In my first week traveling throughout Thailand I felt an overwhelming sense of acceptance woven throughout their culture. This sense of acceptance struck me as such a beautiful thing and truly warmed my heart especially because it is something we definitely lack in America.
When we visited the Suksasongkroh Chiangmai Dao School I was impressed that there were over nine different cultural backgrounds coming together to basically grow up together and their ability to maintain their own traditions while still accepting everyone else’s. I also loved that when we asked about their opinion on when a classmate comes out their response was that it’s not even an issue, everyone can love who they want to love. This was similar to when we visited Pha Nok Kok village and asked the chief what his opinion was on homosexuality in the village and he responded that it’s not an issue either because that’s how the creator made you and they will accept that
I loved when we visited the temple in Wat Suan Dok and how we were welcome to go in and look around, yet no one said we had to bow to Buddha or do anything but be respectful. I also thought it was really inspiring that during the chat on Buddhism, monk KK didn’t try converting anyone to his way of life, he just answered questions and talked about his perspective on life due to Buddhism. I’ve never sat down with a religious/cultural leader and not had them try to preach to me about why I should follow their way of life, so I really appreciated that.
Overall, there is a sense of acceptance that I have felt throughout all of our different experiences in Thailand. The experience is so palpable that it has been beautiful and inspiring. From personal observation, it seems like it is in direct correlation to the country’s practicing of Buddhism. Buddhism is completely immersed into the Thai culture. That being said, the people here are all seemingly accepting and loving.