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Displaying Buddha Images
Last Post 01 Apr 2014 10:59 PM by BkkSteve. 5 Replies.
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BkkSteveUser is Offline
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15 Jun 2010 05:56 AM  
Dear Professor;

Recently I had our company logo printed on magnetic signs for our company vehicle. Personally I think the orange colors on black and the gold from the reclining Buddha look pretty good..

However, driving around Bangkok these last few days I've been getting a lot of STARES from Thai people.. who coincidently appear to make up the majority of drivers on the road.. I was a bit worried about this, it's not like I have the big Mo on my rear doors.. but how do Buddhist feel about displaying the Buddha image in this manner?

Today going into an US Embassy compound the Thai security guards made a big deal over the signs, showed their friends, smiled, and then gave me a huge thumbs up! It makes me feel better.. but is this just their opinion and am I likely to encounter different reactions as I travel throughout Thailand?

I can't think of any other image that represents Thailand as much as the Reclining Buddha except perhaps the Emerald Buddha which is held in higher reverence. A floating market scene or a insect frying street vendor just wouldn't have the same impact.

It's not like I had all the Southpark Religious Personality cartoons made into a sign.. and I want to be respectful.. but cutting edge.. edgy..
JTGUser is Offline
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15 Jun 2010 11:35 AM  
Are you sure other drivers weren't staring at you because of your driving style of Somchai taxi driver incarnated.. ?

On a serious note though, we all know that in Thai culture head is considered a 'high' thing and needs to be put higher than other things, and there are 'low' things that should stay lower than all other things.

When you walk pass someone older than you, you will not walk tall, but will have to bend your back, or even walk on your knees, so that the level of your head is lower than the older person's. And you will keep your lowly feet away from other people and never point them in other people's direction.

Buddha images, pictures of the Royal family, Thai flag, Books, head and stuff you use on your head, etc, are things you don't lay around on the floor.

Your logo looks great and I like it.. and I don't see anything wrong with the Buddha image on the logo. The guard at the US Embassy must have thought the same.. But for some Thai people they might not like the idea of the Buddha image being hauled around.. and the level of the Buddha image close to your buttock.. or your feet on the other side of the door..

I remember when I was going to school in Los Angeles.. we were at the church on campus learning how to play handbells. I set a huge and heavy case of handbells on communion table. My professor screamed like a little girl. I thought.. why the scream? It's just a table..

Another example.. at the Sanctuary of Truth.. they gave us a sticker to put on our shirts as a ticket after we pay the entrance fee. I put the sticker on my ankle just because I didn't want to put it where everyone else did.. Then someone walked up to me and asked me to move the sticker to my collar. The reason was there was picture of the Sanctuary on the sticker and should not be put on lower parts of anyone's body.

This is all subjective..


BkkSteveUser is Offline
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16 Jun 2010 05:02 AM  
Thanks for the reply. I'm posting a few images of the magnetic signs in case you're having trouble visualizing the logo on the truck and for others to see.

So far so good with the responses with local Thai's, but I'll be sure to be cautious if negative reactions as I travel throughout Thailand. I really don't want to offend anyone, but then I know I offend a certain number of Thai's just by being in the country.. so you can't please everyone..

Thank you!

Steve






JTGUser is Offline
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16 Jun 2010 11:11 AM  
No.. you can't please everyone..
DanaUser is Offline
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31 Mar 2014 12:34 PM  
I am surprised to hear myself saying this, but I am kind of with the dissenting Thais on this. You are a foreign devil and you are using one of their iconic cultural images for personal advertising? Probably not the best move.

BkkSteveUser is Offline
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01 Apr 2014 10:59 PM  
Well sure, you'd think that.. but then you look at every travel book, all the advertising around and in the airport, and even painted on the side of their vehicles.. and what do you have?  Iconic cultural images used for advertising.  I actually researched this before ordering the signs.   The only real difference is I'm a foreigner and mine are done better which imo shows more respect towards the referenced images.  In fact, I find it hard to find a piece of advertising that doesn't use iconic images.. or women.  It appears to be the Thai way.

Right or wrong?  Maybe it comes down to what's in your heart..
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