Thais angry after British Ambassador to Cambodia posts ‘Khmer dessert’ photo

Thais are not happy with the British Ambassador to Cambodia. Ambassador Dominic Williams posted a photo on Facebook earlier this week with the caption “Khmer dessert.”

However, Thais believe the sweets pictured in the photo are Thai desserts. The desserts include a mung bean sweet called luk chup, a coconut pudding called Taco, a mung bean sweet called med kanun, an egg yolk tart called Khanom tong yip, and an egg yolk tart called tong yord.

Angry Thai netizens gave Williams a piece of their minds. They pointed out that a woman named Marie Guimar, who was of Japanese, Portuguese, and Bengali descent, invented Khanom tong yip and other egg yolk-based desserts in Thailand during the Ayutthaya period.

The netizens urged Williams to do his research since a diplomat should understand the importance of communication.

In response to the backlash, the British ambassador posted another message on his Facebook page, saying that the photo was a symbol of his love for Cambodia, but that Thailand and Thai people are also great, and called for everyone to calm down and respect each other. However, it appears that the ambassador’s Facebook page has been temporarily disconnected after the incident.

This news comes amidst tensions between Thailand and Cambodia following another incident when Thailand accused Cambodia of stealing their culture.

In January, Cambodia, the host country of the 2023 SEA Games, changed the name of the kickboxing competition from Muay Thai to Kun Khmer and stated that the origin of Muay Thai is Cambodian. As a result, Thailand has withdrawn from the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).

The result of Cambodia’s change led to a ban from the International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA).

However, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told everyone to calm down following the row. Prayut added that arguing about Muay Thai’s origins on social media was “pointless.”

There is a rich history of cultural crossover between Thailand and Cambodia, which share a border and have had both friendly and hostile relations throughout the centuries.

World News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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