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Oops! Culture Ministry deletes website suggestion that traditional Thai garment could be used to commit suicide

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Thailand’s Culture Ministry is in hot water after suggesting on its website that one of the many uses for the Thai waistcloth (pha khao ma) could be to hang oneself. The suggestion appeared on the website as part of a list of ways the traditional garment could be used. Other helpful suggestions included using it as a towel or a pillow, or a floor covering once it became too old to wear. At the bottom of the list sat the 28th suggestion.

“Used to hang oneself (when desperate)”.

The pha khao ma is a chequered, woven cloth traditionally worn by Thai men of all ages for hundreds of years. The cotton cloth has also been adapted for several other uses and can now be seen in the form of tablecloths and reusable shopping bags.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the list of uses has been on the Culture Ministry’s website since 2015 and was posted to promote tourism and Thai traditions. It was spotted by an eagle-eyed netizen who was researching the traditional item of clothing and found the suicide suggestion. His subsequent Facebook post was picked up by the media and generated a public backlash against the Culture Ministry.

The Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome says the offending suggestion has now been deleted. He says the list was compiled by local offices and not checked before it was posted on the website.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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