Mandatory requirement for Thai children to learn classical Thai arts & crafts! The Culture & Freedom Currency

13751468741375146896lA rumor of Thailand quitting the teaching of traditional arts and crafts, as a mandatory class for children, have apart from raising the political question if such a rumor is real news, but have also on social network raised question about freedom of expression vs keeping traditional culture alive. The iconic song of the 1970s is by Pink Floyd in the album, The Wall. in the song “A Brick in The Wall” was against education, touting that children do not need education, as it is mostly about installing “Societal Propaganda” onto children. In deed, many leaders of today, such as Mayor Bloomberg, has a policy of not sending his children to college and many other iconic societal figure such as Steve Jobs, dropped out of college. And in fact, even Albert Einstein says “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Yet there is a global currency, that is as strong as concepts such as democracy, liberty and justice, and that is “Culture.” Globally, when one comes across challenges to traditional values, such as Thai classical arts and crafts, as being against freedom of expression or not, often in defense, is the invocation of “Culture.” However, what many, on either side of the argument, often forget to mentioned, is that “Culture” is not as pure a value as most think it is, and concepts such as freedom of expression, is also not as “Pure” as many think. The fundamental fact is, “Culture” as “Freedom of Expression” have a real world roots in “Commerce.” Culture is a thriving global industry, and Thai arts and crafts is one reason why Thailand has such a vibrant tourism industry. Similarly, “Freedom of Expression” is also at the corner stone of many advance industrialize countries “Culture Industry.” But if the issue is “Pure” meaning entirely of an academic discussion, what should Thailand do? That is a question, that have faced Thailand for many years now, including pitching “Culture” of lese majeste against freedom of expression. For now, the issue have been decided, as Thailand will require students to learn about traditional arts and crafts.

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