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Tourists urged to respect local shrines

PHUKET: Tourists are being urged to show more respect at shrines set up at local venues after a foreign woman sat at an altar for incense and offerings at a popular market on the outskirts of Phuket Town, ignorant of where she was sitting while fully engaged with her mobile phone.

culturereligiontourism
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Friday 6 May 2022, 11:25AM


A Thai visitor to the market waits to pay her respects at the shrine while a young female tourists sits at the altar fully engaged with her mobile phone. Image: supplied via Eakkapop Thongtub

A Thai visitor to the market waits to pay her respects at the shrine while a young female tourists sits at the altar fully engaged with her mobile phone. Image: supplied via Eakkapop Thongtub

The need for tourists to be more respectful came to the fore after a young foreign woman sat at the Phra Phrom shrine, honouring Brahma, at the Chillva Market on Yaowarat Rd, near the Samkong Intersection.

A video of the woman was posted on TikTok on Wednesday, raising concerns among local residents.

The woman is seen sitting at the altar in front of the shrine, oblivious to a woman who had come to pay her respects. After minutes of waiting, the Thai woman asked the young foreign woman to move.

The foreign woman finally realised what she had done. She apologised and respectfully moved.

Internal - Phuket News TV

Pussadee Chakmanon, a clothing seller at the market, said that vendors at the market were understanding of the transgression. “No one warned her because we understand that she did not know our culture,” Ms Pussadee said.

Wirot Somchit, another clothing merchant at the market, noted the woman had plugged her phone into a power socket at the altar. “She was probably worried her battery was going to run out while talking to her friend,” he explained.

Regardless, comments posted after the video of the woman was shown online called for tourists coming to Thailand to be more aware, and more respectful, of local culture.

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JohnC | 07 May 2022 - 09:26:13

Of course tourists are mostly too stupid to even realise when they do something wrong here because they do not know the cultural. What upsets me is at temples where is is clearly marked that visitors have to wear "respectful clothing" and many tourist women turn up in tiny tops and skimpy shorts butt hanging out and they get upset when told to cover their disrespect if they want to enter...

CaptainJack69 | 06 May 2022 - 12:40:49

Local culture includes inventing holy sites in order to promote local tourism and commerce. Shrine? Until a few years ago that market was just wasteland. Even now the shrine looks like a regular spirit house with a folding table in front of it. I almost feel sorry for the phone obsessed millennial. Almost

Fascinated | 06 May 2022 - 12:39:28

She realised her mistake when informed and the locals respected her error- how is this a story? I wish more Thais would respect their culture instead of pointing at the 'dirty foreigners' all the time. A very xenophobic environment here at the moment- what happened to jai yen yen?

 

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