Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not Nazis

Uttaradit

Cale started to notice it on the streets of Bangkok. Nazi paraphernalia for sale in shops and swastikas emblazoned across t-shirts. At first we theorized that because the swastika is an ancient symbol still used in several religions today, including Buddhism, that maybe Buddhist countries had become a dumping ground for unwanted Nazi merchandise. This would explain away the swastika images that also included references to the Third Reich or Hitler and obviously weren't Buddhist. It would also explain away all the SS symbols we were seeing.

However, it appears it is a little more complicated than this. Over the years "Nazi chic" appears to have arisen several times in various areas in Asia. According to AbsolutelyBangkok.com, "Nazi regalia and symbols surface from time to time in Thailand and other parts of Asia, often treated as chic design elements for otherwise unrelated products and services." Read this article to see how Nazi symbolism and Hitler have been used in everything from school plays to potato chip sales.

Very strange and unsettling.

— Sara

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