More and more Westerners living in Thailand's home. We all make our own core values that are deeply rooted in our education and the societies we came from. They are the rules we live in our lives; the principles and moral guidelines governing our actions and the decision-making process. Not all of us have the same values, but whatever we have, the probability is different in Thailand.
In Thailand, many ex-pats work as a retailer of their families, in their own or in leadership positions. That is why we often find ourselves in power or influence over Thai people. This leads to dilemmas. To what extent should our own Western values be enforced on the Thai people we are influencing?
I really respect and enjoy the Thai culture. I'm happy to accept the values of my new home. However, I also have my own values, and I can not leave them behind, just because I'm in Thailand. Many are too embedded in the psyche. Involvement of the Western values in my life inevitably means that they will force them into my wife's life. My wife is Thai and does not always believe in the same things as me.
A good example of Western and Thai contrasting values is the subject of road safety. Most Thailand does not believe in wearing helmets or safety belts. They will usually be worn, but this is to avoid the police fines for safety. Westerners generally accept that safety precautions are a good idea. We may not want our governments to legitimize us, but we still believe in the principle of security precautions.
It's easy to understand the reasons for this difference. Thaifas are fatalistic. This is part of the Buddhist religion. They believe in what will become. If something is going to happen then that will happen and you can only do a little. In the West we believe in the direction of our own destiny. We believe that our activity has consequences that will have an impact on future actions. I know some ex-pat westerns who will not start the car until passengers put on the seatbelts. I know people who do not take passengers on a motorcycle if they do not wear a helmet. These are not just Western security principles but also Thai laws. But these Westerners still force their values to the Thais, who do not hold the same values. We come home and force them to behave just like we do. Well?
I do not doubt that our Western prospects are the right ones on this topic. I'm sure that most of the crashes are avoided, and if not, they can at least take security precautions to reduce the impact. But this is not the point. It is not about who is right or wrong, but whether it is right to force Western values into people in our host nation who do not believe in them. One of my moral convictions is that it is not right to force my faith to other people. I think that if people want to travel on a car or a motorcycle without taking safety precautions, they have a choice. But what if you are the security of that person? What if this person is a child?
When we were our first child, I assumed we would buy a child seat for the car. We will do this in the West. My wife was surprised when I suggested we buy such an item. Why would we want to pick up the baby on the back of the car? She keeps the baby while I'm driving.
I still thought that a discharge was a good idea, so we bought it. Of course, in most Thai shops you will not find a child restraint. These are the ones that most Thailand does not think about buying. We went to see the choice at Robinsons Store. They were expensive and everyone needed the rear seat belts to fix them. Our car still has no rear seat belts, so when buying a baby's seat, you also had to change the car. At this point I accepted that we would not agree.
I still believed we needed it, but it's working too hard against the Thai belief that it is not. Even sellers have agreed to not need it.
Westerners settling in Thailand can bring their home lifestyles in a variety of ways. In Phuket, we can provide Western-style homes, furniture, kitchens, appliances and satellite TV. I love Thai food, but in our household we mainly eat Thai food, but sometimes I like Western dishes. This will never be a problem in Phuket.
There's nothing wrong with building your own home in your new country if that's what you want. The problem is when home values begin to break the lives of Thai people who do not want them.
Western culture is very invasive. We see Western Western fast foods throughout Thailand. High-profile advertising campaigns seem trendy and exciting, ignoring the fact that food is not as good or nourishing as the local fare. The result is many low-fat Thai children. The new 7-11 stores will be open everywhere, while local Thai shops are close by. The Christian religion has a history of vigorously promoting itself in non-Christian countries. The United States has a policy of promoting the "American Way" around the world.
There seems to be an obese belief in our own right. It is not easy to accept the culture or values of another nation. We expect it to change to make it more like us. This is a question we need to be cautious if we live in another culture. We do not have to lose their own identities and values but we have to find the way to integrate them into our lives without disturbing local culture or violating local people
Source by James Spellman