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A pair of Thai women were recently arrested for dressing up in ‘racy’ clothing, dancing in front of a temple in Ayutthaya, and then posting the video on YouTube. It’s certainly not as severe as stripping bare and taking nude photos, but as Thais the judgement against them is that ‘they should have known better’, as opposed to foreigners (‘farang’) who are sometimes forgiven for acting like idiots because they are seen as ignorant.

Inappropriate behaviour in Thai temples. Source: Bangkok Post 20150808

Inappropriate behaviour in Thai temples. Source: Bangkok Post 20150808

Racy temple dancers surrender
Bangkok Post, 08 August 2015

Two women who starred in a video of a racy dance staged inside Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya reported to police on Saturday to face charges of violating ancient monuments legislation.

Thannicha Nampanya, 27, of Maha Sarakham, and Nitikarn Chotthanapongsathit, 30 of Khon Kaen, turned themselves in to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district police on Saturday, said Pol Maj Gen Sanit Mahathavorn, deputy chief of Provincial Police Region 1

They have been charged with violating Section 13 of the Ancient Monuments, Antiquities and National Museums Act for actions deemed to cause damage to morals or insult to religion and culture, and for actions that jeopardise peace and order in public areas. The offences carry a jail term of up to one month and/or a fine of 10,000 baht, said police.

The video clip of two women in short red dresses gyrating to music inside Wat Chaiwatthanaram, part of a Unesco World Cultural Heritage site, drew the wrath of the public and the authorities. The five-minute clip was uploaded to YouTube by a user named VKIZZ on Aug 5 and has since been labelled “private”.

Rawat Prasong, the assistant governor of Ayutthaya, on Friday called for legal action against the women, saying that both their actions and attire were improper. Pratheep Phengtako, director of the Fine Arts Office Region 3 in Ayutthaya, had also vowed to take action against the women and their accomplice who recorded the performance.

Full story here.

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