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Thailand Culture Minister Hopes To Ban Buddhist Tattoos For Foreigners

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on June 20, 2011 at 10:24 am
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If only our governments had banned barbed wire, angel wings, and dolphin tattoos years ago. This time, maybe Thailand is doing us a favor. According to The Telegraph, Thai officials want to ban visitors to Thailand from getting tattoos of Buddha and other sacred images. Culture MinisterNiphit Intharasombat said that his department is receiving a lot of complaints from residents of non-Buddhist foreigners receiving these religious tattoos.

Image: CGehlen /Flickr

Thailand is mainly a Buddhist nation and any Buddhist icon is considered sacred. They say that tourists — whether they are aware of it or not — are being culturally insensitive when they get these tattoos on their bodies. Said the Culture Minister:

Foreigners see these tattoos as a fashion. They do not think of respecting religion, or they may not be aware (that it can be offensive).

Tattoo parlors are being asked to stop this practice on foreigners, even going so far as ordering provincial officials to inspect the parlors and ask for their co-operation. Although Niphit is looking to ban the practice by law, it is currently legal to tattoo a visitor with Buddhist images.

Tags: Ban, buddha, Buddhism, tattoo, Thailand

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