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Friday, July 30, 2010


Red shirts

Next to Talat Noi on the MSU campus is a parking lot. I walk through it on the way to buy my dinner. One evening I noticed a small bunch of kids on the back of a ute/pick-up leaping about noisily and waving toy guns in the air. As I passed, one of them must have noticed me and called out 'farang' ie Westerner. I ignored them and kept walking. Then my mind ticked over what I had seen, some of these kids were wearing red shirts. I already had my camera in my hand. I was planning to take some shots of the market. So I turned around and walked back to them.

'Tai roop mai khap?' May I take your photograph?

They were most happy to oblige. I would loved to have got them in action as I'd seen before but didn't know the Thai to make that request so had to settle for the posed shot you see here. How subdued they look in contrast.

I can only guess what was going on. This is just a bunch of kids playing with toy guns. Sadly, that's what kids do. They don't know any better if some adult is prepared to buy the toys. Was there any significance in the red shirts? Perhaps it was just a coincidence that two of them happened to be wearing red. Or perhaps not. Their parents are probably stall holders at the market and so would be members of the poor class that the red-shirt protesters claim to represent. I don't know the answer but I have to wonder if this is perhaps some subtle form of indoctrination of the young.

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