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Tales of Thailand...Lessons from The Land of Smile

By Thomas J. Knutson, Ph D
Professor of Communication Studies, California State University, Sacramento        

Asking me to write about Thailand is like asking Julia child to talk about cooking or Tiger Woods to describe golf. The Kingdom of Thailand, the “Land of Smile,” has fascinated me for over a decade and, I confess, I am enchanted with her beauty and many charms. I love Thailand; it’s the most remarkable place I’ve ever lived. In short, don’t expect a typically objective scholarly essay about Thai people, values, and norms. Instead, I’ll try to explain to you the attraction of this beautiful culture in a way that will inspire you to learn more about Thailand as well as intercultural communication. Thailand has so much to offer the world.

        For the past several years, I’ve been a Visiting Professor in Bangkok at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok University, and Assumption University. I’ve lived in Bangkok for a total of three years and have traveled throughout the country, a place that can teach everyone about civility, enjoyment, and life itself. If you haven’t visited Thailand. you should; if you’ve been there before, you should return.

        Thailand is located in Southeast Asia, surrounded by Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, and Cambodia. Roughly the size of Texas, Thailand is situated in the center of the world’s most rapidly expanding economies. Although the Thai Baht has been recently devalued, most experts agree that Thailand will remain a major geopolitical force in the foreseeable future. You can actually feel the excitement of Thailand’s new growth and determination. Bangkok’s legendary traffic problems, the wild fluctuations in the Thai stock market, and the slow, but sure, development of a parliamentary system of government all contribute to an incredible laboratory for life in the modern age. Perhaps more than any other place on earth, Thailand epitomizes life in the new world order, completely involved in the intricacies of the global village.

ข้อเขียนทั้งภาษาไทยและภาษาอังกฤษทุกเรื่องที่นำเสนอโดยมูลนิธิการศึกษาไทย-อเมริกัน (ฟุลไบรท์) ผู้สนใจสามารถจะนำไปใช้ประโยชน์ต่อการเรียนการสอนและกิจกรรมทางการศึกษาที่เกี่ยวข้องได้โดยขอความกรุณาอ้างอิงถึงแหล่งที่มาให้ชัดเจนด้วย

All the Thai and English articles written and posted by the Thailand -U.S. Educational Foundation (Fulbright) could be used to benefit the academic community. Please give appropriate credit to the author(s) and the Foundation.

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