Classifieds 50% off, use promo code FBkpkPromo The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News Phuket News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Phuket Opinion: Begging for assimilation

PHUKET: The recent reports of sea gypsy children begging for money from tourists at Rawai Pier this week is merely a symptom of a much deeper problem faced by this marginalised community.

opinion, culture, economics, crime,


The Phuket News

Sunday 25 June 2017, 09:00AM


Children at the sea gypsy village in Rawai. Photo: Mark Knowles
Children at the sea gypsy village in Rawai. Photo: Mark Knowles

The sea gypsies’ traditional way of life, their language, culture, livelihoods, land rights and political status have been sidelined by Thai society for decades.

The meagre scrap of land in Rawai where the community resides, and has done so for centuries according to even the DSI (Thailand’s equivalent to the FBI), has long been targeted by developers intent on pushing them off so they can build yet more tourist accommodation.

Only little more than a decade ago that these people started being recognised by the Thai government as citizens, though the children by law have always had access to education and other basics provided by the state. As they continue the slow process of integrating into wider society they face the same problems that typically beset indigenous communities that are enveloped by a dominant society – namely illiteracy, lack of access to health and employment opportunities, alcohol and drug addiction and social discrimination.

MY STORAGE - Secure, Clean and Cost Effective Self Storage at Jungceylon, Phuket, Thailand

These problems are further exacerbated in this case by the stark inequality that results from them being smack bang in the middle of an international tourist hub like Phuket – and Rawai in particular. As their parents eke a living from overfished waters and day labouring and return to their tiny shacks – surrounded as they are by luxury tourist hotels – the children must surely wonder at this endless stream of foreigners with seemingly endless amounts of money who visit their community and take photographs of their “rustic” lives.

The paternalistic actions of many charities, no doubt with the best of intentions, often does little to help the situation – much the same can be said of people who give money to the children who beg. On a recent visit to the Rawai sea gypsy village, this writer witnessed a brand-new SUV pull up outside the village, whereupon emerged a group of local charity workers who began handing out colouring books and pencils to the eager children who quickly caught on to what was happening and swarmed the vehicle.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions – and both the people and organisations offering handouts to should consider the unintended consequences of their “generosity”.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Canadian expat Muay Thai fighter found dead of suspected hanging in Patong

OzGeoff ... Given the time of the article (Monday 24 July 2017, 05:29PM) and the publishing of the comment (25 July 2017 - 13:08:00) it is safe to say...(Read More)


August 3 set as final deadline for Patong taxis to return parking spaces to public

Paully44...I have comprehended well and replied cogently to your incorrect statements. I am not really concerned about your opinions of me as they are...(Read More)



Canadian expat Muay Thai fighter found dead of suspected hanging in Patong

"* The Phuket News is withholding the man’s identity until it has been confirmed that his next of kin have been notified." Then why pub...(Read More)


August 3 set as final deadline for Patong taxis to return parking spaces to public

Jor 12; for such a "wordly" figure such as yourself how is it you cannot comprehend a simple comment / point of view in direct contrast to y...(Read More)


4.2mn meth tabs, 26kg crystal meth, 40kg ketamine seized

Excellent, if only the traffic police were as good!...(Read More)


Canadian expat Muay Thai fighter found dead of suspected hanging in Patong

Matthew Richardson was a gentleman Canadian who lived and breathed Muaythai, who chose to live and train in a foreign land whose culture and people he...(Read More)


August 3 set as final deadline for Patong taxis to return parking spaces to public

BenPendejo...it's is precisely the point given that you say, "...me shining yet another light on the fact that the BIBs are corrupt to the ...(Read More)


August 3 set as final deadline for Patong taxis to return parking spaces to public

Pauly44...Sympathy? of what exactly? Given that you know nothing about me, I don't know how you arrive at your conclusion that I have "lost t...(Read More)


August 3 set as final deadline for Patong taxis to return parking spaces to public

Pendejo,if someone doesnt complain all the time about the job the "BIBs"are doing or not doing,doesnt mean they agree or holding them in hig...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.