By: Lindsey Dunlap and Ellie Coleman
I think we generally tend to be numb to the way we live life here in the US until we’ve truly experienced another culture. It only takes a brief moment to realize the differences and the similarities between two cultures and to realize the opportunities we have to change for the better. Being in Thailand this past month has really opened up my eyes to so many different ideas, cultural differences, and ways of life. A trip like this doesn’t just change your way of thinking, it makes a deep impact on the person you truly are and, more importantly, what kind of person you aspire to be.
One of the most contrasting differences that Ellie and I noticed was the Katoey (Thai Ladyboys) here in Thailand. We have realized how culturally significant and normal this is throughout all of Thailand. We have discussed the fact that in the US it is a completely different story and attitude when it comes to gender differences. Passing Katoy on the street in Thailand is nothing but normal and accepted by the Thai people-the concept is honored and celebrated, rather than viewed as odd or taboo. This kind of difference forces a person to step back and contemplate how we accept people, and don’t accept people, in our culture.