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Some secondary students use Wai Khru to make ‘controversial’ floral tributes

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High school students have used an annual Wai Khru ceremony to make political statements via they floral tributes. The students were from the Chumphol Phon Phisai School in Nong Khai, north-east Thailand, and Phitsanulok.

The floral protests came to the attention of the current Thai deputy PM and defence minister Prawit Wongsuwan who was said to have ‘taken offence’. He was speaking to the local media…

“I believe there is someone behind this. How could the kids come up with this idea by themselves?”

“I don’t know who they are (the students). We have to investigate first, but we also have to respect their freedom of expression,” according to Bangkok Post.

Two displays from student in Mathayom 6 (Grade 12) captured particular attention. One was a set of scales with one side marked ‘250 votes’ and the other ‘several million votes’. This was in reference to the NCPO hand-picked 250 Senators vs the country’s voters. All Senators voted in a bloc to support the election of Prayut Chan-o-cha to the position of PM.

The other floral arrangement was a depiction of Bangkok’s Victory Monument with a soldier standing in front.

Some secondary students use Wai Khru to make 'controversial' floral tributes | News by Thaiger Some secondary students use Wai Khru to make 'controversial' floral tributes | News by Thaiger

PHOTOS: Chinnawat Singha and Twitter@hanatawann

Meanwhile students in Phitsanulok were at the same game and had their floral tributes shared widely on social media. One was a beautifully-prepared Army tank and automatic rifle. Another displayed wristwatches with an accompanying message “borrowing them from a friend”, a tribute aimed specifically at the deputy PM who was embroiled in controversy last year for his extensive range of luxury watches he was often seen wearing. At the time he told an enquiry “I borrowed them from a friend”.

Meanwhile Future Forward’s Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit got involved in the social media commentary on the student’s flower-arranging skills saying “all people have the right to air their political opinions”.

He also referred to a visit to the school in Nong Khai by security authorities to talk to the students who made the floral tributes. The officers asked the teens to delete pictures of their handiwork from their social media accounts.

Meanwhile Suthep Chittayawong, the acting secretary-general of the Basic Education Commission has asked schools to observe Wai Khru in the right spirit and advised teachers to make sure that the activities of their students were appropriate.

The wai khru ceremony is a Thai ritual in which students pay respects to their teachers in order to express their gratitude and formalise the student–teacher relationship. It is regularly held near the beginning of the school year in most schools in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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