Monday, April 18, 2011

Bare breasted brouhaha in Bangkok

Never, since Janet Jackson's infamous 'wardrobe malfunction' of 2004, when the moral midgets of 'Middle America' were convulsed by paroxysms of rage, have the sight of bare female breasts aroused the levels of brobdingnagian borborygmus that appears to have gripped the bigwigs of Bangkok.  The story started when Youtube videos were uploaded which showed three young Thai ladies embracing the more traditional, and somewhat forgotten aspects of Songkran, by dancing in much the same way as their great grandmothers would have done back in the days of Siam. In other words, bare breasted! Who can blame them? I think it is a good thing for the young people to revive forgotten traditions of one's ancestors. Anyway, they were soaking wet and it is better to get out of your wet clothes rather than risk catching a cold by leaving them on. Ok, so they were dancing provocatively on top of vehicles. Err, no....they were trying to get dry by shaking their bodies around!

The video went viral and next thing you know the Thai Ministry of Culture has gone into full panic mode. Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat said:
the clip has negatively affected the image of Thai culture and that all parties involved with such behaviour should be punished, while asking police to give importance to this issue, for it destroys the country's reputation.
At the same time:
 Bang Rak district chief Surakiat Limcharoen filed complaint against three Thai women dancing topless during Songkran festival at Silom area together with their supporters and those releasing the trio's video clip on the internet. The complaints are to charge the three ladies, dancing topless on Friday night at the Silom-Narathiwat intersection area, with a fine of no more than Bt500 each for shameful behaviour in public, while their supporters are to be responsible by two-thirds of the trio's punishment. Those releasing the clip will face imprisonment of up to 5 years and fined up to Bt100,000 under the country's Computer Crime Act.

The twittersphere meanwhile is having great fun pouring derision on the reaction to the 'incident', the overwhelming consensus being that officials were boobs and had only succeeded in making complete tits of themselves.

In a humorous side twist it was pointed out, by!/tri26 that the Ministry of Culture had an image of three bare breasted maidens on their website. News quickly reached the aforesaid Ministry and, as reported by!/thethaireport the image was speedily removed  (on a Sunday!) and replaced.!/RichardBarrow managed to post 'before and after' pictures.!/bangkokpundit rather cruelly remarked:
Is the outrage over the topless silom coyote girls and that they damaged the country's reputation because the girls weren't that pretty?
I actually thought they were very sweet and really hope this has no adverse consequences for them.

All in all it has made amusing fodder, but with a dark undertone. Oh well, TIT. What could be more appropriate?

Thai Connoisseur


  1. I just can't remember how many times I've wandered around Patpong Night Market and seen tourist families with young children gawking wide-eyed through the doors of gogo bars at topless dancers... and the authorities complain about a few girls dancing at Songkran?!...

  2. Indeed.... apparently there are 'contradictions inherent in Thailand' according to one commentator, though said commentator failed to expand upon the meaning of that rather generic phrase.

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