NAKHON SRI THAMMARAT: The heady days of “Jatukham Fever” last year, when sale of the over-sized Jatukham Ramathep medallions hit a record high, are clearly over.
The large amulets – particularly beloved by tuk-tuk drivers, gunmen and others in dangerous professions – were reputed to bring good fortune. Some individual medallions sold for millions of baht and one woman was literally trampled to death in the rush to get hold of one medallion in a highly-anticipated new series.
However, massive overproduction coupled with waning interest soon brought the price down and quelled the fever.
Just how much the bottom has fallen out of the Jatukham trade was made evident on March 14, when villagers in Tambon Pak Nakhon in Nakhon Sri Thammarat’s Muang District found a pile of Jatukham amulets unceremoniously dumped under a tree.
The reporter at the scene estimated there were more than 200,000 abandoned amulets.
The find came to light when Siriphen Bunchet, 33, told reporters that there was a huge pile of amulets under a tree by the side of the road. Villagers were very upset, he said, as many local people regard Jatukham Ramathep amulets as holy.
When the reporter arrived at the scene, he found villagers picking over the thousands of amulets, taking the ones they liked. There was quite a selection: the amulets were available in two sizes and a wide range of colors.
The amulets were of two designs, “Thewaracha” and “Patihan”, both commissioned by Wat Bang Saphan in Tambon Bangjak to raise money for renovations at nine temples in the area.
The larger amulets, 5 centimeters across, were originally sold for 150 baht each. Their 3-cm counterparts were offered at just 59 baht – hardly a steep price to pay for invincibility.
During the height of Jatukham Fever, the pile would have fetched more than 200 million baht.
While helping themselves to their fortunate find, many of the villagers cursed the people who had dumped the amulets.
The culprits would soon surely meet disaster for their sacrilegious act, they predicted.
JetSki crashes into shop in Kamala, Phuket
PHOTOS: Newshawk Phuket
Not often we get to write this headline… “JetSki crashes into shop in Kamala”.
The jetski was being towed by a Saleng (motorcycle and side-car) through the streets of Kamala this afternoon when, for reasons we don’t yet (probably brake failure), the whole shebang went AWOL and ended up running into the front window of some tourist shops.
The jetskis are a common sight going through the backroads of the various west-coast shopping areas at the start and end of each day, on their way to the beach to hire to tourists, usually in a convoy with the jetski staff riding shotgun on top.
This time it was a lone JetSki, being towed by a saleng, that somehow veered off the street and into the roadside Kamala shops.
NO Plastic Bag! @ Central Phuket
China has the most atheists. Indonesia and Philippines the most believers.
China is the least believing country in the world but belief in a God gets 100 per cent mention in countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh and Philippines, according to the survey by Gallup International.
According to the survey exploring religious tendencies of 66,000 people in 68 countries across the world, 62 per cent of people in the world define themselves as religious, 74% of people globally believe we have a ‘soul’ and 71% believe in a God. Another 56% believe in heaven, 54% in life after death and 49% in hell.
China has the highest percentage of atheists in the world with 67% not believing in any religion. Every seven out ten people are atheists, more than double than any other country. 23% consider themselves as non-religious. Less than 10% identify themselves as religious in China.
China’s atheist percentage is followed by Japan, a long way behind in second place at 29%, Slovenia (28%) and Chech Republic (25%). Despite rapid industrialisation and urbanisation religion has stayed relevant in the South Korean region with only 23% identifying as atheist.
European countries like Belgium (21 %), France (21%) , Sweden (18%) and Iceland (17%) also have a large percentage of believing population.
Bangladesh, Indonesia and Philippines are the most believing countries with entire population claiming to believe in God, soul, hell and heaven. Thailand and Pakistan have 99% believing population, followed by India, Vietnam and Mongolia.
The survey shows that the levels of religiosity diminish as income and education levels increase. While 66% of people with low income affirm to be religious, this percentage drops to 50% among people with higher incomes. The same trend is verified in relation to education levels: 83% of people with lower education level are religious against 49% of higher level.
According to the survey there is a connection between religiosity, beliefs and socio-demographic characteristics like age, income and education level. As education and income levels grow higher, religiosity levels tend to go down. Also, the expression of different beliefs is higher among young people.
The level of education has a considerable influence on the perception of religion by the society. Women and young children show higher percentage for spiritual forces.
SOURCE: Data Leads
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