How else would one describe the reaction of Chiang Mai University to the influx of happy Chinese tourists as being other than being racist?
Khao Sod reports that CMU is to charge entry and restrict access to most of its spacious park grounds to Chinese visitors.
So how will they determine who is Chinese? Perhaps they arrive on a bicycle? If so I will be in trouble as I cycle 5 days in 7 to swim at the CMU pool ( It’s closed 2 days a week). Or perhaps they will pick on young women wearing long skirts? That would distinguish them from the regimental dress of CMU students, unless of course a sneaky Chinese is committing the crime of wearing a CMU uniform, a fun thing for a joke for as in China students at high school and university wear what they like, with hair-dos as they please unlike the oppressed Thai kids. Or will they train the gate guards to recognise the sounds of Chinese language and catch tthem? Perhaps they will post the sign below as copied from the Chiang Mai Hills Hotel and call out “Huan Ying, Huan Ying” to lure the unsuspecting?
Perhaps Chiang Mai folk could say enough of this rudeness to our visitors and if you like please download this sign and you can print off copies to post around the town.
Chiang Mai City News editor, James Farrell, has written a long article reflecting on the situation which has food for thought.
Missing from the conversation is a discussion of historical comparisons between Red China and “Red” Thailand and the way that Chinese visitor behavior threatens the conservatism of Thai society and in particular its repressive education system. Perhaps the ajarns behind this recent move know more of Chinese history than they reveal. Perhaps they know that the bulk of the Chinese visitors are the sons and daughters of students who made the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR). This event involved widespread criticism and often beatings of teachers by students, and not entirely to ill affect. A visiting Chinese academic some years ago at Chiang Mai in the field of biology made the comment that the GPCR resulted in major advances in the status of women.
The last thing the establishment would wish for would be that Thai students learn from China and resist.