Grigoris wrote: ↑
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:25 pm
Caodemarte wrote: ↑
Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:16 pm
Bear in mind that tattoos in SE Asia are usually considered socially unacceptable as a sign of gang membership, spreading superstition (or being uneducated at best), or involvement in black magic. It will be difficult to join a monastery, the police, or the armed forces in most cases. Foreigners spotting “Buddhist” tattoos may be arrested on blasphemy charges. Since traditionally the state theoretically exists to protect Buddhism, the purest form of which is usually identified as the predominant ethnic group, this can also be seen as an insult to the nation/people.
Nope. Not in Thailand.
Oh quite specifically in Thailand. I guess it depends on who you are talking to and what circles you move in and often where. Pleaase note that I am not advising people to get or not get tattoos, but just trying to explain to people what reaction they may
get and what they may be perceived as signaling.
Tattoos will generally get the reaction I mentioned in most of traditional polite society. For example, many major monasteries will not allow full ordination to people with tattoos. Some will if tattoos are hidden and not bring the monastery into popular disrepute. Some, especially minor and poor monasteries, will pretend not to notice.
In over simplified and over generalized terms, the monarchy and the Thai state traditionally get their theoretical legitimacy because they protect Buddhism, which protects and is protected by the Thai nation which is identical to the Thai people, although “guest”ethnic groups and allied peoples may be under the protection of the Thai state. These are traditional views and are not held by every single person. However, they permeate society and explain why blasphemy is still considered a crime against Buddhism, the monarchy, the state, and Thai people all at once.
These traditional attitudes are much the same in all Buddhist SE Asia (minus the continuing monarchy). This has not been helpful in the modernization process and the formation of modern governments. It has also encouraged the fusion of Buddhism and an extreme racist, violent nationalism among some monks and lay.