Idea of the Culture Minister to boost tourism : to sell “phallus-shaped amulets”

You don’t believe it ? Me neither.

But unfortunatly, it is true. I say unfortunatly for the country’s image (once again the world will laugh at Thailand and at their lunatics officials), but on the other hand it’s very fortunate for my (ballooning) collection of “weird” tidbits.


Local amulets in unusual shapes, like Nagas, phallus symbols and buffaloes, will soon hit souvenir stalls if newly-appointed Culture Minister Worawat Ua-apinyakul gets his way.

“They are cultural products,” Worawat said yesterday.

He unveiled his bold idea in a talk about the Culture Ministry’s 2009 policies.

We can turn local amulets with phallus symbols and buffalo statuettes into key chains and sell them to tourists,” Worawat insisted.

Known as Palad Khik, the phallus-shaped amulets are believed to magically protect their wearers, while the “Kwai Tanoo” buffalo statuettes are said to give their owners the power to harm others.

Worawat hoped that manufacturers would provide certificates of authenticity to show their wares were properly made.

“The back stories behind the amulets could inspire big-budget movies too,” the new culture minister added.

Worawat reckoned that his idea was unprecedented but warned others not to view it with contempt.

Under his leadership, the Culture Ministry would actively invite income, investment and trade to Thailand via cultural ambassadors. (Nation)

What to say ? Nothing of course. These delicatessen are even better when savoured in silence

17 Responses to “Idea of the Culture Minister to boost tourism : to sell “phallus-shaped amulets””

  1. 1 chinesethai 2 October 2008 at 2:31 am

    Clowns and crooks are running Thailand. What more could you expect from them?

    See why more people are for PAD? Recently, Pitsanu Ninglat, a famous sport commentator, who has been silent on the politics throughout his career, came forward and threw support on PAD. He said he just could no longer stand this political nonsense in Thailand.

  2. 2 absolutelybangkok 2 October 2008 at 2:52 am

    No wonder that dildos are prohibited in Thailand. Too many lucky amulets around already.

  3. 3 Bedwyr 2 October 2008 at 3:13 am

    Political nonsense indeed.

    Still, look on the bright side. The minister clearly demonstrates those things which turn him on, by his choice of trinkets that he believes will somehow magically transform Thais from a gathering of buffoons into a nation that people take seriously.

    First the phallus, a nice piece of sympathetic magic which is designed to give him a bigger dick. Thai men are fabled for having very small penises so this would arguably be better destined for the internal market and not tourists.

    Secondly, the buffalo (obviously a metaphor for the minister himself), which enables one to hurt other people, a fundamental requirement for the feudal Thai Pooh-yays.

    Interesting psychology this guy has got. Not very nice, but interesting.


  4. 4 dooda 2 October 2008 at 3:22 am

    Chalerm said in his policy speech to health ministry:

    “I’m not a nak leng (gangster). In fact, I am the chief of nak leng . But being a nak leng chief is better than being a hooligan,” he said.

    I wonder in how many countries can a Minister admit to being
    a chief mafia gangster during policy statement to senior officials?

  5. 5 fall 2 October 2008 at 4:09 am

    If they can sell those stupid T-shirt at tourist stall, why not phallus? It would be one hell of a kicker souvenir.

    A Bhudda-blessed phallus key chain, now beat that…(stupid)

  6. 6 ThaiCrisis 2 October 2008 at 4:30 am

    I can see that this issue is… stimulating, isn’t it ?

    Well done AbBKK.
    No wonder that dildos are prohibited in Thailand. Too many lucky amulets around already.

    That’s a nice one. πŸ˜‰

  7. 7 thaichris 2 October 2008 at 6:19 am

    He didn’t say what he said. Read this:

    …Charms need explaining, says minister

    Culture Minister Worawat Ua-apinyakul has denied recommending that good luck charms including phallus charms be made into cultural products for sale.

    On the defensive after critics claimed he was undermining culture rather than promoting it, Mr Worawat said he suggested only that the folktales surrounding good luck charms be better publicised to add value to the products.

    But the folklore must be explained in detail and buyers be educated, so they do not become superstitious or be misled by false beliefs, he said. Each locality had its own story to tell and visitors would be interested to know about it.

    Reports that the minister wanted charms and phallus amulets made for tourists have drawn harsh criticism.

    Academic Srisak Wallipodom said the idea of marketing the charms and selling them as souvenirs was a joke and Mr Worawat had humiliated himself for floating it.

    The minister had shown that he has no understanding of culture. If the idea came to fruition, it would lead to a crisis of culture, Mr Srisak said.

    Mr Worawat was earlier reported as saying that the souvenirs could include the mythical serpent-like creature naga, or khwai thanu .

    Khwai thanu is a talisman in the shape of a buffalo used as a means of protection against evil powers. The products would have a certificate guaranteeing their authenticity.

    When will the impose the MUTE button for ministers? Oh, by the way, thy added a new citeria for the qualification of a minister. You are not allowed to know anything about the subjects your ministry covers. The current cabinet perfecly machtes this.

  8. 8 Bedwyr 2 October 2008 at 6:32 am

    “But the folklore must be explained in detail and buyers be educated, so they do not become superstitious or be misled by false beliefs, he said”

    Yah. I can just see him stroking his Jatukarm amulet while saying this…

    Thais are so like little children, bless ’em.


  9. 9 ThaiCrisis 2 October 2008 at 6:35 am

    MUTE button is… an understatement I think

    I would choose the DELETE button.

    Like the clown Samak who was able to say black on monday, and then on tuesday : “I never said black”.

    Here goes the scenario :
    -monday : you’re a minister, you’re a pooyai, you can talk about anything, anytime, people are supposed to drink your words. You feel fresh and sabai. The world is yours, right ?

    -tuesday : let’s go ! you say an enormity about phallus amulets and tourism.

    -tuesday afternoon : the serious backfire starts. People are laughing at you. Worse : the foreign medias talk about it now. You’re ashamed… You’re loosing face. Big time. You’re a bozo, a clown. Hard feeling. It wasn’t supposed to go this way. Did your parents and your servants lie to you ? Damned.

    -wednesday morning, after a bad night of sleep, anyway the light hits you : enough to lie. As a thai politician, you do it very well. First class. So you declare officially that you never said what you were reported to have said, blablabla.


    But still… the people are laughing at you.

    And it will stay on Internet. For ever. For ever you’ll be labelled as the “phallus amulets Minister of Tourism”.



    Now this is hard. πŸ˜‰

  10. 10 dooda 2 October 2008 at 6:41 am

    Yeah, I guess this kind of thick-face activity described by Thaichris also happens in Iran.

    From the press:
    When sceptical MPs questioned the eligibility of Ali Kordan to be Iran’s interior minister, he believed he had the perfect riposte; a law degree obtained from one of the world’s most elite institutions, the University of Oxford….

    But pressure on him grew after media outlets followed up allegations by some MPs that his claims to Oxford alma mater status were fantasy and that his academic qualifications amounted to no more than a mid-level college diploma.

    Amid a flurry of speculation, Kordan released a copy of his Oxford “certificate” in an attempt to lay the matter to rest.

    Dated June 2000, the certificate said Kordan had “shown great effort in preparing educational materials” and bore the signatures of three professors, Edmund Rolls, Alan Cowey and PE Bryant in a awarding him a degree from the university’s “faculty of the college of law”….

    In a statement, the university said: “The University of Oxford has no record of Mr Ali Kordan receiving an honorary doctorate or any other degree from the university.

    “Professor Edmund Rolls, Professor Peter Bryant and Professor Alan Cowey have all at some stage held posts at the University of Oxford. However, none of them work in the field of law, and none of them would sign degree certificates.” ….

    Alef posted the statement on its site alongside Kordan’s “certificate”, in which it gleefully pointed out several grammatical and spelling errors, including a misspelling of the word entitle as “intitle”….

    [and… Here it comes!!]

    “In a letter to the president on Saturday, Ali Kordan said he had pressed charges against the person who claimed to represent Oxford University in Tehran as soon as he realized his degree was fake,” the government daily Iran said.

    “Over the past eight years, I never doubted the validity of the degree and that’s why I presented it in the course of the confidence vote,” Kordan wrote in his letter to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    The minister, who was appointed in August, said he approached Oxford University after MPs cast doubt on his degree, but “to my utter disbelief, the university did not confirm (the degree) when my representative went there.”

    The degree had been issued for his “managerial and executive experience and for submitting a thesis to Oxford University via a person who had opened an affiliate office in Tehran in English-language affairs,” the minister said.

    Kordan said his search for the intermediary had proven fruitless and that he had filed a complaint against the unnamed person on September 14

  11. 11 thaichris 2 October 2008 at 8:02 am

    I have a great idee to reform the political structure in Thailand. An the reform will perfectly cope with one of the most loved activity of Thai people.

    Let’s make the election of MP a lottery. An the appointment of ministers too. Becoming PM will be first price. Let’s repeat the lottery every 6 month. And if you hit the joker, your term is automaically extended to 4 years.

    The state will earn additional revenue by selling the lottery tickets. Rich peoples can increase there chance by buying millions of tickets. And the quality of the cabinet might even be higher.

    I should take with the guys from PAD.

  12. 12 Gloomy Observer 2 October 2008 at 11:03 am

    ..and today Chalerm has proposed banning alcohol sales during holidays…such as New Year and Songkran!!!

    It’s almost enough to make you see where the PAD are coming from!

  13. 13 chang dek 3 October 2008 at 5:27 pm

    chang dek on October 1st, 2008 5.18 am posted on Absolutely Bangkok
    Phallusses for sale to tourists but not for women’s consumption:
    Interesting that there are more prejudices that start to look silly when the the β€œthinking” gets displayed. Sexual aids like dildos are illegal in Thailand, presumably because of their depraved western provenance, but the sacred Thai versions are now being heralded as cultural paradigms …

  14. 14 ThaiCrisis 3 October 2008 at 8:40 pm

    There is one thing that I’ve learned in Thailand : skepticism.

    Constant, burning and adamantean skepticism.

    It’s my swiss knife to survive in Illusion Land.

    I heard this story several times in the past… But I’m wondering : do we have actually a law that prohibits positively the sale of dildos ?

    I mean how many times we heard “can not”, “illegal”, “forbidden”… just because some mere authority said so, or were reported to have said so ?

    Anyway, end of the digression.

    Indeed let’s put some culture into dildos (that would make a good baseline to promote tourism).

  15. 15 chang dek 3 October 2008 at 9:20 pm

    U ask if “we” have a law to prohibit the sale of dildoes? do you mean the french?

  16. 16 ThaiCrisis 3 October 2008 at 9:52 pm

    … no in Thailand of course.

    I guess, I’ve stayed too long… It starts to affect my geographical balance.;-)

  17. 17 chang dek 3 October 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Maybe Thailand needs to put some culture back into its clams, as the target audience is the dildo….

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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