A Woman Learning Thai...and some men too ;)

Learn Thai Language & Thai Culture

Bangkok’s Pink Shirts at Victory Monument

Thailand Pink Shirts

So, am I Red, Yellow, Pink. Or Blue even?…

Thailand is awash with colour: Red, yellow, pink and blue. And as most everyone knows, on Mondays we used to watch seas of Thais heading to work wearing yellow shirts. But now the wearing of yellow is no longer seen as just supporting the King because yellow has taken on a different meaning. To some, the wearing of yellow is fighting words.

You’ve seen a lot of the colour red on this blog, so some of you might be wondering about my political leanings. I mean, I haven’t taken many photos of the Yellow Shirts. And yeah, I totally missed the Pink Shirt rally at Lumpini Park. My bad.

Well, it’s simple really. Until this weekend, the other factions haven’t been in my sights. Also, my driver is a Red Shirt (most are in Bangkok). And while he has been known to nonchalantly detour right through the Red’s stomping grounds (which is where a lot of my photos come from), he’s not about to make the mistake of visiting the opposing side.

Do I know how lame this sounds? Yes. I do. And I apologize. Seriously.

Friday, on my way home from Kao San Road, I got an opportunity for a change of colour when driving past the Pink Shirts surrounding Victory Monument.

Btw – Only expats call it Victory Monument. Thais (and taxi drivers especially) call it อนุสาวรีย์ชัยสมรภูมิ à-nú-săa-wá-ree chai sà-mŏr-rá-poom/ or อนุสาวรีย์ชัย /à-nú-săa-wá-ree chai/ for short. The monument is a great place for protestor watching (since I’ve been here it’s mostly red, but the others look to be catching on).

So here you have it. Finally. My adventure with the Pink Shirts:

Going ’round in circles with the Pink Shirts at Victory Monument…

Thailand Pink Shirts

Thailand Pink Shirts

Thailand Pink Shirts

Thailand Pink Shirts

Thailand Pink Shirts

Just look at all those cheerful people…

As we were driving slowly around Victory Monument, Khun Pissout was muttering darkly:

Do you see them? They are all rich people.
Only hundreds protest, but the press will report thousands.
Those kids, do you see them? They are students with rich parents.
Poor Thai kids can’t afford to go to Chula.
Did you see all those Chinese faces?

So, did I see Chinese faces? Or did I see Thais? Dunno. What did you see?

Khun Pissout’s comments outlined the basic resentment from the Reds (who apparently have nothing) towards the Yellows (who are supposed to have everything). Since I wrote this post, I’ve been told that his statement shows a lack of knowledge, as poor kids in Thailand can and do go to Chula on scholarship. Yeah Chula!

In response to the video, a friend mentioned translating the signs. But there really is no need as the Pink Shirts have translated their main sign into: English, German, Italian, Swedish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew and Arabic.

My personal hope? That this latest political kerfluffle will free up a Chula education for all Thai citizens. North. Central. South. All. Because until the North gains access to decent education from toddler times on up, there will be no Chula in their future.

Btw – I cruised around Khao San Road too. But what I found etched on the walls by the Red Shirts was depressing. As I’m wanting a break from sad, I’ll save it for later. Maybe Sunday. Or Monday. Or never. We’ll see.

Share Button
The following two tabs change content below.
My passion is promoting the Thai language. Fullstop. Oh, and traveling. I'm passionate about that as well. And photography too.

5 Comments

  1. This all must be exhausting for all those living in Bangkok with this heaviness cast over the city, indeed the entire country. Just saw your Tweet about what other bloggers in Thailand are translating. Ugh! Everything is getting so mired in the negativity it’s like sinking up to your knees in mud and you cannot get out.

  2. Beautiful photos as always Cat. You really capture the moment. I miss the days when a yellow shirt meant love for the King and a blue love for the Queen. I used to take flack from some people as being a stupid tourist for wearing my 50th anniversary shirt that was yellow and light blue but I didn’t care.

    I really do hope the day comes soon when all the different factions realize that they are all Thai and need to help one another for the best possible future of Thailand.

  3. Amy, it might be tedious for those who are in the exact vicinity, but for the rest it’s business as usual. Or not. In Bangkok, the city empties out during Songkran. Next week will be telling as we’ve been promised a bigger push by the Thai military.

    Thanks Talen. I miss the yellow shirts on Mondays too. Odd that you were given a hard time about it, as Thai companies dole out yellow t-shirts for their employees to wear – Thais and expats.

    Walking around Thailand, I’m constantly surprised at how little the two factions are willing to understand the other’s mindset. Thailand is not black and white, but that’s how some are trying to paint it. Thailand is multi-coloured.

  4. Red shirts, Yellow shirts, Pink shirts, Blue shirts.

    I’m sure the UK government will soon issue more over the top travel advice about Thailand

    ‘If you are travelling to Thailand then you are advised to avoid staying in and around Bangkok. On arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport all travellers from the UK are also advised to arrive bare chested to avoid any confusion over Thai political loyalties.’

    I best start doing some press ups and weights.

    The Bangkok t-shirt sweat shops must be doing overtime right now. I do wonder if the Isaan workers in them miss a few stitches from the yellow shirt seams. I fancy they do.

  5. Hah! You got it. Thailand has gotten quite colourful lately. And no joke (ok, maybe a little), expats are talking about a no shirt movement, taking Thailand back to former times. It’s almost as good a threat as the April Fools streaking down Suk not so long ago :-)

    Thailand is going to run out of colours soon. I know that purple is already taken…

    I drove around BKK this afternoon, admiring the yellow flags embracing the red, white, and blue Thai national flag. I sure miss seeing yellow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*