I spun my randomizer and got my first East Asian country to learn more about – Thailand! In Canada, Thailand is usually seen as an exotic beach location (as opposed to closer beaches like Cuba or Florida), but I think that’s just Canadians’ national obsession with going somewhere warm in the winter.
So, what do I already know off the top of my head about Thailand?
- I know that Thailand (or Siam, back in the day) is notable for never being colonized, and that the country is a Buddhist nation with a beautiful and distinctive historical style. I definitely want to learn more about Thai history this month!
- I know that Thailand has been stuck in a cycle of coups, alternating between elections and military takeovers – with most notable recently being the 2014 coup, but that elections were held for the first time since then in 2019 – though under the military’s new constitution.
- Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, but one where harsh penalties exist for anyone insulting the monarchy. The law often makes it to listicles of “lol country facts!”, but that the law can be interpreted broadly, which seems to suggest that it can be a useful way for governments to remove opponents.
- I know that Thailand leads the world in gender reassessment surgery, and is a popular destination for medical tourism for trans people, though I’d be interested in learning why specifically this is so big in Thailand.
- I can’t wait to really dig in to Thai food – I know there’s a lot more than the generic pad thai that’s served here in Canada. My only problem this month is going to be my shrimp allergy – it’s a huge staple in Thai cooking!
- I also want to see if there’s any muay thai workouts online.