Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Our front page headline this week says it all: the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is a serious commercial success. (See "Festival reels in millions" in the current issue of the Phuket Gazette. Digital subscribers can download their copy here.)

Not only is this year’s festival being touted as the creator of a much-welcomed 200-million-baht boost to the island’s economy, but it is doing so during one of Phuket’s lowest months for tourism.

The festival began with the arrival of the new moon on Friday and ends next Saturday (October 16).

Penang, just over our border with Malaysia, offers similar fare.

And the Brahman festivals in India, which predate the 185-year-old Phuket festival by centuries, stage proceedings of the same genre we witness here – complete with trances, seances, appeals to gods, extreme body piercings and other esoteric rituals conducted in an atmosphere at times suggestive of havoc.

Tourists in large numbers, particularly from Asia, are drawn to such happenings and seem to have earmarked Phuket as their venue of choice.

With broad support from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the success of the Phuket festival has inspired similar events to be held elsewhere in Thailand this week, including Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Haad Yai, Phang Nga, Trang and Krabi.

What the island has learned from the Vegetarian Festival is how to market an event. The festival's success in marketing terms has been managed well. But not all aspects of the event enjoy unanimous public support.

Wherever they go this week, the processions will cause their usual major disruptions to traffic, and injuries to both participants and spectators, particularly from firecrackers thrown at random in the crowds, will keep the hospitals busy as always.

But some progress in the management of problem areas may be in evidence. Police say they will be making an extra effort to manage the traffic jams this year, and that they will also be paying particular attention to the crime which often rises with the swell in tourist numbers.

In recent years, the mah song (spirit mediums) have also been better managed to reduce the number, if not the severity, of self-inflicted wounds.

Each mah song joining the processions must register with one of the participating shrines. The organizers take no responsibility for “unregistered” mah song, one of whom was internally 'dealt with' a few years ago for repeatedly slicing open a pig’s tongue, instead of his own, during a procession.

With Phuket expected to reel in 200 million baht from tourists alone during this year's event, and given the importance attached to the island's unique cultural identity, the Vegetarian Festival is a landmark likely to be further developed as a national asset in the future.
– Phuket Gazette

1

It appears that Asians in particular are fascinated with such, which may explain why they do gather around road accidents, beach drownings, etc. In that, their whole outlook is different from western culture.

As for marketing such, makes me wonder when 'Big Brother' will ask the participants to actually die on screen. Do you remember the old movies 'Rollerball' and the like? Is that where we're heading in the name of entertainment?

Posted by Logic October 10, 2010 12:44:41PM

Reply

0    0

2

I would appreciate it if I didn't open the Gazette website and see gore! I'm not entertained by sanguinary acts of self-mutilation. I'm repulsed by it. Please, Gazette, show a little more class than this.

Posted by Dave Williams October 10, 2010 01:16:42PM

Reply

0    0

3

How about some pleasant pictures – for a change. You are certainly not making the Vegetarian Festival more attractive by posting these repulsive photos on line every other day.

Posted by Hopelander October 10, 2010 01:30:34PM

Reply

0    0

4

Great pictures.

Posted by sky October 10, 2010 04:19:57PM

Reply

0    0

5

I would appreciate it if I didn't open the Gazette website and see gore! I'm not entertained by sanguinary acts of self-mutilation. I'm repulsed by it. Please, Gazette, show a little more class than this.

Posted by Dave Williams

And you want me to give blood for this? You must be nuts. No way.

Posted by sad October 10, 2010 06:31:17PM

Reply

0    0

6

To those that do not agree with this it's simple. You are living in a country where this tradition is carried out. If you don't like it then go home.

Posted by 111 October 11, 2010 07:35:42AM

Reply

0    0

7

To those that do not agree with this it's simple. You are living in a country where this tradition is carried out. If you don't like it then go home.

Posted by 111

The Gazette is an English-language paper written, if I'm not mistaken, primarily for those of us who live here. As you can see, but perhaps don't understand, there is a huge difference between accepting Thai culture and having to deal with gory photos on our English-language paper.

I don't not have to "go home" just because you're not offended by tacky photos. I do not have to accept that this is an example of the only photos available for the festival. Again, it's gross and the Gazette should show less blood.

Posted by Dave Williams October 11, 2010 09:11:45AM

Reply

0    0

8

I would appreciate it if I didn't open the Gazette website and see gore! I'm not entertained by sanguinary acts of self-mutilation. I'm repulsed by it. Please, Gazette, show a little more class than this. Posted by Dave Williams Indeed! Agree 100% !!

Posted by c October 11, 2010 09:12:25AM

Reply

0    0

9

To those that do not agree with this it's simple. You are living in a country where this tradition is carried out. If you don't like it then go home.

Posted by 111

Why should I go home? I am here since 1990 and I do good to the Thai community. I just think blood is precious and should not be wasted.

Posted by sad October 11, 2010 01:26:31PM

Reply

0    0

10

What a lovely front page to look at while enjoying your Saturday breakfast...

Posted by j small October 12, 2010 01:52:49AM

Reply

0    0

11

I think the concept of self-mutilation goes the same as Jesus' Crucifixion: Taking the future pain and bad luck of the viewers.

The difference is just the pain went to the hand for Jesus while it comes to mouth for Ma Song.

Am I misunderstanding something? Correct me.

Posted by Andy October 14, 2010 08:20:09AM

Reply

0    0

11

I think the concept of self-mutilation goes the same as Jesus' Crucifixion: Taking the future pain and bad luck of the viewers.

The difference is just the pain went to the hand for Jesus while it comes to mouth for Ma Song.

Am I misunderstanding something? Correct me.

Posted by Andy October 14, 2010 08:20:09AM

Reply

0    0

10

What a lovely front page to look at while enjoying your Saturday breakfast...

Posted by j small October 12, 2010 01:52:49AM

Reply

0    0

9

To those that do not agree with this it's simple. You are living in a country where this tradition is carried out. If you don't like it then go home.

Posted by 111

Why should I go home? I am here since 1990 and I do good to the Thai community. I just think blood is precious and should not be wasted.

Posted by sad October 11, 2010 01:26:31PM

Reply

0    0

8

I would appreciate it if I didn't open the Gazette website and see gore! I'm not entertained by sanguinary acts of self-mutilation. I'm repulsed by it. Please, Gazette, show a little more class than this. Posted by Dave Williams Indeed! Agree 100% !!

Posted by c October 11, 2010 09:12:25AM

Reply

0    0

7

To those that do not agree with this it's simple. You are living in a country where this tradition is carried out. If you don't like it then go home.

Posted by 111

The Gazette is an English-language paper written, if I'm not mistaken, primarily for those of us who live here. As you can see, but perhaps don't understand, there is a huge difference between accepting Thai culture and having to deal with gory photos on our English-language paper.

I don't not have to "go home" just because you're not offended by tacky photos. I do not have to accept that this is an example of the only photos available for the festival. Again, it's gross and the Gazette should show less blood.

Posted by Dave Williams October 11, 2010 09:11:45AM

Reply

0    0

6

To those that do not agree with this it's simple. You are living in a country where this tradition is carried out. If you don't like it then go home.

Posted by 111 October 11, 2010 07:35:42AM

Reply

0    0

5

I would appreciate it if I didn't open the Gazette website and see gore! I'm not entertained by sanguinary acts of self-mutilation. I'm repulsed by it. Please, Gazette, show a little more class than this.

Posted by Dave Williams

And you want me to give blood for this? You must be nuts. No way.

Posted by sad October 10, 2010 06:31:17PM

Reply

0    0

4

Great pictures.

Posted by sky October 10, 2010 04:19:57PM

Reply

0    0

3

How about some pleasant pictures – for a change. You are certainly not making the Vegetarian Festival more attractive by posting these repulsive photos on line every other day.

Posted by Hopelander October 10, 2010 01:30:34PM

Reply

0    0

2

I would appreciate it if I didn't open the Gazette website and see gore! I'm not entertained by sanguinary acts of self-mutilation. I'm repulsed by it. Please, Gazette, show a little more class than this.

Posted by Dave Williams October 10, 2010 01:16:42PM

Reply

0    0

1

It appears that Asians in particular are fascinated with such, which may explain why they do gather around road accidents, beach drownings, etc. In that, their whole outlook is different from western culture.

As for marketing such, makes me wonder when 'Big Brother' will ask the participants to actually die on screen. Do you remember the old movies 'Rollerball' and the like? Is that where we're heading in the name of entertainment?

Posted by Logic October 10, 2010 12:44:41PM

Reply

0    0

Right push panel.

Close
© 2017 The Phuket Gazette Co Ltd | Desktop Version