Hazing, sexuality and the problem with education in Thailand

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buksida
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Hazing, sexuality and the problem with education in Thailand

Post by buksida » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:41 am

Hazing rituals at Thailand’s universities, known in Thai collectively as ‘rab nong’ (welcome the juniors), despite often coming under heavy criticism by the Thai and international press, as well as growing numbers of Thai anti-hazing groups for sometimes violent, dehumanizing, and humiliating practices, remains prevalent in Thailand.

Hazing, which comes under the banner of SOTUS (Seniority: Order: Tradition: Unity: Spirit), at its worst has led to the deaths of students, although loss of life is fortunately something that hasn’t happened often. The degradation of juniors by seniors, however, is commonplace, and has been widely reported by the press and students themselves.

Following a piece I wrote called ‘Sanctioned Sadism’, the mostly Thai commenters on the article were polarized in their feelings towards the indictment. Asian Correspondent’s Facebook post, which garnered over 20,000 comments, was taken down. I contacted Facebook about this, but no reason was given, nor has the post ever resurfaced. It is perhaps possible that a large number of complaints were made by Thai commenters, given that many denied that any kind of barbarism, or even ill-will, existed at hazing rituals – even in the face of a large amount of photographic and video evidence. This evidence was partly collected by a number of Thai activists and students (some of whom were interviewed) that have asked that the practice be stopped, or at least transformed.

A criticism I made is that while the more barbaric side of Thai hazing is not always evident at universities, hazing is more often than not oppressive. The casting of authority with a view to obeisance towards elevated figures and the conditioning of youngsters into their place in the hierarchy is what is meant by Seniority: Order: Tradition: Unity: Spirit. Understanding status, and your rightful place in the hierarchy, is part of the Thai traditional education system. It is the preamble to the workplace. It is the preamble to a largely fixed rat-race. Rather than educating the person that they are to become a creative free-thinking, critical individual, as one should become in university, the purpose of SOTUS is to collectivize students’ thinking and foster in them the belief that they are going to be chained to a hierarchal system that must not be challenged. It is not ‘welcome the young’, it is a welcome to the pecking order.

Full Story: Asian Correspondent

Thoughts: I must have lived a sheltered life as I had to look up the meaning of 'Hazing': "The practice of rituals and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group."
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Re: Hazing, sexuality and the problem with education in Thailand

Post by pharvey » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:47 am

buksida wrote:Thoughts: I must have lived a sheltered life as I had to look up the meaning of 'Hazing': "The practice of rituals and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group."
You and me both... :oops:

So called "hazing" has no doubt been around from day one in many walks of life - I guess the big problem is the severity of the practice....
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Re: Hazing, sexuality and the problem with education in Thailand

Post by Nereus » Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:33 pm

Where I grew up it was usually referred to as "nuggetting". I leave it to you to figure it out, but it involved a can of shoe nugget and brush.
It was more prevalent in boarding schools, and / or the dormitory hostels associated with them. Some military cadet units were also known as places where it was most likely to occur.
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Re: Hazing, sexuality and the problem with education in Thailand

Post by STEVE G » Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:54 pm

pharvey wrote: So called "hazing" has no doubt been around from day one in many walks of life - I guess the big problem is the severity of the practice....
I've quite often seen it happening on beaches around Paknampran and Dolphin Bay, they turn up by bus and make the new students perform a few silly games in the sea and the suchlike and as long as it's performed in public, it's always seemed to be nothing more than a bit of harmless fun.

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Re: Hazing, sexuality and the problem with education in Thailand

Post by pharvey » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:22 pm

STEVE G wrote:
pharvey wrote: So called "hazing" has no doubt been around from day one in many walks of life - I guess the big problem is the severity of the practice....
I've quite often seen it happening on beaches around Paknampran and Dolphin Bay, they turn up by bus and make the new students perform a few silly games in the sea and the suchlike and as long as it's performed in public, it's always seemed to be nothing more than a bit of harmless fun.
Quite - IMHO mostly harmless fun, but I guess can get out of hand.... should have made my point a bit clearer.. :oops:

:cheers: :cheers:
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Re: Hazing, sexuality and the problem with education in Thailand

Post by Nereus » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:05 pm

pharvey wrote:
STEVE G wrote:
pharvey wrote: So called "hazing" has no doubt been around from day one in many walks of life - I guess the big problem is the severity of the practice....
I've quite often seen it happening on beaches around Paknampran and Dolphin Bay, they turn up by bus and make the new students perform a few silly games in the sea and the suchlike and as long as it's performed in public, it's always seemed to be nothing more than a bit of harmless fun.
Quite - IMHO mostly harmless fun, but I guess can get out of hand.... should have made my point a bit clearer.. :oops:
:cheers: :cheers:
Some "silly game" played in public is not what is being referred to here. That is a friendly "initiation rite", from which not much harm will come.

'Hazing", by its very nature, will not be performed in public. It is a hideous infringment of other peoples rights and feelings. And as pointed out in the OP, has lead to death in a few cases. It can also have long term effects on some young people, and may even lead to suicide. The idiots that carry it out are the foundation bullies that grow up with no respect towards anyone.
Last edited by Nereus on Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hazing, sexuality and the problem with education in Thailand

Post by Vital Spark » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:48 pm

I teach a discussion group at university, and I usually pick the topics, as discussing mobile phones or K-Pop isn't really meaty enough (and pretty boring for me). Anyway, last week we discussed hazing/rab nong/SOTUS and it was rather interesting. The students were in their 3rd or 4th year, so most of them had been through it, and some of them were leaders in their 2nd year to 'inflict' it on the first year students. About 75% of them said that they didn't like or enjoy it, but it wasn't really that bad at this university - just learning songs and being shouted at. One of the students left his previous university after one month, because he disliked the humiliating hazing so much. It came out that the boys get a tougher time than the girls, when it comes to verbal abuse, and the gays/ladyboys are the most vicious with their taunts and aggression.

The general consensus was that it was a waste of time, not an enjoyable experience, and it should be abolished. However, when I suggested that they write to the Dean to express their views, they all went very quiet. :(

I guess it will continue, as I was told that it was 'tradition', and, as we all know, Thais like to keep traditions however ridiculous or unpopular they are.

VS
P.S. SOTUS stands for Seniority (v. important in Thailand), Order (hmmm), Tradition (enough said...), Unity (?), and Spirit (not the pleasurable kind).
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Re: Hazing, sexuality and the problem with education in Thailand

Post by Kraka's Dad » Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:00 pm

Oops sorry was asking what hazing was but it seems that not all the post was displayed.
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Re: Hazing, sexuality and the problem with education in Thailand

Post by CherylBryant » Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:49 pm

There are too much of issues the government need to make a proper decision. Otherwise it will damage the generation.

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Re: Hazing, sexuality and the problem with education in Thailand

Post by Spitfire » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:05 pm

Hazing is nothing more than instilling arcaic cultural values in kids and happens in all institutions here including army conscript recuits to university students or police cadets. Thou must respect and obey those socially superior than you are....system mechanics are alive and well.

Same old same old.
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Re: Hazing, sexuality and the problem with education in Thailand

Post by Bristolian » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:20 pm

Spitfire wrote:Hazing is nothing more than instilling arcaic cultural values in kids and happens in all institutions here including army conscript recuits to university students or police cadets. Thou must respect and obey those socially superior than you are....system mechanics are alive and well.

Same old same old.
Totally agree Spifire and nothing will change in our lifetimes. The Thai social system demands obedience and that the "Socially Superior" maintain their current positions.

We could lock this thread for the next 20 years and when we open it again... Little or any change will have taken place other than superficial face saving by hiding or rewriting the facts and issues.
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