“Wait, you’re from Thailand?”
“A Thai girl?”
Those are some of the responses I receive whenever I tell people my nationality. Those remarks, some spoken in kind tones and genuine curiosity and sincerity, others with a look-over my body and a smirk, are only the surface of the world-wide stigma that is given to the land of smiles. “Thailand,” when it comes to girls, are usually associated with either meek girls or prostitutes. In one blog, actually, there was a person who commented that there were no Thai people who spoke impeccable English. I would like to disagree.
Thailand, like all countries, has their share of ambitious,, capable young people who are fully educated, and if given the opportunity, will change the world. There are many blogposts out there criticizing those who hold cultural stigmas, but instead, I am here to talk to those being stigmatized.
Your nationality is nothing to be worried about, and your nationality’s stigma is actually an incentive to work as hard as you can, to prove that stigma wrong. Be the one who shows the world who you, wherever you are from, are. And once others in your country sees you succeeding and breaking through to the very Western-dominated world, they will follow.
So when other people come up to me, and say, “Excuse me, what? You’re from Thailand? ” I smile and nod yes. I am of Thai blood. I am from the rice paddies and the Khao Soi in hot, humid mornings, and I will show them, what it really means to be Thai.