Individuals believed I was a Muslim: A Testament to Thailand’s Pork Obsession


Even in the most random areas I go to, with tiny to no tourist footprint, the locals can guess that I am an Indian. I am not certain how – perhaps mainly because of Bollywood? Or perhaps some odd Indian traveller has reached the spot earlier nonetheless unlikely it appears. Conversely, in India quite a few rural folk feel I am a foreigner. Of course an Indian girl will not be meandering alone like this!

On any common travel day, I would be wearing a t-shirt. The round neck of the t-shirt suggests that my rudraksha bead necklace is clearly visible. Out of my four t-shirts, two have a large AUM sign on them. (I am a yoga girl). I mainly put on whites, oranges and browns. And in Indian urban locations persons may possibly joke about me becoming a proper wing political supporter due to my apparent Hindu-yoga appear.

In Thailand, as I was cycle touring, I nevertheless had my rudraksha beads, I was mainly wearing shorts, head uncovered unless as well sunny, and my t-shirts had large AUM indicators on them. So it was really, really odd when persons kept assuming I was a Muslim.

This was a total initially for me.

The initially couple of instances it occurred I assumed that particular person was nuts. They possibly didn’t know something about India and so came up with this concept. So I explained to them that India has largely a Hindu population. (I am Jain but why complicate points.)

Thailand becoming a Buddhist nation I believed they would know a rudraksha mala and AUM sign. And they do. They also know that India is predominantly a Hindu nation. A lot of Thai persons have visited India – commonly Bodhgaya and Varanasi.

So when the nth particular person asked me if I was a Muslim, I asked them,

“WHY do you feel I am Muslim?!”

“Ohh even Muslim persons can’t consume quite a few things”

*thoughts boggled* I am a strict vegetarian avoiding even onion and garlic. And to my thoughts Muslims are largely non-vegetarian.

But then realisation dawned on me – PORK. Muslims do not consume Pork.

“Muslims do not consume only 1 point. I do not consume lots of stuff.”

But then I guess they had been also considering of Halal restrictions.

So bizarre it was.

And it occurred once again.

I was staying at a youth hostel with a Muslim caretaker. Really relaxed and beneficial chap.

“I will need to use my camping stove in the yard to cook anything, result in I am a strict vegetarian blah blah…”

“is OK”

As I was cleaning up, he came about to watch. A lot of persons like to watch the cooking stuff – little camping stove, gas cylinder and also my cycle touring gear when I am loading/unloading on the bike and such. And he casually stated,

“I fully grasp, is complicated. I also can’t consume.”

“Oh.. You vegetarian?”

“No, no.. I Muslim. I can’t have Pork”

I was a tiny stunned but couldn’t genuinely show it.

But just after a bit of believed I can fully grasp it, if he goes out with other Thai pals he possibly can not consume a lot of stuff mainly because there would be quite a few Pork dishes. Plus he has to maintain checking if the meat is Halal or not.

*Type of* equivalent when I go out with pals and only have a drink in a mixed restaurant mainly because the meals is suspect. And then I go to the supermarket and verify the fine print of components on almost everything I choose up. Mainly raw supplies for a meal I would cook on my little stove.

It was a startling revelation for me. I by no means imagined becoming taken to be a Muslim mainly because of my “Je” diet plan.

And that is the funny point, Thailand has a lot of “Je” restaurants which serve absolutely vegan and no onion-garlic meals. So they fully grasp the idea of vegan and no onion-garlic meals. It is a Buddhist religious point for them.

Thailand's Pork Obsession: A "Je" food stall
A “Je” meals stall in the Mae Sariang marketplace street

So why do they feel I am a Muslim when I opt for Je? I even have Buddhist Tibetan flags draped on my cycle. So why wouldn’t they assume I was Buddhist?!

I can only attribute it to Thailand’s pork obsession.

“What you consume Je meals? suggests no Pork? Are you a Muslim?”


A lot of a pig heads I have noticed.

Skinned and bloody.

And flabby slices of its flesh arranged neatly on the vendor stalls

Tiny flappy fans hung more than them to maintain away the flies

Purchasers come and take their choose

Of the most succulent flesh.

Of course, no muslims would ever come hither

No muslims, nor this Indian girl.

It was shocking to see the show of meat and animal slaughter so usually. But as a yogi I should see what is there devoid of unnecessary mental distortions. Mainly I can handle. From time to time I really feel aghast and slightly nauseous. Karuna.

Really a bizarre and amusing story from the road &#x1f642

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