Two images starting to go viral on Facebook at the moment are these one with over 5,000 shares in one day. What you see here are portable toilets in Holland that have been decorated with images of the Buddha. I don’t think any evil intent was meant here. The images are beautiful and serene and the designer probably just wanted to beautify what could have been an ugly corner of this town. But, as we all know, Thais hold their religion with the greatest respect. In Thailand there are many restrictions on what you can and cannot do with images of the Buddha. Although it has never been tested here, I am sure decorating the walls of a toilet is one of the activities which are deeply frowned upon. Naturally there is a lot of discussion on social media about this. How far do you think this will go? Should the Dutch ambassador be called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to explain himself? Or are Thai Buddhists making a mountain out of a molehill?
UPDATE on Tuesday 22nd January from The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Bangkok:
“The Royal Netherlands Embassy has brought the reactions of Thai people to the attention of the renting company. The Company, Boels rental, reacted immediately. It has indicated that they were not aware about the impact of the pictures for some people. They will withdraw the bio box immediately from the market. They offer their apologies to the Thai and Buddhist communities for this action.”