I don’t know a lot about Thailand. Well, actually I know pretty much nothing about Thailand. Zero, nada, and I have never visited the country, sadly. But I was fascinated this morning by all stories on Twitter about the death of the King of Thailand and the reaction of the crowd. Well, fascinated is not the right word, I recognize it. It was a mix of respect, curiosity, fascination for something that I don’t understand (and will never understand). The story became even more interesting to me when I saw this:
Thailand media has gone monochrome after the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej led to all television stations being ordered to show only black and white footage of the royal for the next month. The move mean ordinary Thais cannot access independent news through their televisions. Newspapers in the South East Asian country are continuing to publish their own material but have also gone black and white.
Not sure how to define this. Is it lack of freedom, as suggested by my very first reaction for something seen with my western eyes? Isn’t just anachronistic? Or is something different? For how long Thais will watch news in black and white? What happens to Twitter, Instagram and other social media?
I don’t have the answers, of course. I just found this being an incredible story and I wonder why European media, too busy these days with Brexit and migrant threats, are not paying enough attention to it. Well, I know the answer, here. We are Europeans, after all. And we are used to pay attention to our own backyard. All the rest is far and exotic. Sometime, monochrome.
Also published on Medium.