Southeast Asia Correpondent
Until recently, Thailand had not been acquainted with the concept of a bachelor or bachelorette party. What's more, it wasn't until the late 1970s that Western traditions of marriage began to prevail in Bangkok, the Thai capital. While traditional ceremonies, which utilize both the state and Buddhist traditions, are still a part of marriages for Thais choosing to marry a local or farang (Thai for "foreigner"), things are changing very quickly.
What is culture and how does modernization fit into the globalization of societies in the 21st century? How do traditions, such as a bachelorette party, move from one region of the world to another? Is the diaspora of culture equal?
If we talk about Thai culture, not hill-tribe culture, but typical Thai culture, how much culture are expats getting? Just because we reside in a different country, are we living in the culture? Are we even supposed to? High society Thais, in my observation, do the same things and have the same things as Westerners. And Westerners seem to lack culture, unless we associate the West with Apple products and fast food.
Of course we can argue that hi-so Thais are modern Thais, like modern culture. And as modern culture takes over the globe one bagel, one mocha latte, one SUV, at a time, where does ethnic, local, regional culture fit in?
Mono-culture is before our eyes, one world, one internet, one language and I'm not saying this is bad or good, it's just what I see. It's funny, because one of the most common things I heard from people visiting Hawaii for the first time was that it's a lot more developed than I thought it would be. I think the same thing can be said about Thailand.
What makes a culture unique? The differences from one's culture compared to another? How about when those differences become obsolete? Will we create the sci-fi movies of our nightmares or dreams?