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About CMHomeboy78

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  1. CMHomeboy78

    Is "Farang" Derogatory?

    Yes, some Thais avoid the word out of what they perceive to be the hyper-sensitivities of farangs. It all depends on whom you are with. I've seen two generations of Thais come of age and the word is used often and casually by most of them with no intent to offend. Obviously, there are Thais who dislike Europeans and people of European descent - thus to them, the very name farang rings foul. A distinction has to be made between people like that, usually found in tourist areas, and the rest of the population who are more inclined to be friendly toward us. The term was never used as an insult in the past. Why consider it to be one now? Incidentally, if the word does become demonized and verboten, what polite equivalent would replace it? What would be equally concise and specific?
  2. CMHomeboy78

    Is "Farang" Derogatory?

    Your posts answer the question and sum up the topic very well. Nobody who has lived among Thais for any length of time could think that the term "farang", when used alone, is a racial insult or derogatory in any way. It has been part of the Thai lexicon since the early 16th century when the Ayudhya court of King Rama T'ibodi II was first visited by Portuguese envoys sent by Afonso d'Albuquerque from the recently captured port of Malacca. At that time, Persians were established in Siam as shah bandars of the ports and were present at court. Their term for Europeans, farangi, was taken by the Thais as farang and has been used ever since to describe Europeans and people of European descent. To the best of my knowledge there has never been a credible Thai historical source that uses the word in a derogatory sense. When challenged on this point, people who think the term is an insult are unable to produce anything at all relating to Siam or modern Thailand that supports their contention. In recent years there has been a small expat clique in Chiang Mai that has been actively promoting the mistaken notion that "farang" is a racial insult. These high profile troublemakers have considerable influence among newcomers and the end result is to cause them to take offence where none is intended. The word is useful and specific. To be called a foreigner - kohn dtahng pra-thet - would lump us together with the hordes of Africa, Asia, and everywhere else in the world outside Thailand. Don't make a big deal about being called a farang... it's who we are.
  3. CMHomeboy78

    High quality sticker printer needed...

    Chiang Mai leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to graphic arts studios. In Bangkok there is IQ Lab; Bloom Digital Pro Lab, and several other good ones. Here, you're not exactly spoiled for choice. However, there is a studio that I've been dealing with for quite a while now that does excellent work. Hi-res art scans from originals, digital ink jet prints on archival paper that compare favorably with Iris prints that I've had done in the US. I also had stickers printed recently as a package deal - scan/print - from my originals. Fully satisfied, and the price was reasonable. Check them out. If they don't do vinyl cut decals themselves I'm sure they could tell you the best place to have them done. Pattrara Prepress 242/2 Maneenoparat, A. Muang 053210816, 053404397 Located on a soi off Maneenoparat just west of Chang Puak Gate. Good luck with what you're working on.
  4. The recent passing of Dr. Andrew Forbes - historian, author, and ThaiVisa member - was as unexpected as it was lamentable. He distinguished himself in his profession and his instinctive civility made relations with him very pleasant. Dr. Forbes is one of the latest in a long line of Chiang Mai farangs who have chronicled the history and traditional culture of Lanna T'ai. From the first recorded visit by the Englishman Ralph Fitch in 1587 the city and the region have been written about extensively. While the early visitors left some very interesting accounts, it wasn't until the mid-19th century that American Protestant Missionaries, followed shortly after by British teak wallahs, took up residence in Chiang Mai and began to document the life and times in detail. The 20th century saw many first-person accounts as well as works of well-researched history. This period also produced translations into English and French of Lanna T'ai manuscripts. Notably. the Chiang Mai Chronicle, the Nan Chronicle, and Buddhist texts from wats that had become famous as centres of scholarship such as Wat Jet Yod which hosted the 8th Buddhist Council [Sangayana] in 1477 for one year to eliminate discrepancies in the different versions of the Tripitaka. The early visitors, the 19th century residents, and the 20th century scholars and historians have all contributed to what we know about a kingdom which during its golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries extended its conquests and influence from the Shan States in Upper Burma to Keng Tung and the mountainous borderlands of China, to Luang Prabang in the east, and Sukhothai in the south. Dr. Forbes and people like him show the truth of what Faulkner is often quoted as having said: "The past isn't dead, it's not even past." RIP Dru.
  5. CMHomeboy78

    Chinese tourists are swarming Thailand

    What specific points have I made that you disagree with? I never implied that the American military presence in Thailand introduced commercial sex to the country. Certainly the GIs were the ones who fueled the boom in the 1960s and '70s, but prostitution on a large scale was well established here long before that. The accounts of American missionaries and western residents of Bangkok in the 19th century often mention brothels run by Chinese. In Chiang Mai, the Rev Daniel McGilvary in the 1880s refers to "soiled doves" living in the Chinese quarter of Charoen Rat. That was almost 300 years after the visit of the Englishman Ralph Fitch. His description of "property, riches, and women, has a somewhat contemporary ring to it" according to Ian Bushell in a recent talk on local history. Maybe Chiang Mai hasn't changed that much after all.
  6. CMHomeboy78

    Chinese tourists are swarming Thailand

    Your reply is totally clueless. Excuse the blunt contradiction, but your assumptions aren't based on reality. What Thailand is today can be understood - to a large extent - by reading its history and listening to the older generations in Thai families. The Chinese have had an immense influence on the country, especially urban areas, since the mass migrations of the 19th and early 20th centuries. From the end of WWII until the American defeat in Vietnam their diplomatic, military, and economic presence in Thailand was the dominant factor. Nobody who was here for even part of that time would dispute that obvious fact. The currency collapse of 1997 ended the boom times that had started in the early 1980s. The bubble burst, but it was only a speed-bump for the economy. As soon as easy credit became available again the consumer culture took off in high gear. Look at Bangkok and other cities, big and small, as well as many places in the countryside. Money is being spent - even if it's not their own. Being Thais, they're enjoying the rollercoaster ride to the max... and it's great to live among people who can get so much fun out of life regardless of whether they're going up or down. Swarming Chinese tourists, close economic relations with their country, and big government-to-government deals will bring changes for sure, but to what extent, and how good or bad they will be is impossible to say.
  7. CMHomeboy78

    Chinese tourists are swarming Thailand

    Spot on, Daddy. Those were the days when the Warbucks were really flowing into Thailand. It wasn't only the GIs coming in on R&R, hundreds of thousands were also stationed here over the years at bases like U-tapao; Takhli; Udorn Thani; Ubon Ratchathani and Sattahip to name just the bigger ones. They changed this country in fundamental - and often deplorable - ways long before the anonymous hordes of Chinese tourists ever arrived.
  8. CMHomeboy78

    Backpackers - can't live with them, can't kill them

    You're right, of course. The post you are replying to is a good example of the tunnel vision so prevalent among many. In spite of the fact that they have the intellect and resources to learn more about the country and the people they live among. Indeed there was mass tourism before 2000. It began after the Indochina wars started to wind down and the GIs left in the mid-1970s. Many of my first friends were ex-USAF guys who had married Thais and stayed on because they liked it here. So did I, but the scene didn't stay unspoiled for long. The early and mid-80s saw mass tourism really take off. That was combined with a domestic population explosion and building boom that changed many places out of recognition. Before all that there were tourists - or maybe they'd be better described as travelers. Although their numbers were relatively small, some of them wrote about the country, the people, and the culture with insight and perception. W.Somerset Maugham's The Gentleman in the Parlour is a fascinating read and a look at the country in the 1920s. Most of the early travelers just passed through; but some settled down and made a life for themselves here. Jim Thompson is a case in point insofar as it relates to the arts and traditional culture of Thailand. Long may those traditions survive, both among Thais and the farangs who have made Thailand their home.
  9. CMHomeboy78

    Do you consider Chiang Mai as your permanent home?

    There have been several articulate posts on this thread that have convincingly refuted the claim that the word farang is a racial insult. Thais use it to describe Europeans and people of European descent. When they want to be insulting they will combine it with other words to express their contempt. I challenge you to find a credible historical reference that uses it as an insult.
  10. CMHomeboy78

    Do you consider Chiang Mai as your permanent home?

    Patong tuk-tuk drivers may have issues with farangs that makes the name ring foul. That may be so, but it doesn't alter the fact that the term has been in continuous use for over five hundred years. If you think it was ever used in a derogatory sense then show me an historical source that uses it that way.
  11. CMHomeboy78

    Do you consider Chiang Mai as your permanent home?

    Excellent post that should put an end to this nonsense once and for all. Anyone who has lived among Thais for any length of time would agree with you.
  12. CMHomeboy78

    Do you consider Chiang Mai as your permanent home?

    It was her Rotary friends in Bangkok back in the 1970s that gave her the mistaken notion that the word farang was a racial insult. I came here in the late '70s myself, but my first friends were mostly ex-USAF guys who were savvy about Thailand and Thais. I eventually married and settled down in Chiang Mai when it was still something like the wild west. Loved it then, and love it now in spite of all the changes. The Khon Muang haven't changed all that much. The term farang isn't an insult when used alone, and anybody who thinks so is living in a world of their own.
  13. CMHomeboy78

    Do you consider Chiang Mai as your permanent home?

    What you are responding to is a good example of the kind of cultural misunderstanding that prevents so many foreigners from ever being truly at home in Chiang Mai. The term farang is not, and never has been, a racial insult. It has been part of the Thai lexicon since the early 16th century when it was taken from the Farsi word farangi, meaning Frank, and by extension, Europeans. No historical sources in Thai have been found that use the word in a derogatory sense. Anyone who lives among Thais will know that when used alone it is totally inoffensive. There is a small but vocal faction of Chiang Mai expats who try to convince newcomers that the word is an insult. Encouraging people to take offense where none is intended looks like the work of troublemakers.
  14. CMHomeboy78

    In Praise of Nancy L

    The Farsi word and its inclusion into the Thai language predated the Hindi word that was coined during British colonial rule in India. The word farang as used by Thais is not an insult... and it never was.
  15. CMHomeboy78

    In Praise of Nancy L

    Even Mother Teresa had her critics. Keep up the good work Nancy. However, there is one thing I would like to take issue with. That is your stubborn contention that the term farang is somehow derogatory. It most certainly is not when used alone. Nor is it slang. The word has been part of the Thai lexicon since the early 16th century; taken from the Farsi, farangi. It wasn't used as a racial insult then and it isn't now. Anyone who has lived among Thais for any length of time knows that they use it in a non-derogatory sense. Promoting the mistaken notion that it is a racist term will cause newcomers to take offense where none is intended. All the best in 2017.