Top 5 Posts: Nadech & Yaya Are Number One

Do you like to know which are Sirinya’s Thailand Blog’s most popular posts? Well, since I’ve been writing my blog for more than nine months now, I think it’s time for a small review of the Top 5 Posts.

Top 5 Posts: Nadech & Yaya Are Number One

Can you guess who is the number one? Yeah, it does not come as a surprise to me that it is Nadech & Yaya.

Nadech & Yaya (photo Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

First among the Top 5 Posts: Nadech & Yaya (photo Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

I think you all know this cute on-screen couple that is also frequently paired for fashion shootings and TV commercials. Both Nadech and Yaya are very talented young half-Thai actors popular in Thailand but also in other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam. For instance, there is the charming Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage that provides fans with the most recent news about the two actors.

Nadech & Yaya in The Rising Sun (phot:o konchke.blogspot.com)

Nadech Kugimiya & Yaya Urassaya Sperbund in The Rising Sun (photo: konchke.blogspot.com)

Not surprisingly either, my article about Yaya Urassaya Sperbund is the second most viewed post on my blog. I think Yaya is so famous and loved by her fans because she is very lovely, playful, effortless charming but also a bit childish sometimes which makes her particularly amiable.

Yaya Urassaya Sperbund (photo: Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

Yaya Urassaya Sperbund (photo: Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

Most recently, Yaya graduated from Chulalongkorn University. Congrats, dear Yaya! You are very talented 🙂

Yaya Urassaya just graduated from Chulalongkorn University (photo: Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

Yaya Urassaya just graduated from Chulalongkorn University (photo: Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

Next follows an article about another young luk kreung actress – do you guess who it is? It’s actress and model Mai Davika Hoorne who became famous with her role as Mae Nak in the movie ‘Phi Mak Phra Khanong’. No wonder she is so popular – she is not only lovely but her beauty is also classic. Thus, she has been the cover girl on numerous glossy magazines like the Vogue for instance.

Thai-Belgian actress Davika Hoorne (photo: Mai Davika FB page)

Thai-Belgian actress Davika Hoorne (photo: Mai Davika FB page)

This leads us to my number four post which is about Thai-German actor Mario Maurer. It seems that the most popular posts on my blog are all about young actors. Well, Mario has been in ‘Phi Mak Phra Khanong’ in the leading role alongside Mai Davika. Apart from acting, Mario also does a lot of TV commericals and has been advertising for TAT ( Tourism Authority of Thailand), thus promoting different areas of Thailand.

Mario (photo credit: TAT Kunming)

Mario Maurer (photo credit: TAT Kunming)

Most recently, there has been a cute Mario Maurer doll (Funko Pop). A must for all true Mario fans, I guess 😉

Mario Maurer with his Funko Pop (photo Mario Maurer FBpage)

Mario Maurer with his Funko Pop (photo: Mario Maurer FB page)

Hence, last but not least, my fifth most popular post varies from the rest since it is about the Thai Tradition of Tattooing called Sak Yant. I can understand that this is a subject of interest to many people since to some extent, Sak Yant has also become popular in Western countries. What is more, Sak Yant differs from ‘common’ tattoos because they are supposed to have a magical meaning and power.

Tattooed Monk of Wat Bang Pra (photo credit sak-yant.com)

Tattooed monk of Wat Bang Pra (photo credit: sak-yant.com)

Did you like this recap? And do you like the top four young actors as much as I do? I think we all love Nadech & Yaya and are thrilled by the Yadech-Factor 🙂 Thus, enjoy reading my blog and getting to know more about Thai (popular) culture!

Yours, Sirinya




Nadech Kugimiya: Thai-Austrian Actor

For some years now, half-Thai actor and model Nadech Kugimiya has been a popular face in Thai media and the entertainment industry. Hence, he is famous on Channel 3. I think there is hardly any Thai teenager who does not know him. As a devoted reader of my blog, you may know that I have dealt with him shortly in my article about Nadech & Yaya. Nonetheless, there is of course a lot more to say about him seen individually 🙂

Nadech Kugimiya

Nadech (photo credit: Nadech Kugimiya FC, FB page)

Nadech (photo credit: Nadech Kugimiya FC, FB page)

Nadech, nicknamed Barry, was born 1991 in Khonkaen and his original name was Chonlathit Yodprathum. He is considered to be of Thai-Chinese and Austrian descent. At the beginning of his career there was some confusion about his origins and background because people generally assumed that he must be part-Japanese because of his last name ‘Kugimiya’. What is more, he also has the appearance of a Japanese manga character with his light complexion, thick eyebrows and doe eyes 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nES93pTPO2Q

However, Barry was brought up by his aunt Sundarat and her husband, the Japanese Yoshio Kugimiya. Nadech adores his Japanese foster father and this is the reason why he himself claims to be half-Japanese, even though he is not. However, Nadech does not know Japanese but speaks fluently in Thai and Isan dialect.

Barry (photo credit: women.sanook.com)

‘Barry’ Nadech Kugimiya (photo credit: women.sanook.com)

Barry was discovered at the age of 16 and has been working as a model, actor and singer since then. Up until today, he has been in numerous Thai commercials and on magazine covers. For example, he was in commercials like Trident chewing gum with actress Pachrapa Chaichua, Shokubutsu shower cream for Men, Samsung Monte 3G, Yamaha Fino, Baoji shoes and Lays with Thai-Norwegian actress ‘Yaya’ Urassaya Sperbund.

What is more, he was the first brand ambassador and brand presenter for Thai Air Asia. He was also a surprise guest flight attendant serving snacks to the delighted passengers in 2014 🙂

Nevertheless, Barry is not only a ‘pretty face’ – he has been studying Communication Arts at Rangsit University. Hence, most recently he has presented his short film ‘Mr. Peter’s Project’ which is a work to complete his B.A. at Rangsit. The film is concerned with the Nan’s forest conservation. Hence, Barry’s aim is to raise an awareness of deforestation. Here is the film, though only available in Thai.

Nadech has been in numerous TV series and films since 2010 when he debuted in Ngaorak Luangjai.  Furthermore, he gained  popularity with his work in the series 4 Hua Jai Haeng Khun Khao (Duang Jai Akkanee or Akkanee’s Heart). He played the character of Fai Akkanee Adisuan starring alongside Urassaya Sperbund.

Nadech & Yaya in Akkannee's Heart (photo credit: iheartlakorns.com)

Nadech & Yaya in Akkanee’s Heart (photo credit: iheartlakorns.com)

What is more, he was in Gamerai Gamerak or Love Game Evil Game as “Saichon/Charles Makovich” and in The Rising Sun series also starring alongside Yaya Urassaya. He had a very popular role in Sunset at Chaophraya (Khu Kam, 2013) playing the Japanese engineering officer Kobori who falls in love with a nationalistic Thai beauty called Angsumalin. He also sang the song to this movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok715s5KJBs

Hence, it does not come as a surprise that he also won Best Actor from Starpics Thai Film Award for his role of Kobori in Sunset at Chaophraya. This is really well-deserved!

Finally, we may say that Nadech Kugimiya is certainly one of the hottest luk kreung actors in Thailand at the moment. With good reason, he can be called Mr. Everywhere because he is frequently spotted on magazine covers, in television commercials, billboards and soap operas. You cannot escape Barry, thus you must love him 🙂

Yours, Sirinya




Bike for Mom 2015: Mother’s Day Cycle Tour

H.M. Queen Sirikit’s birthday on 12 August is a public holiday and Mother’s Day in Thailand. On this day, public buildings in Thailand are decorated with flower garlands, Her Majesty’s photographs and coloured lights. In addition, flags and portraits of Her Majesty are raised.

Bike for Mom 2015

Queen Sirikit's birthday is also Mother's Day in Thailand (photo credit: winners.virtualclassroom.org)

Queen Sirikit’s birthday is also Mother’s Day in Thailand (photo credit: winners.virtualclassroom.org)

A special event in honour of H.M. Queen Sirikit’s 83rd birthday on 12 August this year is the Bike for Mom 2015 tour. On this Sunday, 16 August, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will lead a convoy of cyclists on a 43-kilometre ride in Bangkok. The convoy will start from Dusit Palace at 3 p.m. and move to the 11th Infantry Regiment of the Royal Guard in Bang Khen district and then return to the Royal Plaza.

Flag of HM Queen Sirikit of Thailand (photo credit: wikimedia.org)

Flag of HM Queen Sirikit of Thailand, blue is the colour of her birthday. At the Bike for Mom 2015 tour, participants are thus asked to wear blue outfits (photo credit: wikimedia.org)

This bike tour will also take place in other provinces throughout Thailand and start simultaneously from respective town halls. All participants are asked to wear blue outfits which is the colour of H.M. Queen Sirikit’s birthday. In order to take part in the bike convoy, you have to register in advance on the website www.bikeformom2015.com The registration period ended on 24. Juli 2015.

Registered cyclers receive a blue souvenir T-shirt and a royal badge on Mother’s Day in provincial halls. In Bangkok, participants got the items already on 25-26 July at the Royal Thai Army Stadium. The Crown Prince provides 90.000 blue T-shirts, 500.000 bottles of drinking water and 100.000 badges for this event.

In a nutshell, the Bike for Mom tour 2015 is a great event in honour of Her Majesty’s birthday. Hence, there is also an official song and music video for this event starring many popular actors and singers. I’ve spotted celebrities like Boy Pakorn, Kimmy Kimberly and Nadech & Yaya, just to name a few 🙂

Yours, Sirinya




‘Yaya’ Urassaya Sperbund: Thai-Norwegian Actress

If you are into Thai popular culture, you certainly know the lovely Thai-Norwegian actress and model ‘Yaya’ Urassaya Sperbund. I have dealt with her shortly in my post about ‘Nadech & Yaya’ because they are the most favourite and desirable couple in Thai media today. However, there is a lot more to say about the young actress seen individually 🙂

Yaya Urassaya (photo credit: Lostinheaven, sharerice.com)

Yaya Urassaya (photo credit: Lostinheaven, sharerice.com)

Yaya Urassaya – Her Story

Yaya (ญาญ่า) was born in 1993 to a Thai mother and a Norwegian father in Pattaya. She was discovered as a model at the age of 14 but when she was younger, she claimed to have been like the ugly duckling. Thus, for some years she had to wear braces but that is in the past. Today, she is a gorgeous and amazing actress famous in Thailand.

Yaya (photo credit: women.sanook.com)

Yaya (photo credit: women.sanook.com)

Even though she grew up in Thailand, she could not speak much of Thai language in her younger years because she went to an International School, had predominantly American friends and at home she would talk English to her father. Later when she worked with Channel 3, she had to learn Thai in order to be able to speak the language properly.

Nevertheless, Yaya is a Thai girl at heart and her mother also taught her Thai mannerisms and politeness. What is more, she is a Buddhist and went frequently to the temple with her mother as a small girl.

Yaya (photo credit: Volume 183, NadechYaya at Pantip.com)

Yaya (photo credit: Volume 183, NadechYaya at Pantip.com)

She is a self-confident model and actress today but when she talks she sometimes appears to be shy. However, Yaya smiles and laughs a lot. Hence, it is really surprising that she actually wants to become a lawyer or a politician. Being an actress was not her first career choice but of course she is happy with that too 🙂 In fact, she is now one of the highest paid actresses in Thailand! In the following clip, she talks about her upbringing and her career as an actress. This is really interesting!

Hence, Yaya has been in numerous commercials and she is also frequently spotted as a cover girl on glossy magazines like Volume, Image, Mistine and WE, just to name a few.

As far as I know, she has been in about 13 dramas up until today. In TV series, she is frequently paired with Nadech Kugimiya, for instance in The Rising Sun. Thus, it does not come as a surprise that she has already won many awards for her dramatic ability. For instance, she was titled ‘Popular Leading Actress’ by the Mekkhala Television Awards. Her most famous series is ‘Game Rai Game Rak’ starring as Nang Fah (Fahlada) alongside Nadech Kugimiya.

In her second series called ‘Torranee Ni Nee Krai Krong’, she also starred with Nadech. In this film she played the character of Nong Nee (Darunee). Yaya herself also recorded the theme song for the series ‘Torranee Ni Nee Krai Krong’ which is called ‘Ar Karn Ruk’ (Symptoms of Love).

What is more, she also was in Thai-French singer Chin Chinawut’s music video ‘My bad habit’. Hence, she is also a skilled dancer and a talented singer as demonstrated in the first clip, in which she sings a duet with James Ji.

Finally, we may say that Yaya Urassaya is an amazing, versatile and promising young luk kreung actress. With good reason, she is so popular and has millions of fans 🙂

Yours, Sirinya




Why are ‘Luk kreung’ successful in Thai Media? Half-Asian Advantages…?

“The signs of beauty are the signs of health” (R. Elisabeth Cornwell, psychologist)

The topic I want to address today concerns the increasing success and dominance of ‘luk kreung’, half-Thai people, in Thai entertainment industry since the 1990s. I’ve already brought up this subject in my recent article about ‘Luk kreung’ and concepts of mixed race in Thailand arguing that half-Thais are preferred because of their Western appearance and adherence to the current Thai beauty ideal of fair skin, tall statue and large eyes.

This seems to be a lucid but also a superficial explanation. However, I’ve asked myself if there might also be a scientific interpretation for this phenomenon? Are we maybe justified in saying that half-Asian people possess genetic advantages? I know this sounds controversial but might not there be some truth in it?

Mario and Mai Davika on Volume magazine 180 VOLUME WONDER 9 Cr. Volume Magazine

Half-Asian advantages? Mario Maurer and Mai Davika in Volume magazine 180 VOLUME WONDER 9 (Credit: Volume Magazine)

Taking the example of the lovely ‘couple’ Nadech and Yaya, they have their good looks in common and they are both half-Thai. The same is true of half-Thai actors Mario and Mai Davika whom we know from the comedy ghost movie ‘Phi Mak Phra Khanong’. There are numerous other examples that show ‘luk kreung’ have become a kind of ‘elite’ in Thai entertainment industry. An interesting case is also the luk-kreung actress Florence Faivre in the movie ‘The Siam Renaissance’ (2004). What’s more, Thai youth culture also seems to have incorporated and favoured the presence of half-Thai entertainers in Thai media. Thus, some years ago, the Thai-British actress Paula Taylor said that ‘everyone in the entertainment industry is luk kreung nowadays’ and she seems to be right.

Nadech & Yaya (photo credit Amat Nimitpark via asianfuse.net)

Do ‘luk kreung’ have advantages? Nadech Kugimiya & Yaya Urassaya (photo credit: Amat Nimitpark via asianfuse.net)

Half-Asian advantages

In popular culture, people with mixed racial origins are generally referred to as ‘hapa’ which stems from the Hawaiian Pidgin word for “part” or “mixed”.

As far as ‘luk kreung’ are concerned, there are so many popular half-Thai people in Thai media today. Hence, it only seems natural if society would also go for and embrace a mixed look. Nonetheless, media exposure alone does not completely explain the perception of half-Asian, and in particular half-Thai beauty in this context.

We may assume that half-Asian people possess genetic advantages that let them appear more attractive. For instance, as Psychology Today (1/2006) claims it is a fact that Eurasian faces are generally considered to be more appealing and pleasant than European or Asian faces. One reason for this perception is that Eurasians and other ‘hapa’ people seem to be of good genetic health which makes them attractive. Like R. Elisabeth Cornwell, a psychologist at the University of Colorado, argues: “The signs of beauty are the signs of health”.

Markers of beauty = Markers of health? (photo credit: thebrightnessproject.com))

Markers of beauty = Markers of health? (photo credit: thebrightnessproject.com)

Consequently, we must assume that people who are beautiful must necessarily be more productive and more fit for survival than others…this is a controversial topic, I know and what is beauty anyway? We may define ‘beauty’ as a matter of symmetry concerning features and body statue. What is more, it is also a matter of subjective perception, preference and culture…

In fact, studies have shown that half-Asians seem healthier because of their diverse genetic ancestry which generally lower the chances of particular genetic diseases. Some studies in this field have also revealed that the perception of attractiveness is mainly connected to the appearance of a person’s skin. I’m aware of the fact that this subject is disputable but on the whole I guess the argumentation is right and plausible – diverse genetic ancestry seems to be beneficial to a person’s health 🙂

Nevertheless, it remains controversial if Eurasian features are generally the most attractive. There are also studies that claim the opposite. Well, I think this is primarily a matter of subjective and cultural perception. Considering the case of successful ‘luk kreung’ in Thai media, I think it might be their mix of being at home in different cultures that makes them particularly interesting and desirable.

Hugo Chakrabongse - example of a distinctively mixed heritage (img.kapook.com)

Hugo Chakrabongse Levy – example of a distinctively mixed heritage (img.kapook.com)

A very prominent example of a distinctively mixed heritage with Thai royal origins is Hugo Chakrabongse Levy whose grandfather Prince Chula Chakrabongse (1908-1963) was already a half-Thai. Hugo can be considered a good example of a person who seems to be both comfortable with Thai and Western culture even though he is only 1/8 of Thai origin (amazing!).

In a nutshell, we may certainly be justified in saying that there are half-Asian advantages, considering the fact that people of mixed heritage come inevitably into contact with different cultures generally. Nonetheless, this topic is broad and there remains a lot more to say about advantages and disadvantages that hapa people generally face in different contexts and cultures…this may be a subject for further posts concerning ‘luk kreung’ 🙂

Yours, Sirinya




Nadech and Yaya: Ideal of The Perfect Couple

When I first saw Nadech Kugimiya (Barry) and Urassaya Sperbund (Yaya) in a clip to the Rising Sun Series (Roy Fun Tawan Deard), a series with a Japanese setting, I thought to myself that they are just to good to be true. Both seem so sweet and cute in whatever they do, it’s unbelievable.

Yaya & Barry (photo credit: NY Always Nadech & Yaya)

Yaya & Barry (photo credit: NY Always Nadech & Yaya)

In addition, Nadech and Yaya are extremely good looking, embodying the Thai beauty ideal of a light complexion, large eyes, tall and slender statue and somehow Western features. Being both ‘Luk kreung’, i.e. half-Thai people, this does not appear so surprising at all 😉

Nadech and Yaya – the Ideal Couple

The constant acting and pairing of Nadech, a Thai-Austrian, and Yaya, a Thai-Norwegian, have made them the most favourite and desirable couple in Thai popular culture. Thus, they are greatly admired by a whole generation of Thai teens. In addition, Nadech and Yaya have captured the hearts and imagination of people who dream of the perfect match.

Nadech & Yaya (photo credit: Amat Nimitpark)

Nadech & Yaya (photo credit: Amat Nimitpark)

Nadech, born 1991 in Khonkaen, was adopted by the Japanese Yoshio Kugimiya and his wife Sudarat Kugimiya. He was discovered at the age of 16 and has been working as a model, actor and singer since then. What is more, he has been studying Communication Arts at Rangsit University. Hence, most recently he has presented his short film ‘Mr. Peters’, a project to complete his B.A. at Rangsit. The film is about the Nan’s forest conservation. Thus, Barry is ‘not just a pretty face’ as the Bangkok Post puts forward.

Here are Nadech and Yaya in a recent photo-shoot this month for Marie Claire magazine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4x-28PQKs8
Yaya, born in 1993, has a Norwegian father and a Thai mother. She was discovered relatively early in her teens, at the age of 14, and has been working as a model and actress ever since. She is the darling of the Thai entertainment industry, extremely popular, and one of the highest paid actresses in Thailand. Everyone adores her and even Thai movie star Ananda Everingham admires her sincere personality. Once in Woody Talk show, Ananda spoke of her as “Yaya who always has an aura of sincerity”.

photo credit: NadechYaya.com

photo credit: NadechYaya.com

In fact, Nadech and Yaya have been very successful together. The first time they acted together was in the movie Akkanee’s Heart (Duangjai Akkanee, 2010) which is a kind of ‘Romeo & Juliett’ story. In addition, they starred together in a number of other ‘lakhon’ (Thai term for ‘soap operas’), e.g. ‘Love Game Evil Game’ (Game Rai Game Rak) and ‘Who Own This Land?’ (Torranee Ni Nee Krai Krong).


Apart from acting together, both Nadech and Yaya have several contracts for advertising campaigns with different companies. Together they have also been advertising for Lays potato chips.


I think people are so fascinated by Nadech and Yaya because they appear to be perfect young adults and simply beautiful people who do everything they do effortlessly 🙂 We might also speak of a Ya-Dech Factor in this context. What is more, they also strengthen the assumption that half-Thai people are very popular in the Thai entertainment industry.

Nadech & Yaya in The Rising Sun (phot:o konchke.blogspot.com)

Nadech & Yaya in The Rising Sun (phot:o konchke.blogspot.com)

What do you think about them? Have you been captured by the Ya-Dech Factor? 😉

Yours, Sirinya




‘Luk kreung’ and Concepts of Mixed Race in Thailand

Recently I’ve written a post about Thai beauty ideals and the desire for ‘fair skin’ pointing out that in Thailand, Western beauty concepts prevail even though the country has never been colonized by a European nation. In this context, it is interesting to note that there is nowadays a considerable number of part-Thai people who are successful and prominent in Thai popular culture. We might be justified in speaking of a rise of the so-called ‘luk kreung’ in Thailand’s entertainment industry.

Concepts of Mixed Race

Hugo & Palmy (photo credit: music.mthai.com)

Hugo & Palmy, successful Luk kreung, mixed race people (photo credit: music.mthai.com)

In fact, in the time of the Vietnam War, during the 1960s and 70s, a large number of mixed race children were born from Thai women and American soldiers. Literally translated the Thai colloquial term ‘Lukkreung’ (ลูกครึ่ง) means ‘half-child’. It is used to refer to people who are of mixed Thai and European origin. Nevertheless, according to the official dictionary of Thai words, the term describes “a person whose parents are of different races, also called khrueng chat (ครึ่งชาติ)”. That is to say a ‘half-child’ does not necessarily have to be Eurasian.

Nevertheless, ‘luk kreung’ were perceived sceptically and also paradoxically in the 1960s and 70s. On the one hand, they were regarded as the offspring of Thai prostitutes, ‘rented wives’ or ‘mail-order’ brides and American GIs, even though this was not always true, since some of the American soldiers formed lasting relationships with Thai women and settled down in Thailand. On the other hand, ‘half-children’ have been seen as desirable, modern and attractive racially mixed people.

On the whole, we may say that in the 1960s and 70s racially mixed children faced some discrimination but generally society in Thailand was accepting. However, today there are many racially mixed people who have attracted Thai public attention, with growing numbers of celebrities, television stars and actors of mixed origin. Some examples of these stars I’ve recently mentioned in my posts. Think of Hugo Chakrabongse Levy, the ‘royal rocker of Thailand’, Palmy, the popular Thai-Belgian singer, David Usher, Thai-Canadian singer and creativity expert, Thai movie star Ananda Everingham, actress and fashion model Florence V. Faivre , the lovely actress Mai Davika Hoorne, actor Mario Maurer, singer Chin Chinawut or the Thai-Danish entrepreneur Michael Corp Dyrendal who is the younger brother of the well-known half-Thai singer, model and actor Peter Corp Dyrendal. And think of the ‘Princess of Thai Entertainment’ Ann Thongprasom and popular Thai-British actress Paula Taylor. Indeed the list is long… 😉

David Usher, Thai-Canadian singer went from 90s rocker to today's creativity guru (photo credit: lametropole.com)

David Usher, Thai-Canadian singer went from 90s rocker to today’s creativity guru (photo credit: lametropole.com)

Thus, today the majority of ‘luk kreung’ people in Thailand are born of relationships and marriages when Europeans come to live and work in Thailand. Another possible case is when Thai people go abroad to study in Western or foreign countries and settle down and start a family there. Hence, in the last decades Thailand has become quite enamored with half-Thai people. That is to say that many mixed race, part-Thai people have ridden a wave of popularity in the Thai media and entertainment industry.

There are different reasons why ‘luk kreung’ people are successful in Thailand today. A very important factor is their Western features and often proficient English language skills. In fact, half or part-Thai persons also match the predominant Thai beauty ideal of a Western look (i.e. light skin colour, large eyes and a tall physique). These are features that are generally considered attractive and desirable in Thailand. An extremely prominent example of this popularity is the acting and pairing of Urassaya Sperbund (Yaya) and Nadech Kugimiya (Barry). They have captured so many fans in Thailand where the two are now the most popular ‘couple’ of this generation. Both Yaya and Barry are half-Thai people. Yaya Urassaya is Thai-Norwegian and Nadech Kugimiya is Thai-Austrian.

Nadech & Yaya (photo credit Amat Nimitpark via asianfuse.net)

Nadech & Yaya (photo credit: Amat Nimitpark via asianfuse.net)

Thus, today Thai youth and teenage culture is deep in love with the looks of the ‘luk kreung’. For this reason, it doesn’t seem surprising that part-Thai people are prominent in Thai popular culture and are thus also important in constructing Thainess.

Nonetheless, the prominence of half-Thai people in Thailand today does not only apply to those who are of Thai and European heritage. If we consider the example of the world famous golfer Tiger Woods, who is of Thai and Afro-American origin, we realize that he has become a symbol that linked success to Thai identity. In addition, he was portrayed as a cultural hybrid through his career and international golfing tournament success. Hence, this shows that although dark skin is generally less popular in Thailand than fair skin, people of racially mixed origin with non-European heritage can become acknowledged and grab Thailand’s public attention too.

Tiger Woods (photo credit: people.com)

Tiger Woods (photo credit: people.com)

Summing up, we may claim that today mixed race people with part-Thai origin are acknowledged and quite popular in Thailand. This is particularly true of Thai-European people matching the predominant Thai beauty ideal of a light complexion and a tall statue. What is more, there also seems to be proof that half-Asian people have general advantages

What do you think about the rise of ‘luk-kreung’ in Thai popular culture?

Yours, Sirinya