Thailand wants Buddha tattoo ban for tourists

Tourists visiting Thailand should be barred from getting culturally insensitive Buddhist tattoos, the culture ministry says.

Niphit Intharasombat, the culture minister, said residents have complained that tattoo parlours are etching sacred images of Buddha and other religious images on to the skin of non-Buddhist visitors.

“Foreigners see these tattoos as fashion,” Niphit said on the ministry’s website.

They do not think of respecting religion, or they may not be aware that these tattoos can be offensive, he added.

Thailand is mostly Buddhist, and Buddha statues and images are considered sacred objects of worship.

Niphit said the culture ministry had asked Thai tattoo parlours to halt the activity.

According to the official news agency, NNT, he also asked provincial governors to “inspect tattoo studios and seek their co-operation”.

NNT also claimed Niphit wants a new law banning the practice.

The Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/02/thailand-ban-tourists-buddha-tattoo

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About Marc Leprêtre

Marc Leprêtre is researcher in sociolinguistics, history and political science. Born in Etterbeek (Belgium), he lives in Barcelona (Spain) since 1982. He holds a PhD in History and a BA in Sociolinguistics. He is currently head of studies and prospective at the Centre for Contemporary Affairs (Government of Catalonia). Devoted Springsteen and Barça fan…
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