In recent times, Thailand has been making waves on the global stage, strategically leveraging its soft power through various cultural avenues. The nation is actively promoting its rich heritage and here is the closer look.
Thailand's K-pop star, Lalisa "Lisa" Manoban, joins Spotify's "Billions Club" as her hit "Money" exceeds one billion streams. Lisa, from Blackpink, makes history as the first K-pop artist on Spotify with 550 million monthly users. She celebrated by cooking Thai omelette and rice, sharing the moment in a video. Lisa thanked Spotify and fans on Instagram and teased an upcoming show highlighting her culinary skills, featuring her crafting a Thai omelette and rice served on the Billions Club trophy, along with a delectable coconut milk ice-cream on bread.
In July, Prang Kannarun, known as Ladiiprang, took a journey to Japan, subtly wielding the soft power of cultural exchange. She adorned herself in the Thai Chitlada traditional dresses during her visit to the iconic Sensoji Temple (Asakusa Kannon), highlighting the beauty of Thai culture. This sartorial choice not only showcased Thailand's rich heritage but also strengthened the connection between Thailand and Japan, underscoring the influence of soft power in international relations.
In a viral Instagram challenge, Reed Harrington pledged to follow his followers' wishes if they reached 200,000. A comment by user fiven9nekid garnered a record-breaking 2.5 million likes, telling Harrington to “fly to small town in Thailand, get accepted by their people, learn the language, train in Muay Thai for a year and half, fight in a tournament, return to the USA and join the UFC, stay in shape and go undefeated in your weight class, retire and do interview saying this comment was the reason you fought so hard….”
The story highlights the global appeal of Thai culture and the sport of Muay Thai, showcasing Thailand's soft power through social media.
In its second week, The Undertaker 2023, directed by Thiti Srinual, has proven Thailand's film prowess by earning an impressive 300 million baht. Despite the dominance of Hollywood horror releases in October, the film's success is attributed to social media and word of mouth. Director Tongte views this achievement as an opportunity to showcase Isan culture, contributing to Thailand's soft power. The film's distinctive storyline, addressing the uncertainties of life during the COVID-19 crisis, has resonated globally, promoting cultural understanding and bolstering Thailand's impact in the film industry. It signals to the world that Thai supernatural cinema possesses the potential to wield soft power and achieve international virality, drawing on the past successes of Thai horror films such as "Pee Mak" and "The Mediums."
Songkran is the Thai New Year festival celebrated in April. Known for its lively water fights symbolising purification, it includes religious ceremonies, parades, and family gatherings. The festival fosters unity and festive joy, making it a significant and widely observed cultural event in Thailand.
This festival enhances Thailand's soft power by showcasing cultural vibrancy and hospitality. The water festival fosters a positive image, attracting global attention and promoting tourism. Through joyful traditions, Thailand subtly communicates unity, warmth, and a distinct identity, creating lasting impressions that contribute to the country's soft power on the world stage.