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Old 12-18-2013, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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I'm certainly no expert on the Thai people and their culture - I saw it from a tourist's point of view, and of course don't speak Thai. I'm curious, however, just how Buddhist if you like Thailand really is. On one hand, to the westerner, it seems a country steeped in the religion: there are spectacular, ornate wats gilded in gold and decorated with statues everywhere, saffron-robed monks aren't an uncommon sight, and it is seen as a good thing for every young boy/young man to spend a time living as a monk, praying/meditation, living humbly, and living off the charity of others.

Of course, there's the other, more secular side of Bangkok: the materialism, the dog-eat-dog nature of Asian society, the sordidness of the redlight district. I know eastern religions might have a different relationship to society, but I'm sort of curious as to how spiritual most Thais are if you like, of if they, like the Chinese, tend to use religion more for worldly gain (or some in America for that matter). Because it seems for them happiness comes through money not enlightenment: then again, like everyone people have to make a living, and maybe meditation is a luxury...

Last edited by Rozenn; 12-19-2013 at 07:18 AM.. Reason: Done!

 
Old 01-14-2014, 02:48 AM
 
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Why is prostitution so prevalent in Thailand despite being a religious country?
 
Old 01-14-2014, 05:01 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Well like you know people don't always follow the religion that closely, and Buddhism isn't as moralistic as the Abrahamic religions when it comes to sex. Buddha did, however, generally disapprove of 'sexual immorality' which would include prostitution and monks are supposed to be celibate like in the west (and like in the west not all monks keep this vow of chastity). There has been a tradition of prostitution in many cultures in Asia, Thailand is no exception, but it never really reached the scale it did until the Vietnam war when Thailand became a place that attracted a lot of GI's for a bit of R&R. Most Thais are of course just like anyone else, only a small minority of Thai women (and men/kathooeys) are prostitute but they're all concentrated in a few areas.
 
Old 01-14-2014, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
10,437 posts, read 12,464,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susanph View Post
Why is prostitution so prevalent in Thailand despite being a religious country?
Fast Money.
 
Old 01-14-2014, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
1,022 posts, read 3,152,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susanph View Post
Why is prostitution so prevalent in Thailand despite being a religious country?
You would see prostitution almost in any part of the world, it already become a part of human lifes. Both non-religious country like let's say China or a religious country like Philippines are experiencing healthy growth in prostitution business.

Thailand got its reputation from Vietnam war like what postman said there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Well like you know people don't always follow the religion that closely, and Buddhism isn't as moralistic as the Abrahamic religions when it comes to sex. Buddha did, however, generally disapprove of 'sexual immorality' which would include prostitution and monks are supposed to be celibate like in the west (and like in the west not all monks keep this vow of chastity). There has been a tradition of prostitution in many cultures in Asia, Thailand is no exception, but it never really reached the scale it did until the Vietnam war when Thailand became a place that attracted a lot of GI's for a bit of R&R. Most Thais are of course just like anyone else, only a small minority of Thai women (and men/kathooeys) are prostitute but they're all concentrated in a few areas.
Thailand also attract Burmese, Cambodian etc migrants, not all of the prostitutesare Thais nowadays.. since Thailand attract more tourist than its surrounding who are generally poorer, it might explain the number.
 
Old 01-14-2014, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,956 posts, read 36,247,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
I'm certainly no expert on the Thai people and their culture - I saw it from a tourist's point of view, and of course don't speak Thai. I'm curious, however, just how Buddhist if you like Thailand really is. On one hand, to the westerner, it seems a country steeped in the religion: there are spectacular, ornate wats gilded in gold and decorated with statues everywhere, saffron-robed monks aren't an uncommon sight, and it is seen as a good thing for every young boy/young man to spend a time living as a monk, praying/meditation, living humbly, and living off the charity of others.

Of course, there's the other, more secular side of Bangkok: the materialism, the dog-eat-dog nature of Asian society, the sordidness of the redlight district. I know eastern religions might have a different relationship to society, but I'm sort of curious as to how spiritual most Thais are if you like, of if they, like the Chinese, tend to use religion more for worldly gain (or some in America for that matter). Because it seems for them happiness comes through money not enlightenment: then again, like everyone people have to make a living, and maybe meditation is a luxury...
THere are so many wats and monks in Thailand, I'd say it's definitely there.

There is also rampant materialism.

I think it's not uncommon to see religion and 'sin' in the same societies. Look at the United States, it's quite religious for a western and developed country, and it's equally quite violent and drenched in drugs, etc.
 
Old 01-14-2014, 01:02 PM
 
12,838 posts, read 14,145,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Well like you know people don't always follow the religion that closely, and Buddhism isn't as moralistic as the Abrahamic religions when it comes to sex. Buddha did, however, generally disapprove of 'sexual immorality' which would include prostitution and monks are supposed to be celibate like in the west (and like in the west not all monks keep this vow of chastity)....
And just as later on Jesus had wealthy supporters and a prominent "woman of easy virtue" among his followers, Gautama did as well. Among his best known supporters were Anathapindika, a wealthy merchant, and Ambapali, a well off courtesan kept by the brothers of a wealthy family. In both religions the righteous and the holy wrestle with the complexities of the lives of their founders, in the light of the more judgemental religions that were built upon their lives and legends.

Neither the splendid living merchant nor the courtesan rushed to change their livelihoods in the early years that they were patrons of the Buddha and his monks, according to the Nikaya scriptures. And while Jesus was very quick in denouncing wealth and sexual indulgence in terms of sinfulness, Gautama tended more to chide people and point out the endless entanglements of wealth and sexual misconduct even as he and his monks continued to associate with these people. There may have been an element of strategy in such gentle proselytizing as these prolonged associations over time brought him into the wide contact with the extended families, households and entourages of these people.

Perhaps this style and attitude as passed down in scripture, commentaries and popular tradition has influenced current social attitudes outside of the realm of religious observance.
 
Old 01-14-2014, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,301,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
And just as later on Jesus had wealthy supporters and a prominent "woman of easy virtue" among his followers, Gautama did as well. Among his best known supporters were Anathapindika, a wealthy merchant, and Ambapali, a well off courtesan kept by the brothers of a wealthy family. In both religions the righteous and the holy wrestle with the complexities of the lives of their founders, in the light of the more judgemental religions that were built upon their lives and legends.

Neither the splendid living merchant nor the courtesan rushed to change their livelihoods in the early years that they were patrons of the Buddha and his monks, according to the Nikaya scriptures. And while Jesus was very quick in denouncing wealth and sexual indulgence in terms of sinfulness, Gautama tended more to chide people and point out the endless entanglements of wealth and sexual misconduct even as he and his monks continued to associate with these people. There may have been an element of strategy in such gentle proselytizing as these prolonged associations over time brought him into the wide contact with the extended families, households and entourages of these people.

Perhaps this style and attitude as passed down in scripture, commentaries and popular tradition has influenced current social attitudes outside of the realm of religious observance.
Maybe, I don't know much about Thai culture or Buddhism there, but I do know that he denounced sexual indulgence in general as being carnal...any sort of that desire was harmful and led to more suffering, but like I said he wasn't like 'if you sin you'll go to hell' or anything, he believed more people created their own hells.
 
Old 01-14-2014, 07:00 PM
 
Location: southern california
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you dont have to look to thailand to ponder the dual nature of man. you got thousands of child prostitutes on the streets of america every night and just as many churches.
as to buddism and the thai people i dont know of a more sincere group anywhere.
how many americans would sleep on the ground all night in a freezing forest and pray and work all day for nothing?
 
Old 01-14-2014, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,301,911 times
Reputation: 2833
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
you dont have to look to thailand to ponder the dual nature of man. you got thousands of child prostitutes on the streets of america every night and just as many churches.
as to buddism and the thai people i dont know of a more sincere group anywhere.
how many americans would sleep on the ground all night in a freezing forest and pray and work all day for nothing?
Freezing forest in tropical Thailand? lol.

A lot of these monks don't really work much, mostly meditate and read the scriptures, they collect alms from people too.
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