Farang Eating Farang

Farang Eating Farang

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At the local market, whenever I buy guava, other customers never seem to grow tired of the old joke “farang gin farang”. This is a play on words as guava and white faced foreigner are the same. So they are joking that the Caucasian guy is eating another Caucasian.

Here is some food for thought:

RT @whitegirlinasia: Hasn’t Bangkok become enough of a global city for the Thais to stop using the term Farang? Couldnt use the equivalent in the West w/o insult.

4 thoughts on “Farang Eating Farang

  1. Being a farang, I always make sure I get that joke in first when visiting the fruit market, although yes, it can become tiresome! It’s just a play on words for a bit of fun. More generally, Thai being a tonal language, wordplay is a common source of fun among locals by intentionally mis-pronouncing tones to produce riddles or cheeky comments (farang people are rarely a topic unless one lives in a very touristy area, imho).

    In reply to comment above: no, Bangkok is not a global city. It is still a vast network of micro-communities, so the chance that all will agree to drop the word ‘farang’ is almost zero – what alternative word would be used? After all, even the Govt (Immigration) refer to us all as “aliens”, ha ha.

  2. Why would they drop the word “Farang”? Just to follow some PC trend?

    It’s generally not used in an insulting (not even close to, say, “Lao” or “Ban Nok” — should we ban that?). Also, Farang are not exactly underprivileged compared to most Thais here.

  3. @Disabuse: I’m not sure what underprivileged has to do with this at all. So, poor people can be racist and-or offensive?

    Anyway, it’s an interesting debate and one that I’ve had with Thai friends many times. Usually the debate goes something like this:

    Me: I don’t mind being called a farang but many people do.

    Friend: Yes, but we don’t mean it as an insult.

    Me: Yes, but many people feel that it’s an insult so if you use that word, some people may get angry.

    Friend: But we don’t mean it as an insult.

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