• Short Summary

    Although it's predominantly a Buddhist country, Thailand is celebrating Christmas this year in a big way -- at least in Bangkok's main shopping centres.

  • Description

    Although it's predominantly a Buddhist country, Thailand is celebrating Christmas this year in a big way -- at least in Bangkok's main shopping centres.

    Only about 180,000 of the country's 35,000,000 people are Christians; most are Buddhist, and with about 400 temples, Bangkok is often called Temple City.

    Most of the Christmas feeling has been channelled into boosting store sales -- shopping centres are gaily decorated with tinsel, bells, Santa Claus figures and even artificial snow in the tropical heat. Christmas carols are being played through public address systems; decorations, toys and Christmas cars are selling well.

    Most of Bangkok's luxury-goods shops are promoting Christmas in the hope of attracting more tourist customers, but they could be disappointed. Estimates of enz-million foreign visitors to the country this year may be upset by widespread strikes and the oil crisis.

    On Saturday (15 December), students of Bangkok's Ramakanghaeng University tried to reverse the trend towards heavy Christmas spending by staging a protest rally outside the big "Daimaru" Japanese department store. The students called for a ban on the sale of luxury goods to save foreign exchange and provide more funds for the national economy. There was little response on the first day, but student leaders said the campaign might be taken to other shopping centres in the weeks ahead.

    The manager of the Japanese department store, Mr. Hironichi Honda, said there was no significance in the rally being held outside his store; but observers point out that Thai students placed a boycott on Japanese goods last year, and that the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Tanaka, is due to visit Bangkok early in January.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA26K4RI0A991L3ATI84Y974XO2
    Media URN:
    VLVA26K4RI0A991L3ATI84Y974XO2
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    19/12/1973
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:30:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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