Irina Bernebring Journiette

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Month: January, 2014

140128 — Meditating in Ayutthaya

140128 -- Meditating in Ayutthaya

Left the city for some quite time. Biked around the ancient city of Ayutthaya remembering days past.


140120 — The place to be?

Since the Bangkok Shutdown began a week ago there have been bomb attacks and shootings that have claimed at least one life and injured nearly 100 others. Thursday night a bomb, although more like a large firecracker, went off in front of the UN building. There are a lot of questions. The Daily Paper the Nation asked if Thailand will become a failed state. Both protesters and pro-government Thais ask who is behind the violence. Is there a malicious scheme underway by protesters themselves to force the military to intervene or are the attacks the work of a unknown third party with violent intent?

Then there are the more personal questions. Why am I not afraid?

Perhaps it’s my sheltered upbringing hat has provided me with an appetite for the enticing experience of being where it happens. Not the violence of course. But this sense of belonging to a place that will be remembered in history. A moment in time that actually matters, no matter what the outcome might be or what your political affiliation is. Perhaps it is the thrill of uncertainty about what is to come next. Like waiting for election results in Kenya, venturing out in the night  for celebratory “there-were-no-violence” drinks feeling like man has beat the expectations of oneself sustaining and choosing peace in the most violent-prone situations.

Maybe that’s why I am not afraid. Remaining hopefull that the people in Bangkok will continue to chant in joy calling for peaceful change and not violent transformation.

140109 — An Asian spring?

I hear people talk about an Asian century but I’m wondering if it’s more likely to start with an Asian spring. The rallies in Bangkok are still going strong although their evolving political agenda seem to be more difficult for most locals to grasp. A confrontation between political groups, like in 2010, lingers in the air. In Bangladesh the main political opposition boycotted the recent election and polling stations were fire-bombed. Political violence also erupted in Cambodia this week when soldiers clashed with striking workers who demand a sense of quality of life besides just living. But who knows, a century sure is a long time.