Somtow: We protect the veneer of culture without diving deeper

As part of our podcast network, we interview influencers and intellectuals that shape Thai and Asian culture. Our first podcast featured writer and composer Somtow Sucharitkul and his thoughts on Thai Culture, his music and science fiction and society.

Part of the wide ranging conversation touched upon Thai culture and the attempt by officialdom to protect it but often failing to understand what Thai culture truly is:

“Well we are protective and yet there is an incredible ignorance as to what that heritage is. That is the thing. I would love to be protective of our heritage if we were also interested into learning what the nature of that heritage is. As it is, there is often a desire to protect the veneer of heritage without protecting the heritage itself.”

“There is a sense, which is not correct, of the culture being at siege which it is not. Culture is actually, in this country, is at one of its most vital moments and all sorts of wonderful things are happening, all of which officialdom is sort of trying to ignore.”

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