Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Thailand : "Luk Thep"

  1. #1

    Thailand : "Luk Thep"

    All the cool kids are worshiping haunted dolls now
    May 22, 2015

    A new superstition-fueled trend has emerged in the kingdom with locals seen cradling, feeding and dressing up their haunted dolls in the belief they will bring wealth and blessing.

    Look Thep dolls, translated to “Child God,” are the updated version of the old kuman thong, the fetal fetishes containing the soul of a child traditionally worshiped, but without going to the trouble of obtaining a dead fetus. Instead, Look Thep are soul-optional: They simply invite a child’s spirit to possess a factory-manufactured doll.

    DJ Bookkoh Thannatchayapan from 94 FM went public with “Wansai,” his Look Thep on television recently, claiming the doll has brought him success in the entertainment industry.

    "The first day I got him, I took him out shopping for clothes in the baby section," Bookko said on the Weeknight Update show. "Right after I paid for his clothes, I got a call that my canceled job was back on!"

    Bookko asked Wansai for a bigger job, promising he'd buy the doll a gold necklace, and just like that, Bookko got a call to audition for a great movie role. Now Wansai is sporting mad bling.

    "I feel like Wansai really exists,” Bookko said. “I love him as my child."

    We investigated the internets and found an online shop selling Look Thep. The prices range from THB2,000 to as high as THB15,900, obviously depending on the quality of dolls.

    Here are more photos of Look Thep from a woman who calls herself Mama Ning, who founded an online Look Thep club.

    Photos: Look Thep by Mama Ning

  2. #2
    Come fly with me: Thai Smile sells plane tickets to Look Thep dolls
    January 26, 2016

    Look Thep dolls strapped into plane seats.
    Photo: Look Thep creator Mananya "Mama Ning" Boonmee

    After getting their own restaurant meals, celebrity fans, and even arch enemies, Look Thep dolls can now count airplane flights among their privileges.

    Thai Smile Airways will now allow passengers to buy tickets for the haunted dolls, allowing them to have their own seats on the plane and even get served food and drinks, Thai PBS reported.

    An internal memo was recently issued by the airline to its employees advising them of the move.

    "Look Thep is a doll who is alive." the note said. "Look Thep is a doll whose spirit was created to live in the doll and can be raised like a child. Owners can take them to travel."

    Look Thep, or "Child God," are a popular superstitious trend among Thais, who believe they are possessed by a child's spirit.

    Fans raise the dolls as their own children, taking them out in public and even buying them designer clothes in the belief they will bring them good luck.

    Thai Smile Airways said it had decided to sell air tickets to the dolls, which it referred to as "Child Angels," after staff reported several passengers who took the dolls on vacation and were reluctant to put them in cargo hold.

    Many would put the dolls on their laps and some asked plane staff to serve their "children" snacks and drinks, the airline said.

    However there will be some restrictions on the dolls. They can't sit in the middle row or in emergency exit seats, which are reserved for passengers who need special assistance.

    The airline memo also noted: "Look Thep must also fasten their seatbelts during departure and landing."

  3. #3
    PM asks people not to buy Look Thep dolls if they cannot afford them
    January 25, 2016

    Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha urged Thai people not to be carried away with the current trend of caring for the Child Angel or Look Thep dolls and should spend their money wisely.

    The dolls are all about superstition, he said, adding that they are not something which is indispensable and they should not be bought if they cannot afford them.

    Asked whether some of the rubber to be bought from rubber growers by the government will be used to make Child Angel dolls, the prime minister said it was much better to use the rubber for road construction.

    Justice Minister Paiboon Kumchaya, meanwhile, expressed concern that the dolls might be used to smuggle drugs.

  4. #4
    Police chief voices concern of increasing trend in carrying “child angels”
    January 26, 2016

    The commissioner of the Royal Thai Police yesterday voiced concern over growing trend of people carrying the so-called "Look Thep" or child angel dolls on planes and other mass transportation saying drug traffickers could exploit the trend to smuggle in drugs.

    He ordered police across the country to impose stricter inspection of the superstitious Look Thep dolls to stop the possible attempt.

    Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda admitted that the carrying of the child angel dolls on board the air plane is a personal right of an individual.

    But personally, he saw the act as inappropriate, as he feared that criminals could use such trend as a channel to smuggle drugs or illegal items.

    He said he has ordered all police immigration checkpoints to thoroughly and strictly inspect all these dolls with no exceptions.

    He recalled these child angel dolls are similar to the past trend of “Kuman Thong” and Tamagotchi.

    (Kuman Thong is the fatal fetish containing the soul of a child traditionally worshiped, but without going to the trouble of obtaining a dead fetus. But Tamagotchi is a tiny pet from cyberspace who needs your love to survive and grow. If you take good care of your pet, it will slowly grow healthier, and more beautiful everyday. But if it is neglected, it may grow up to be mean or ugly and die).

    “We feed them, clothe them, and play with them,” the police commissioner said.

    He asked reporters during a press conference yesterday whether this really was the right trend for the time being.

    “How did our country get this far? I’m still quite confused myself. Raising a Look Thep? I don’t think I would ever catch on to the trend. It’s such madness.,” he said.

    The commissioner said he was really worried about how the future generation would see this and whether or not they would follow suit.

    He admitted that raising the doll is a personal right, but carrier must also respect other people’s rights as well.

    These people who raise the dolls might have the money to buy a plane ticket for the doll, but personally, he said the money should be used to buy other useful things.

  5. #5
    ‘Luk Thep’ Drug Mule Busted at Chiang Mai Airport
    Chayanit Itthipongmaetee
    26 January 2016

    CHIANG MAI — As soon an airline announced haunted spirit dolls could fly as passengers, someone was already turning one into a drug mule, according to police.

    While the media buzzed Monday over Luk Thep, a kind of 21st century kumarn tong, after an airline announced they were welcome aboard flights, police at Chiang Mai Airport intercepted what they said was one loaded with 200 yaba tablets.

    Lt. Col. Kom Chetkhuntod said police discovered the drugs inside a girl Luk Thep doll inside a black suitcase at the airport parking lot Monday evening.

    The doll mule and suitcase were sent to Phuphing Ratchanivet police station for further investigation.

    Luk Thep dolls, first popularized last year by a number of celebrities, are like a regular doll but with a child’s soul inside. Similar to the kumarn thong of old, Luk Thep do not require a human fetus or genuine child’s soul, instead one is simply “invited” inside to possess a factory manufactured doll.

    On Monday, police chief Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda said he was concerned about the Luk Thep trend, especially after Thai Smile Airways announced that passengers wanting to travel with their haunted doll companions were welcome to buy them a ticket. Chakthip said this could be abused by drug smugglers because police have caught dolls with drugs before.

    Luk Thep dolls are displayed Sunday in BB Market in Nonthaburi’s Bang Yai district.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Police Seize Contraband Child Spirit Dolls
    Sasiwan Mokkhasen
    26 January 2016

    150 illegally imported haunted spirit dolls known as ‘Luk Thep’ are displayed Tuesday by police in Bangkok.

    BANGKOK — A haul of strange looking dolls was shown off by police today as the latest evidence of public obsession over a kind of haunted spirit doll.

    Police were dispatched to inspect shops selling Luk Thep in Bangkok’s largest wholesale markets Tuesday, where they confiscated 150 dolls from their sellers for smuggling them into Thailand without paying duties.

    Inspired by the latest obsessive trend, police were sent to markets in the Sampeng and Wang Burapa areas, as well as some shops in the capital’s Bang Khae district. The 150 dolls were seized from vendors who failed to show proper tax documents and taken to the police station.

    The dolls have street values ranging from 500 baht to 5,000 baht. For the ritual ceremony in which a child’s soul is invited to inhabit the doll as a spiritual vessel, the police assessed another 500 baht value on top of their listed price.

    Police from the Economic Crime Suppression Division said the ongoing smuggling of Luk Thep dolls has cost the country more than 100,000 baht.

    Luk Thep have become increasingly coveted recently since first being introduced last year as a trendy possession for the superstitious set. Many are believed to be factory-made dolls from China brought to Thailand to undergo the ritual required to be full-fledged Luk Thep.

    More inspections and seizures of contraband spirit dolls will be done across metro Bangkok to also make sure they are not used to transport illegal goods, police said.

  8. #8
    Lucky 'angel' dolls not human, says Thai aviation authority

    BANGKOK(AFP) - Thailand's air safety body warned passengers on Wednesday (Jan 27) that lucky "child angel" dolls cannot be considered real people and must be properly stowed before take-off and landing.

    The unusual clarification from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) came in response to the latest superstitious craze sweeping the kingdom, where Thais are pampering lifelike dolls that are believed to contain the spirit of a real child hoping it will bring them good luck.

    Known in Thai as "luk thep" (child angels), the pricey dolls, which can cost up to US$600 (S$856.25), were first popularised by celebrities who claimed dressing up and feeding the dolls had brought them professional success.

    This week multiple local media outlets ran reports based around a leaked memo from Thai Smile suggesting the airline planned to begin offering airline tickets - including in-flight drinks and snacks - to the dolls.

    The memo defined the "child angels" as "a doll that is alive", adding that the figures should be placed in window seats so as not to disturb other passengers and that seatbelts should be worn during take-off and landing, according to reports.

    But in its statement, the CAAT said child angel dolls were "non-human beings that cannot be considered passengers".

    "Carry on baggage must be stored inside overhead lockers or underneath the seat," it said.

    Thai Smile has not denied the leaked memo, but it has not made any formal statement either.

    More than 90 per cent of Thais identify themselves as Buddhist. But the country's Buddhism is known for its syncretism, comfortably blending many animist and Hindu traditions into daily worship.

    Superstition runs deep with many fervently believing in ghosts, good and malevolent spirits and that offerings of various kinds will ward off bad luck.

    The recent doll-mania, which began a little over a year ago, has seen adults bringing figures to Buddhist ceremonies, restaurants and the cinema.

    That has irked some officials with Thailand's police chief warning this week that the fad was going too far.

    On Tuesday, officers in Bangkok confiscated more than 100 dolls and arrested three vendors for allegedly failing to pay import taxes.

    Thai anthropologist Visisya Pinthongvijayakul told AFP that the practice has roots in the ancient occult worship of preserved foetuses thought to contain a child's spirit.

  9. #9
    Sangha Supreme Council meets to curb ritual performance for child angels
    January 30, 2016

    The National Office of Buddhism yesterday issued an announcement forbidding all monks from performing ‘Plook Sek’ superstitious rituals on ‘Luk Thep’ or ‘Child Angel’ dolls.

    Violating the order could result in defrocking.

    The announcement came after a meeting between the Sangha Supreme Council and the National Office of Buddhism to discuss the issue of monks performing ‘Plook Sek’ ritual on flocking of people to some temples with their child angel dolls for the superstitious rituals.

    The meeting agreed to issue two announcements.

    First announcement forbids monks from receiving money from practicing sorcery and all monks are forbidden from trying their hand at creating amulets, talismans or charms in accordance with 1951 edict by the Sangha Supreme Council.

    The second announcement says any monks found violating this order and attempting to earn monetary returns from such practices will be severely punished.

    This is in accordance with an edict issued by His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch in 1933 which says monks who been found to have abused their positions with regards to the order mentioned above will be immediately defrocked.

    The two announcements have been sent to all temples and monasteries in the country.

    In response to a number of images that was posted on the social media showing 50 novice monks and 5 monks diving to view sea coral in a field trip to Lao Ya Island in Trat province, the National Office of Buddhism stated that the matter was being looked into.

    It stated that when the details are revealed, the relevant provincial officials will be asked to issue a reprimand to the monks because they state that although no code of conduct was violated, their action represented and earthly desire that is unseemly in individuals that have taken vows as religious representatives.

  10. #10
    Angel Children: Societal Insanity or the Deprivation of Women’s Rights?
    John Draper
    Fri, 05/02/2016

    For the past three years, as part of a growing trend which has now hit the international headlines, increasing numbers of what appear to be middle class, reasonably well-educated women have been purchasing ‘luuk thep’ – literally ‘angel children’ – cheap plastic Chinese-manufactured dolls which are then considerably marked up in price and blessed, either by Buddhist monks or spiritualists, to have the spirits of dead foetuses and stillborn children called into them. This is done in order to bring ‘luck’, which an excellent article from the Buddhist Door points out is essentially connected to spiritual materialism, not Buddhism. Is all this a case of societal insanity - a form of collapse of rationality as described by Professor Likhit Dhiravegin last year?

    Societal insanity is a loose term which requires a working definition. To paraphrase Einstein, the definition of societal insanity may be large numbers of people repeating the same types of behaviour over and over again and expecting different results. Societal insanity can therefore be an approach, by large numbers of people, to attempt to solve a problem in a way that, based on past results, does not work.

    It can also be a perspective. For Thais returning from overseas studies, for people re-joining the world after having been monks in retreats, for foreigners arriving in Thailand, and perhaps even for soldiers who have been in barracks completing their military service, they are suddenly arriving back in ‘this world’ and are confronted with this:

    Photo courtesy

    It’s fair to think that they may feel that their society has gone insane, i.e., a large net reduction in rationality has occurred. This, however, is a form of culture shock. The shock is to the individual who is experiencing a major change in how their society is behaving.

    In fact, the use of dolls in different societies worldwide has a long and illustrious history dating back tens of thousands of years to the dawn of human cognition. In some cultures, this has been formalized. For example, in Japan, it used to be that a Japanese girl received two hina dolls when she was born. These went with her when she married and could be passed down in the family. An annual festival on the third day of the third month celebrated these dolls in a festival of dolls, the hina matsuri. At this festival, the dolls of living people entertain the dolls of the dead. An excellent academic summary of dolls from the historical and anthropological perspective, by Anna Chernaya, is available as a PDF here.

    A Japanese hinamatsuri set,

    In other cultures, specific, particular dolls have grabbed the public’s imagination. Probably the best example of this phenomenon is the much-loved ‘Raggedy Ann’, an endearing character created by American writer Johnny Gruelle (1880–1938), as introduced in a series of books for young children.

    Raggedy Ann meeting Raggedy Andy in 1920,

    The character was created in 1915 as a doll, with the creator canny enough to patent it as US Patent D47789, and was introduced to the public in the 1918 book Raggedy Ann Stories. The combination of the doll and stories were a great success and created a trend of commercializing dolls. Other similar, mass-produced and commercialised dolls important in the Western psyche include Paddington Bear (first created as a toy in 1972), a form of teddy bear (teddy bears were invented only recently, in 1902 after the politician Theodore Roosevelt), and of course Barbie.

    Such dolls are seen as important during childhood development. For children, a doll may be the first transferable object – the first transfer of the ego of a child to another object and the development of I – not I, following the establishment of trust in a mother. Within this world, even a stick doll serves for a child to ‘project’ themselves onto the doll or to use it as a friend or prop for playing in a fairy-tale, imaginary world where a child can cognitively develop, especially in terms of understanding symbols, a key to higher abstract cognition. For an academic treatment of this aspect of dolls, see Jasna Gr˛inić, available as a PDF here.

    Moreover, the collection of dolls and the imbuing of human qualities into them by the owner also exists in the West in the form of the collecting of porcelain-head (bisque) dolls. The 2004 work by A. F. Robertson, Life like dolls: The collector doll phenomenon and the women who love them, points out that dolls are collected by tens of thousands of people worldwide in a multi-billion dollar industry, with important features being certificates of authenticity, authors’ signatures, realism, and limited edition numbers.

    Collectable German antique porcelain-head (bisque) doll,

    Moreover, Robertson also points out that for many women, these dolls are alive. One of the main reasons attributed by Robertson as to why these women see these dolls as living is a form of transference. Transference, according to the Webster’s eighth edition of the New Collegiate Dictionary is "the redirection of feelings and desires and especially of those unconsciously retained from childhood toward a new object". Thus, the doll takes on aspects of wish fulfilment.

    Or, as Robertson puts it: “To the collectors, the dolls are lifelike, but in the collector’s dreams, life is also doll-like: stable, immortal, perfected.” To that extent, what we are witnessing in the Thai doll phenomena may be a form of escapism, or as Wikipedia puts it, “dissociation from the perceived unpleasant, boring, arduous, scary, or banal aspects of daily life”, including persistent feelings of sadness or depression.

    However, it is also relatively clear that elements of projection may be involved. For example, the woman with an angel child in a taxi who asks the taxi driver to slow down because her doll feels travel sick is projecting onto the doll what she may view as a ‘rude’ request because of the inherent complexities in Thailand of a woman asking a man to do something, something related to women’s inherent inferiority in Thai society, as pointed out and justified recently by General Prayut himself.

    There is little doubt that the middle class in Thailand is being hurt due to uncertain economic conditions, which result, at least in some degree, from the arbitrariness of a military government. The values of superstition and spiritual materialism embodied in the dolls are a reaction to this in the same vein as fads over amulets, astrology, and the tracking down of lottery number portents. The angel child phenomenon is, in this respect, a response to nautonomy – negative autonomy, as discussed in an earlier article available here. In essence, nautonomy is the opposite of autonomy. Autonomy, as generally understood, means the ability to exercise civil and political rights. However, the civil rights of women in Thailand have always been restricted, while political rights at the moment do not exist. For example, even women assembling to campaign for women’s rights or psychological health to be incorporated into new legislation would at present be seen as illegal public assembly.

    The association of the middle-aged Thai woman with the ‘angel child’ doll may for some, as with trends such as buying small foreign dogs such as Chihuahuas, merely be a form of status symbol. However, it may also represent a natural form of auto-regression – a self-healing through attempts at transference, escapism, and projection, resulting from the effects of the imposition of a militarized, masculine nautonomy. To that extent it needs to be respected as a socio-psychological phenomenon.

    These women are, in a socio-cultural context within which they are belittled in favour of masculine values driven by notions of rule of law and military domination of society, responding in predictable, explicable ways.

    To outsiders, this may appear to be societal insanity. Yet it should be recalled that Thai men also demonstrated signs of socio-psychological desperation back in 2006-2007, with the Jatukam Ramathep amulet fad appearing at the same time as a coup and great uncertainty within Thailand. Amulets are also supposed to enhance ‘luck’ in purely material terms, though in a more masculine way, with some even believed to stop a bullet, as in the art of Thai tattooing.

    Interestingly, the reason why Thai women are not purchasing amulets and are instead purchasing dolls illuminates societal stereotypes against Thai women – women are not supposed to wear these emblems of Buddhism, both for the reasons that women are too impure to touch such objects and, paradoxically, because as chaste, virtuous yet child-rearing kulasatrii (ideal females), they are not supposed to need them. The comparison of angel children with amulets is therefore a particularly gendered one.

    Within the Thai context whereby an entire country which used to be democratic has become a military camp dominated by masculine values and may well continue to be one for two more years, General Prayut cannot complain about the phenomenon of angel children without turning the spotlight on his own experiment in nautonomy.

    To conclude, as we have now entered a period of what should be public consultation on the new constitution, minority groups adversely affected by the coup, which definitely includes women, must be allowed to publicly assemble to organize a response. Not to permit this would be the worst form of paternalism as it would suggest the reduction of the population of an entire country to an infantile state – as reflected by members of Thailand’s press corps dressing as children for General Prayut on this year’s Children’s Day.

    The socio-psychological sanity of Thai society is at stake.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts