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  1. #1
    Mid
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    Question for Teachers in Thailand .

    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    Are Thais still taught in school that their country was never,and has never been invaded.

    Good Question ,

    lets see if we can have it answered .

    Re :

    http://teakdoor.com/thailand-and-asi...h-railway.html (Burma : Work to resume on Death Railway)

  2. #2
    loob lor geezer
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    They've never been taught that ?

    They've been taught their country was never colonised but any country bumpkin knows the Burmese have invaded frequently ( 15 times I think ? )

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    Mid
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    valid point re semantics , are they still taught aka this day , that Thailand has never been colonised ?

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    loob lor geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    valid point re semantics , are they still taught aka this day , that Thailand has never been colonised ?
    Without asking anyone I would think it highly likely since they never have been colonised. The Thai came South from China after their original Kingdom crumbled. They found the Khmer and Mon already here. Ramkamheng united the various Thai groupings and evicted the above mentioned.

    Since then, although Thailand has been repeatedly invaded by all its neighbors at one time or another, and at various times has had to cede territory ,it has never been actually colonised.

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    Mid
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    OK what if anything are they taught about Japan and WWII , which of course is where this question originated .

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    They use the word conquered. And yes it is taught but not harped on. They have enough nationalistic and religious propaganda to teach.

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    Mid
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    Thanxs AO , guess we can put this one to bed .

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    loob lor geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    OK what if anything are they taught about Japan and WWII , which of course is where this question originated .
    I would depend on the age group. History is not a major subject with primary school students so they probably wouldn't even know that there was a WWI , much less who was involved in WW2.

    If you went onto secondry school students you would, I guess, have to refer to those students who specialised in history to find out what was in their curriculum vis WW2.

    It would probably not be unfair to say that at a level below university, most Thai youth get a lot of their historical knowledge from watching movies like Naresuan or Suriyothai. That , plus watching television documentries of which there are a lot. As for the Bridge over the river Kwai , it is a major Tourist destination so any Thai who has visited the area will have some idea on who built it and when since everything in the area is written in both Thai and English, as you would expect.

    The Thais did actually resist the invading Japanese at Prachuab Kiri Khan, but the Thai government ordered an end to the brief resistance .

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    Mid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai
    As for the Bridge over the river Kwai , it is a major Tourist destination so any Thai who has visited the area will have some idea on who built it and when since everything in the area is written in both Thai and English, as you would expect.
    Not so quick Sir

    The Japanese claim the Imperial Japanese Army built it and even the Allies make a disproportionate claim as to the number of souls who perished .

    As to Thai and English written , it is not unheard of for the twain to differ

  10. #10
    Pedantic bastard
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    Here is one of the plaques at kanchanaburi - the wording is, I would say, akilter from the facts...sorry for the low quality of the photo...


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    Originally Posted by wasabi
    Are Thais still taught in school that their country was never,and has never been invaded.
    Trat and Chanthaburi provinces have ceremonies each year relating to the French occupation, and there are monuments/buildings related to this. For locals at least I guess high school kids would learn about this. Last year we went through and roads were lined with the old Siam flags and the theme of the event was translated by my wife as being 'never forget', the Freedom Chedi at Laem Sing has been restored in last few months for this year's remembrance.
    Not colonisation I know, but history.

    My question would be, 'does WWII feature at all in modern day education in eg UK/USA/Oz' and so on? Unless studying History with a specific focus on that period of time, I'd doubt it even gets a mention.

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    loob lor geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    Here is one of the plaques at kanchanaburi - the wording is, I would say, akilter from the facts...sorry for the low quality of the photo...

    Not wishing to appear pedantic but rather from a genuine desire to learn something,
    what , specifically, in this memorial, is akilter to the facts ?

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    Mid
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    Quote Originally Posted by trabant
    My question would be, 'does WWII feature at all in modern day education in eg UK/USA/Oz' and so on?
    Oz appears to be covered :

    The curriculum generally takes a world history approach within which the history of Australia is taught. It does this in order to equip students for the world (local, regional and global) in which they live. An understanding of world history enhances students’ appreciation of Australian history. It enables them to develop an understanding of the past and present experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their identity and the continuing value of their culture. It also helps students to appreciate Australia's distinctive path of social, economic and political development, its position in the Asia-Pacific region, and its global interrelationships. This knowledge and understanding is essential for informed and active participation in Australia's diverse society.


    The Australian Curriculum v4.0 History: Rationale

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    Mid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai
    akilter to the facts ?
    the brutality of war .................

    niceties are akilter are they not ?

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    loob lor geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai
    akilter to the facts ?
    the brutality of war .................

    niceties are akilter are they not ?
    Fair cop.

    I strained my eyes trying to read from the top but gave up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trabant View Post
    My question would be, 'does WWII feature at all in modern day education in eg UK/USA/Oz' and so on? Unless studying History with a specific focus on that period of time, I'd doubt it even gets a mention.
    Eh?

    It was certainly on the curriculum in the 1990's. In the second year of high school/secondary school/whatever you call it in your country. Was a lead in to Historical Politics for Year 3 iirc.

    Year 2 = 14 years old.
    Year 3 = 15 years old.

    This was for all students and only when finished 3rd year did history become an optional subject.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai View Post
    The Thais did actually resist the invading Japanese at Prachuab Kiri Khan, but the Thai government ordered an end to the brief resistance .
    They threw in the towel after one day of 'resistance'- pathetic. Ask any Thai what 'victory' monument is all about and you will take a long time finding one who can tell you, another farce there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    valid point re semantics , are they still taught aka this day , that Thailand has never been colonised ?
    Less, any "occupied" eras - one could easily examine the mindwashing [for generations] of what has become Siamese/Thai land and borders....the debate and arguement could continue on forever as to the true acquisition of great parcels of the modern state. I'm always astounded as to the ignorance of the common Thai as well as the schloar regarding "their" history. Imbedded nationalistic priorities trump most.

    Like everywhere, histories are ingrained culturally-centric.
    All is goodness and light.

    It's a wonderment that anyone has any firm grasp towards historiography, historic interpretation and perspective - it's quite universal.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by trabant
    My question would be, 'does WWII feature at all in modern day education in eg UK/USA/Oz' and so on?
    yes.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai
    akilter to the facts ?
    the brutality of war .................

    niceties are akilter are they not ?
    Yes Mid. That would certainly be the most egrigrious case, but I would also quibble over several other points. The first sentence, that the bridge was built during the "great pacific war when Japan declared war on the United States of America and England later became part of World War II".

    What was the "great pacific war"? World war II had been going on for several years, commonly dated from either 1935 or 1939 depending upon your historian of choice. There are some supporters that two wars merged (sino-japanese and the war in europe), but most historians place WW2 as begining in 1939.

    It also fails in that the japanese attack on Pearl harbor occurred before the declaration of war by Japan.

    As noted, the recording of the deaths as ocuring "as a result of the bruality of war" is shameful......these were prisoners of war and conscripted laborours starved, beaten and treated like animals. Japan had one of the poorest records of treatment of prisoners of any of the combatants - and considering that that included russia and germany, that was saying a lot.

    I might also have a look around for more details about that "contract" signed beween the japanese army and the Thai government for the building of the railway.

    It is very little known that Britain wanted to treat Thailand as a defeated, hostile power after WW2. Britain pushed for significant reparations, that the US (as part of its long term SEA plans) largely blocked. I see to recall some reparations by the Thais were paid however.

    Ask most Thais of the history of that period, and you will get blank looks. Ask them about WW2 and you will get blank looks. Ask them about the role of Thailand in that period and you will get blank looks.

    That period, and the Thai actions during that period are largely wiped from the history books.

  22. #22
    loob lor geezer
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    ^ Thanks for elucidating those points NH.

    As for all the blank looks. Sad but true.

    And yet, because most of TD's members have traveled a bit, the level of general knowledge here seems to me greater than the norm both in Thailand and elsewhere. I remember working at Harefield hospital as a porter saving for my next trip to asia. Of the 8 young porters ( under 21 ) , none could identify England on a map of the world .

    I know that Thai schools do take their students on field trips. Just can't help wondering why they bother if it goes in one ear and out the other.

    Took my 75 year old mother to hellfire pass to see where our uncle Ted had suffered and ran into some ( no need to watch it all...just the first bit )


  23. #23
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    Has anyone here truly absorbed a Thai [assorted] history text - at any level?

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    Thailand was colonized by Cambodia, Burma and Laos for 100's years each. It is nonsense to say that Thailand was never colonized. It is true that to it's credit, Thailand absorbed all of these invaders. Issan Thai is closer to Laotian than Sukothai. My Thai GF told me that Lao's speak embarassingly directly to a listener. She likes Laos. We had a good time there. The food was a bit blah ... but they had good Baguettes.

  25. #25
    The Pikey Hunter
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    When they say Thailand was 'never colonized', that is a euphemism for 'never colonized by *western powers*'.

    They are well aware of the fact that the surrounding countries were all colonized by western countries and they are proud of the fact that they were not (even though in reality the western powers informally agreed that Thailand would be a 'buffer zone' between them).

    The Japanese in WWII made it clear that if the Thais did not side with them, they would treat them as enemies and invade anyway. As such the Thais joined forces with them (but still of course the Japanese forces treated their hosts like shit).


    Oh, there was the 'Franco-Thai war', which of course the French lost as usual.
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