai language…
Yellow building: Lookkhang Supermarket
[In Thai, “Lookkhang” means “top.” Therefore, it refers to “Tops Supermarket.” Thus, this is critical of Tops for having an English-language name.]
Green building: Hang Zor Yai
[In Thai, “Hang” is a mall and “Zor” sounds like a “C” and “Yai” is big. Therefore, it refers to Big C. Again, this is critical of large Thai chains using English names.]
White building: Hang Dokbua
[In Thai, “Hang” is a mall and “Dokbua” is a lotus. Therefore, it refers to Lotus Supermarket.]
Purple building: Hang Santood
[In Thai, “Hang” is a mall and “sandtood” is an embassy. Therefore, it refers to Embassy Mall.]

B. Sticker doesn’t know how much Thai language everyone in the country can understand… but they believe that having a name in Thai will help their shop become more luxurious, modern and high-class than using their language. [Drawing a comparison to Thais who do not understand English, but use English words to connote a high status for their business.]
Yellow building: Tee tam yang yai [Headquarters]
Pink building: Hang jaiklang [Central Mall]
White building: Hang Bangna Yaiyai [Big Bangna mall]

C. Sticker goes to Daowgnen Coffee Shop to listen to people talking. [This alludes to a Starbucks-type coffee shop in the dream.]
Man: Patty… Do you have any khamkid? [idea]
A woman: No..John.. I think yours is somboon! [perfect]
On sign: Daowngen coffee shop [This is meant to make the reader think of Thai young people who riddle their conversation with English words to be trendy.]

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It’s funny to listen to those people talking. The American loves to speak their language and Thai mixed together… it’s funny.
Dee [good]… I think your work is deemak [very good]!
Sawaddee [hello]… Nice to meet you!
See you later… lakorn [goodbye]
I rak [love] you mak [very much]
They say that for some words, when saying it in Thai it is much more meaningful.
[Again, making the point that some Thais like to use English words in certain situations because is sounds better or is more meaningful for them.]

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