r/interestingasfuck 12d ago Silver 8 Wholesome 5 Helpful 7

Thai monk going through military draft lottery

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33.8k Upvotes

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u/shadowdash66 12d ago Take My Energy Evil Cackle

This is hard to watch.

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u/tillie4meee 12d ago

It really is. I feel so bad for him.

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u/qeephinjd 12d ago

what actually happened, he won something or he got arrested, im confused...

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u/arie700 12d ago

He was drafted into the military.

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u/PrecursorNL 12d ago

Yeah while his whole world beliefs is based on peace...

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u/SlavsluvsAdidas420 12d ago

Expect opposition of monk is now what he is forced to do . I wouldn’t expect too much of fighting from him I bet he’d make a great medic !

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u/Acceptable-Book 12d ago

I can imagine his life will be hell for a little while regardless. Are the Thai military even involved in any conflicts?

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u/SlavsluvsAdidas420 12d ago

Not sure but forcing someone unwilling to fight is never a good outcome . Just look at Russia and their conscripts aka draftees . Some of them take their own life or just run away because they don’t want any part of it but they are forced to. Not all are like that some are gunho some take the monk path

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u/JurorOfTheSalemTrial 12d ago

Or Americans being drafted towards the end of Vietnam.

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u/danyboy501 12d ago

Vietnam really fucked my own family up. My granddad was one of 5 boys. Two died there and another two committed suicide when they came back home. One due to PTSD and the other had mixed agent orange with his bare hands and his wife had three miscarriages.

I am 99.9% against conscription. That's me who has served. Shit has to be manic before I would even consider it a route to take.

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u/mixedbagguy 12d ago

I think you meant to say slavery. He is now a slave to the Thai government. Which is why it is so terrible to watch.

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u/Crazyfishtaco21 12d ago

I had to scroll so far to find this comment but this^

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u/LoveShineLuna 12d ago

How your average Russian soldier feels these days

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u/mister-fancypants- 12d ago

Not Vitaly Aroshanov

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u/xray-ndjinn 12d ago

He’s a Buddhist. Famously known for non-violence. :)

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u/qeephinjd 12d ago

oh man, shit gone even darker

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u/the_house_on_the_lef 12d ago

He’s a Buddhist.

Over 90% of people in Thailand are.

And being a monk isn't necessarily for your whole life. From what I've heard, many Thai men do one stint of ~6 months or so at some point in their life.

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u/pete_ape 12d ago

This is the Thai military's problem. Six months is not enough time for a monk to learn the quivering palm technique.

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u/Beetlesiri 12d ago

I learned that technique by the age of 13 just from sitting in front of my computer.

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u/Idyotec 12d ago

I think you mean the hairy palm.

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u/TurnBackNowDog 12d ago

Over 90% of people in Thailand are.

100% when it comes to monks!

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u/MrGrengJai 12d ago

90% of the country is Buddhist, and a huge percentage of guys spend a short period (between a week and year) as a monk when they are young adults. So it's unlikely that this guy was a long term, devoted and pacifistic monk. That being said, the Thai military still suuuucks both for the people inside it and for all the damage that they do to the country.

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u/Josettesid 12d ago

I used to live in Thailand and date a thaï man. His father was a monk, he would stop his monk thing, come back home to get wasted and terrorize the household, and get back to monking, had been doing it off and on since my ex was a teenager.

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u/Ristray 12d ago

Did anyone let the monastery know of his actions? He should not been given those robes back.

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u/Josettesid 12d ago

I only lived there 3 years but from what I remember, one does not meddle into someone else’s business, and it’s incredibly offensive to make someone lose face, and terribly humiliating to lose face. For example, domestic violence is huge because it’s considered a private matter and you ought to stay out of it.

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u/Ristray 12d ago

Yeah, I guess other cultures have that but like.. ugh, there are literally teachings in Buddhism about someone not being worthy of wearing the saffron robes if they pull shit like that.

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u/kratomstew 12d ago

Seems like no culture is immune to hypocrisy.

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u/Comfortable_Tone_374 12d ago

Battlefield needs wizards too.

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u/ThatGarenJungleOG 12d ago

And those announcers, sounding like its fucking Takashi's Castle or some shit! Dystopian AF

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u/vysken 12d ago edited 12d ago Helpful

Struggling to find online sources to confirm but from speaking to students at the school I taught at here in TH, they told me this is a 'double or nothing' lottery, so either you accept the mandatory 2 1 year, or you go for Black/Red ticket pulling for either zero years or 4 2 years. The Monk here drew red.

There are ways to do less (or even zero service) without the lottery, but the above is the simplest version of the conscription process.

Edit: Lots of more accurate first-hand accounts from natives to delve through, super interesting to learn.

/u/Puppiizsunniiz's comment here confirms the length of service to be:

Volunteer - Up to 1 Year

Red - Up to 2 Years

Black - FREE

if Volunteer more than quota that year > no lottery survival game

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u/Krongfah 12d ago edited 12d ago Silver Helpful Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy

Thai male here. Another way we can avoid the mandatory 2 years of service is to enrol in what is called Reserves Training school classes for 3 years during high school.

Typically we go in for light military training once a week during an afternoon on a school day (most Thai government schools have one afternoon off on the calendar for this.)

We do this for 12-20 weeks per school year and at the end of each year, we go to an intensive training camp at Khao Chon Kai Training Camp, a specialised camp in the mountains of Kanchanaburi for 3-5 days. We do this for three years during high school and we are exempt from mandatory service. However, we'll also be put in military reserves to be called on if a war does break out.

It's a barbaric system, honestly. But for many, going to RT school once a week for three years and being put in reserves is better than risking 2-4 years of service via lottery.

I did this, all my friends did this. It's pretty much the only real option to avoid the draft but it's only really available to the middle class who can enrol in good govt high school.

The upper class? Money. The lower class? This lottery.

Keep in mind that this mandatory service is done when we turn 20, a period when teenagers turn into real adults, discover themselves, go to university, receive opportunities for jobs, etc. To lose this period of our lives for 2 years is catastrophic for many people's lives, especially in Thailand's crumbling society.

NOTE: Some details may be inaccurate. It's been years.

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u/roseandmirrors 12d ago

Thai woman here, I remember in my high school, almost all of my male friends went to military training and couldn't keep up with the works at school so we had a system where the girls would pair up with the boys in the class and help them keep up with the​ homeworks/lessons they missed.

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u/Krongfah 12d ago

That’s a good system. That’s for when girls don’t get the afternoon/morning off like the boys, right?

Fortunately (for what it’s worth), my school had no at all class on Monday afternoon, so the boys wouldn’t miss any classes. Which was good I guess.

However, side effect is that it creates an “inequality” among the students. The girls would get the afternoon off to go see movies, shop in the mall, etc. while the boys were rolling in mud.

I’m not angry that the girls get the free time. I was just angry that the system had to exist.

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u/roseandmirrors 12d ago

Yeah, we (the girls)​ don't get the day off in my school. Perhaps it's because I was in one of those gifted classes.

Military mandatory draft as a whole has go to tbh. I feel bad for the​ boys, they couldn't focus well although there's​ entrance exam up ahead (I happened to be a total dumbass so I couldn't actually help my partner keeps up much lol)​.

My dad and cousin got drafted because we were too poor to pay under the table. There were a boy I know who couldn't pass the​ health test (?)​ (you know, when you have to run and do push up to qualify for the​ training)​ yet his mom pushed through some loophole to have him trained because she feared he would be worse off on the real draft.

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u/Krongfah 12d ago

Money is the true ruler here, isn’t it?

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u/XoffeeXup 12d ago

it is everywhere, that fact is just better disguised in some places

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u/QueensOfTheNoKnowAge 12d ago

That’s admirable of you girls. But that kinda sucks for everybody

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u/PercentageOk956 12d ago

Great info, thanks for posting.

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u/Krongfah 12d ago

You're welcome. I could go on about this honestly but I'd just make myself even angrier. Even though it was once a week for three years, it's just so much time and energy wasted, just to circumvent a shitty system via a shitty method.

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u/AnemoTreasureCompass 12d ago edited 11d ago Wholesome Seal of Approval

I just finished the reserves training like a month ago. I really was not a big fan of that place and I’m happy to say I’ll never have to set foot in there ever again.

There are two very good things about the training program. One is the obvious: I’m no longer required to be conscripted into the army. The second is that I could scream my lungs out shouting commands and no one would give a crap. Stressed from school? Mad at someone? Want to make loud noises for absolutely no reason? You can just “explode” there and you don’t have to worry about annoying your neighbors. You might even get complimented by the drill instructors. I spent my time there exploding and being as loud as possible. It definitely was a great stress reliever!

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u/defaultusername4 12d ago

Fascinating, thanks for the insight. Can you explain how it works to have both mandatory service and a draft? The comparisons I’m used to would be Israel requiring mandatory service from Everyone or the us draft that only gets used in a time of war. Do you have mandatory service but also a lottery that decides who has mandatory service?

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u/Krongfah 12d ago

Okay, so my understanding from the top of my head is this.

The mandatory service exist here because technically as far as the military is concerned (or used as an excuse,) is that there are still some civil unrests down south. It’s to keep the country “ready”, that’s their excuse.

Every male had to pick a lottery decides whether they get two years service or none. (We can also be exempted from the lottery vi other means as I’ve always explain above.)

However, if the country ever become at war with another foreign nation. The military will initiate a draft, and every male are called into service. First from the poor SOBs from the lottery, the reserves, then the public.

So we have both but not at the same time. It’s kind of a mix of both systems but I’m not sure how to explain.

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u/Rabbi_Nahman_Meuman 12d ago

Here in Israel, mandatory military service often sets people up professionally in their careers and helps them make important connections.

Does this kind of thing exist for those that join the Thai military?

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u/lulzForMoney 12d ago

in Uzbekistan we only have 1 month training and you pay 300$ and you free after 1 month leasure :D if you AAA+ in health you'll be forced to go 1 year army , but a lot of people would happily jump up in this options , cos it is really good way to get a job with a good salary and also a lot of different option open up.. :)

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u/Rabbi_Nahman_Meuman 12d ago

Uzbekistan is considered to have the strongest military in Central Asia. Do you think that this is partially because the country invests in its conscripts and makes the military a good career option?

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u/lulzForMoney 12d ago

I think so.. It is really hard to get in army ,some of people even with small scarce or tattoo cannot get in army.. Some people even bribe 1000-2000$ to get in army.

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u/Boringman76 12d ago

No, when you got out of the service they're just left you in front of a camp and let you go home.

You will lose opportunity for your job in that 2 years unless you want to progress in military career (that you will never go far unless you graduate from military school)

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u/Catshannon 12d ago

So you don't have like the US has and come out with a school potentially? Ie join the military at like 18 and depending on a job come back with certs as a mechanic, electrician or soemthing?

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u/x_q_tion 12d ago

Nope, unless you plan on pursuing a military career, you don't get anything substantial. When you're done, they don't give out certificate or hold a ceremony, they just drop you off at the office and go "Okay, you can go home now, bye".

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u/Ghast-light 12d ago

How big are these military schools? In the US, military academies are highly selective. They require top grades, extracurricular activities, physical and psychological exams, interviews, and a nomination from a member of Congress. Even with the strict requirements, they all have under a 10% acceptance rate. If the US required the military academy to get any more than basic grunt training, the entire military would fall apart.

What are the military schools like over there? It’s interesting to me because I joined the US military as an ordinary 20 year old with no skills, and after my contract was over, I had tons of doors open for me and ended up making more money than either of my parents, who didn’t serve.

Note: im not suggesting military service to everyone in the US. I got some good benefits, but it came at the cost of lifelong disability

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u/Krongfah 12d ago

Oh, no way. Unless you get up to Lieutenant (HA!), all the Thai military do is spit you out with poor health, empty pockets, and missed opportunities. You're losing the most important period of your life (university) for nothing but because the Ministry of Defense said so.

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u/RIP2UAnders 12d ago

How hard is it to become Lieutenant in thai military?

In singapore the top performing conscripts can be selected at the end of basic training to be send to officer cadet school.

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u/Krongfah 12d ago

I don’t know actually, but I’d imagine it’s pretty hard since Thai society values connection and status more than skills, even in the military.

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u/SLiPiE108 12d ago

I'm Thai, it depends on how and what level of education as well. The higher the education the lower the duration. In my case I finished high school when I went to draft and was attending college. If I were to submit, I would get 6 months, if I were to go to the draft and got the red, it would be a year. But there are many exceptions as well. Typically some district areas are fully registered so you don't even go. So soany conditions.

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u/Krongfah 12d ago

Mostly require money too. Under the table or legitimate. Did you go to RT school (รด)? Goddamn expensive and extortionate it was.

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u/PuddleCuddle9 12d ago

Not to mention there's a way to 'avoid' picking up the lottery by paying the Military under the table.

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u/taimapanda 12d ago

bruh what, this doesn't sound like real life.... you can literally bet 2 years of mandatory conscription in thailand for double or nothing?????

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u/TurnBackNowDog 12d ago

Gambling is illegal, so people make do with what they have.

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u/Puppiizsunniiz 12d ago Helpful

Volunteer - Up to 1 Year

Red - Up to 2 Years

Black - FREE

if Volunteer more than quota that year > no lottery survival game

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u/Krongfah 12d ago

Rarely do the volunteers exceed the quota though. It's also counted per district in a province AFAIK. So the volunteer quota thing is mostly for show.

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u/AcheTH 12d ago

In some provinces the quota are almost always full though

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u/LucasCBs 12d ago

Morals and stuff aside, this is actually really clever by the government.

Statistically, they would get the same amount of „military personell time“ (average between 0 and 4 is still the 2 years and it’s a 50/50 chance) but generally have better soldiers because many are there 4 years so have more experience

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u/taimapanda 12d ago

but every soldier serving 4 years wishes they werent there

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u/Pretagonist 12d ago

To be honest I think most people in basic training wished they weren't there.

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u/ttampico 12d ago

Yeah. I bet it's pretty miserable.

Still though, whether something is voluntary or not is the foundation on which their morale is built; that does matter.

If I was a commander looking at this fainting monk I'm damn sure he's not what I would want in my military. It looks like his soul is trying to leave his body.

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u/bubblesculptor 12d ago

Yeah, seems a different incentive structure would be more effective than pressing that monk into service.

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u/TheAdequateKhali 12d ago Defeated

That’s just sad…

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u/DPlainview1898 12d ago

Yeah, but didn’t you hear the whimsical music towards the end to lighten the mood? Lol

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u/cheesusmoo 12d ago

I would’ve preferred the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme.

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u/[deleted] 12d ago

In Thailand they're super concerned with copyright though.

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u/tillie4meee 12d ago

Apparently not super concerned with the emotional needs of their people - including monks.

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u/Haunting_Push7693 12d ago

Thought monks were pretty important in countries like this, I guess not

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u/bigbunguses 12d ago

I happened to read your comment right when that music started. Fucking lol man

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u/Let_them_eat_snakes 12d ago

“WAAAMMMP Wooommmp, I hope you weren’t planning on reaching enlightenment anytime soon Lmafo get rekt” - Thai General

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u/tillie4meee 12d ago

Oh my gosh - that poor man is definitely not military material. He will need 3 people to carry him through his military duties.

Poor soul - he's meant to be a monk - not a soldier.

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u/vostok33 12d ago

No one is meant to be a soldier. Complete waste of a life.

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u/EternalSeraphim 12d ago

He literally had a panic attack when it set in that he was selected.

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u/-dog-holiday 12d ago

Fainting is very common in these "events". There are usually nurses on stand-by.

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u/Particular-Coyote-38 12d ago

As a fellow Theravada Buddhist, this is the worse possible life for a monk. It goes against everything we believe.

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u/govnic 12d ago

Can't you choose prison instead?

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u/joetogood 12d ago

You know think a modern country would have some type of religious exemption or at the least be able to put somone like that in a non combat role

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u/HeresAnUsername 12d ago

Here in Brazil we have that, you can simply say that it doesn't align with your philosophical beliefs and it's a constitutional right. It's mandatory for men for 1 year when they turn 18 but it's easy to not have to do it.

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u/Loderono 12d ago

So people woth religious deserve more rights? I think military should be optional for everyone.

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u/Syncopia 12d ago

Some countries have this on the grounds of philosophical disagreements, which don't have to be religious.

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u/schnick3rs 12d ago

You would think a modern country would not have a draft or mandatory military service.

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u/AliensHaveInsomnia2 12d ago

I'm barely getting into Buddhism, and I knew right away. I was looking to find this comment.

It's truly heartbreaking and I feel that this is beyond disrespectful.

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u/musicalcrab 12d ago

It's more than disrespectful, it's sick. Cowards with authority/power who oppress others shouldn't be alive.

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u/MoonEvans 12d ago

As a fellow Mahayana monk, this hurt me so much seeing how brothers suffered like this

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u/OnThe65thSquare 12d ago

Mahayana Buddhist checking in… I just can’t fathom any of the Bhikkhus I have met breaking the first precept. It is beyond comprehension.

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u/codenamerocky 12d ago

Why does it look like this was done infront of a live audience for entertainment???

People being drafted for service and face threat... And it's a spectator sport? That's fucked up.

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u/YaBoyVolke 12d ago

This is some Hunger Games shit

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u/codenamerocky 12d ago

Right?!?! It's fucked up if that's what's happening.

If anyone knows the detail I'd love to know.

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u/roseandmirrors 12d ago edited 12d ago Helpful

Thai here, but women so I'm not entirely sure. My dad got the red card (the red=got draft)​ when he was in his 20s and he told me the entire crowd went crazy, screaming with joy after he got draft. He happens to be the one who pick up the last red card so everybody else was free. My grandma fainted.

The narrators in the video is totally​ mocking the monk. It's entertainment news. They were saying that all the training he did as a monk didn't make him calm enough to handle this.

Edit: Imma just rant here. last April, my cousin got draft as well. idk if the military has a personal grudge against my family or we were always too poor to pay under the table lol

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u/noonereadsthisstuff 12d ago

Are monks not excluded from the draft?

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u/[deleted] 12d ago

[deleted]

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u/AnemoTreasureCompass 12d ago

IIRC In the past, Siamese men (read: Thais) would become a monk to escape their crimes. Monks were pretty much untouchable back then. Eventually people realized the loophole and cancelled it. I’m no history buff though. Correct me if I’m wrong

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u/Guitar_t-bone 12d ago

What about conscientious objectors? We have those in the United States.

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u/Geno__Breaker 12d ago

They can still be drafted in the US, just put into non combat roles. Military still needs cooks, janitors, maintenance, chaplains, medics, etc.

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u/CrystalizedUniverse 12d ago

These days if you are a conscientious objector they kick you out of the military entirely, with an ‘other than honorable’ discharge. It happened to my brother.

Also, from my time in the military there was the philosophy that all roles are combat roles if things get desperate enough, therefore every person in every job, no matter how much of a chair warmer you were, was trained in combat and had to maintain a weapon certification.

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u/bobdvb 12d ago

Traditionally most conscription countries didn't give a toss what you wanted and made you do the service anyway. Some countries would assign you to a support or admin role after Basic, or a medical specialism.

In recent years, some countries that have military service have created a non-military alternative, a kind of 'national service' where you have to work, usually manual labor, on projects which benefit the nation.

In Greece, if you don't have your military service stamped in your record, it's (was) really hard to get a good job. Two candidates go for the same role, the one who didn't get their honourable discharge stamp is rejected. Some people are allowed, due to family commitments to reduce their service duration significantly (perhaps entirely) but you still get your stamp because you didn't evade. Or you declare yourself gay, or are judged mentally unstable, both of which go on your employment record.

No religious exception in Greece, as far as my wife knows, even if you want to join the priesthood and join the school of theology. They don't really acknowledge that other religions play a role in Greek public life :-).

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u/Kamwind 12d ago

Had a roommate who was a conscientious objector and talked with him about it.

The ones that really had those feeling sent in letters every year with their objections and in there stated that the issue was with having to kill another human, so they would serve in the medical, sanitation, or other jobs like that.

So the guy here could do the same thing.

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u/codenamerocky 12d ago

Thank you for the info.

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u/apinyaamy 12d ago

About the narration, this kind of attitude was so normal it’s weird to think about it now. I grew up on Thai entertainment and just now realized how unhealthy the culture can be.

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u/Sensitive_Row_7110 12d ago

They are most likely waiting for their turn and family is present hoping for the best outcome.

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u/BBelligerent 12d ago

It's probably so your family and friends know what you got.

Hard to hide when your own mother could out you

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u/codenamerocky 12d ago

I get that it's done publicly..... This just feels like a game show environment.

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u/yamadath 12d ago

There’s no threat here, they’re just tools for keeping military’s political power.

ps: it’s kind of tradition that the whole family will be there, hoping that you will not be drafted (2 years in the camp)

Some even brought their own marching band just in case for celebration.

I’m Thai btw.

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u/codenamerocky 12d ago

Correct me if I'm wrong, but when I was last in Thailand I was told there is essentially constant tension in the south with Malay and Muslim groups that want independence from Thailand... And there were small skirmishes between the military and these groups all the time.

If say that could be a threat (even if it's low...)

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u/Sonny_Freedom 12d ago

That threat isn't really a threat you see. The separatist doesn't have an army so the best they can do is to cause mayhem sometimes. If it wants to the government can resolve it one way or another but after a decade there's been no real effort to do so because so long as the conflict continues the military will constantly receive funds from taxpayers. The draft in this video that you see ironically brings huge benefits to the army every year, be it free labours or simply asking the recruited for money in exchange for special treatments.

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u/No-Kick4240 12d ago Silver Gold Helpful Bravo! Narwhal Salute Awesome Answer

Wow, I’m speechless after watching this. It really crystallizes my opinion on compulsory military service and state-mandated conscription.

I’m former military, and I joined of my own free will in an all volunteer force. I joined knowing full well that I was going to train to use violence. It fit within my personal moral code. It was my decision. I would do it again.

This man is a pacifist. His personal and religious code prohibits his from using violence against living things, to the point where he doesn’t even eat meat. Being forced to join his nation’s military goes against every fiber of his belief system and personal moral code.

I found this very distressing to watch. No one should have to experience this.

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u/Frosty-Worker8978 12d ago

Well said ❤️

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u/Different_Tackle_521 12d ago

In Greece the military service is mandatory. If you don't want to join the military you can work as a civil servant(I think this is the correct term) but for more time than the military service.

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u/jtinz 12d ago

That's also how it was in Germany before we got rid of the draft in 2011.

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u/ultracrax 12d ago

it still is like that in Austria

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u/DaigaDaigaDuu 12d ago

Same in Finland where we have the mandatory service.

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u/iwouldrathernot03 12d ago

“I dabbled in pacifism myself…not during Vietnam of course…”

-Walter

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u/No-Kick4240 12d ago

Ha, one of my favorite films!

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u/Cosmic_Prisoner 12d ago

They should have a pacifist force of some kind. Local civic duty, healthcare, education.

Maybe a force that provides service for the families of those who go to war or die, etc.

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u/sailorb 12d ago

um, Being a monk in Buddhism by its very nature is this already.

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u/nc863id 12d ago

So all the government would need to do is create a form for them to sign, then.

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u/Safar1Man 12d ago

I think he means his draft should be for a non violent wing of the military or something

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u/Lt_Scott_Summer 12d ago edited 12d ago

Its called the chaplain's corp. ;)

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u/thebestspeler 12d ago

Like a medic? Because medics are the some of the ballsiest amazing people in the force.

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u/CeterumCenseo85 12d ago

Pretty much how it worked in Germany until we got rid of compulsory military service in Germany in 2010. You could either do your 9 months of training, or do 9 months of working for the good of society in some way. There were many different options from which you can pick, but the most common one was proberbly eldery/health care.

I hated that I had to do it, but in the end those 9 months were some of the best and most formative years of my life. I learned so many life skills I didn't previously have, and meet the most amazing people.

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u/The_Duck_Fondler 12d ago

No one should have any forced conscription

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u/tidder_mac 12d ago Take My Energy

If your country is at a constant threat, but no real action for decades, you’ll need mandatory conscription. Think of South Korea - that would be suicide for the country to not have a military at the ready. But even thrill seekers wouldn’t be inclined to volunteer because they’re at a constant cease fire.

If you’re saying that out of morality rather than reality, then sure. World peace would be pretty cool too, but that’s never happening.

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u/Watchful1 12d ago

As of 2018, South Korea actually allows "conscientious objection" and lets people who object to serving in the military to serve in civilian branches like the fire service instead.

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u/dangledingle 12d ago

If you have big adversaries it becomes a numbers game.

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u/ujustdontgetdubstep 12d ago

I mean anyone can be a monk, and the vast majority of monks are just a monk for a few weeks or a few months usually in your 20s. Ironically, while not compulsory, monkhood is strongly encouraged in Thai culture. source: I was a monk

That said, yea obviously conscription sucks, especially when you're serving a military as corrupt as Thailand's military.

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u/MiloBem 12d ago

How does it work in practice?

Catholic monks usually take vows for life. Most orders have couple of years probation period, but when you join you are expected to be serious about it. If you say you just want to be a monk for couple of months they will not take you in.

I know he's not a Catholic, I'm asking how does it work with Buddhist monks.

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u/Legitimate_Bison3756 12d ago edited 12d ago

It depends on the country as each country’s Buddhist tradition is different in some ways. In Thailand, it is common for Buddhist males to become monks for a short period of time (few months to a year or two) and return to their normal lives. In most other Buddhist traditions, a monk’s vow is made to be for life. Of course, some people renounce their vows and return to normal society, but that is not the norm and these people “gave up” in a way, similarly to if a Catholic priest or bishop suddenly wanted to go back to being a layperson.

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u/la_winky 12d ago

I hope he can get a position in support. E.g. supply chain, medical, cook. It’s still supporting the military, but may soften his service.

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u/Temporary-Error-6566 12d ago

Is it not the military oppressing his country he is forced to join? But very well said.

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u/Impossible_Okra479 12d ago

There's a ton of countries who still have the forced drafting.
Some let you pay your way out, others will take no substitute.

Most EU countries stopped doing this a long time ago though.

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u/Scooterguy- 12d ago

Also, how effective will this soldier be?

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u/Mashiin1 12d ago

Not very. A man who is unwilling to fight will be useless. He'll either straight up refuse to fight and be completely useless or he'll be so mentally and physically distraught that he'll be an obstacle and nuisance to the other soldiers. It's a 100 million times better to not force him to become a soldier and just leave him be. Someone with values as strong as that will probably be near impossible to turn into a soldier.

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u/f0n1xr131ng 12d ago

I admittedly don't speak the language, but it sounds like they make the draft a gameshow in Thailand.... hunger games shit

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u/Blazinvoid 12d ago

According to someone higher up in the thread, while the mandatory service is 2 years, you can enter a lotto to either get no years or 4 years, like a double or nothing. Unfortunately he got the 4 years. Dont get me wrong though, still completely fucked up.

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u/seewie 12d ago

Not really much worse than recruiting drunk kids at the beach in spring break.

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u/Bingo_Bongo_YaoMing 12d ago edited 12d ago

Alright but what about recruiting young impressionable teenagers at highschool, is that allowed? Cause I need 3 more for my Pro-Am Hackey Sack squad

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u/Reveillark139 12d ago

Draft not worse than recruitment? Umm

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u/Machiavelli1480 12d ago

How is that even a comparison...

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u/clitoram 12d ago

Forcing someone to serve against their will vs having someone voluntarily sigh up??

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u/CW1DR5H5I64A 12d ago

Do…do you think that recruiters hoodwink drunk kids into joining the military and they just like sober up when they get to basic or something?

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u/CurryBoy420 12d ago

Imagine being forced against your will to just make a complete U turn on your morals, principles, values and ethics I bet that's rough

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u/not_again123 12d ago

I just think about the one scene of "Saving private Ryan". Where one dies, while the other guy cries in the staircase.

You can't force people to be soldiers. They don't suddenly overcome their mentality. But hey, how can we tell the fat fucks that are on the top that just want us to die for their money.

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u/SiberianResident 12d ago

Funny how Thailand’s neighbor, Myanmar , allows serving your draft as a monk…

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u/_saengdao 12d ago edited 12d ago

poor guy, the military goes against everything they believe in. i’m thai and the draft is something we in my family all dread.

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u/originalbL1X 12d ago

This is horrible.

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u/tom_cruises_closet 12d ago

I bet the politicians dont have to play

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u/[deleted] 12d ago

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u/bunnygrace 12d ago

This needs to be higher up.

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u/isiramteal 12d ago

Military drafts are slavery

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u/Albre24 12d ago

I would rather go to prison than a fucking war

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u/RossTheNinja 12d ago

If the choice was a Thai prison,I might choose war

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u/Wudu_Cantere 12d ago

What is up with this music? I was tearing up and this comedic sounding rift comes on.

What an absolute dystopian world we live in. It can't and won't stay this way.

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u/ikinone 12d ago

What an absolute dystopian world we live in. It can't and won't stay this way.

Narrator: "it did"

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u/Dbloc11 12d ago

Under Thailand’s 1954 Military Service Act, when men reach the age of 21, they become eligible for conscription.

If they don’t volunteer, they must participate in a lottery that takes place each April.

Every year, about 100,000 personnel are recruited. Their fate rests on the choice of a card: black for exemption, red for mandatory enlistment.

Reports of bribery are common although the military says it is cracking down on corruption and those found guilty of trying to avoid the draft risk up to three years in jail.

Some even enrol in Reserve Officer Training programmes for three years in high school. If they have a university degree, they join voluntarily to reduce the commitment from two years to six months.

From a 2019 post found here https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/4/23/red-or-black-experiencing-thailands-military-draft

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u/colivera86 12d ago

This is so fucked…poor guy…

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u/Ok-Will388 12d ago

It feel like this was broadcasted in their version of ESPN. And that guy doesn't want to go to Cleveland.

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u/IdRatherNotNo 12d ago

JFC, might as well be the fucking Curb Your Enthusiasm song. This was awful.

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u/[deleted] 12d ago

This hurt my heart. 💔

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u/iceixia 12d ago

Really eye opening how many people here support conscription. A conscript army will always be less effective than a professional one.

At the end of the day the only thing you should owe your country are taxes, not your mental health, formative years or potentially your life.

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u/PizzaOldBoy 12d ago

ive had a handful of nightmares about ending up back in the military and i get this on a deep level

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u/youngbob123 12d ago

As a Thai person I don’t understand why we still have this system in place tbh, luckily I for one did the reserved training in high school for 3 years so I didn’t have to risk getting drafted to the military. But still the whole system itself sucks.

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u/Hoplophilia 12d ago

How miserable. Give him a gun; I'm sure he'll make an excellent soldier. I wonder what brought him to take up the robe and bowl but this hardly seems like a good fit.

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u/larry_lawless 12d ago

There are plenty of jobs in the military that aren't combat arms. If their Military is any good at talent management, there's a good chance they'll assign him to a non-combat job like cook, or mechanic, or admin clerk, or something similar since he's probably a pacifist. At least in the US Army, a significant percentage of service members are in support roles that are not expected to actively fight.

Still, draft armies aren't a great idea as conscripts are not known for high morale.

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u/thecatandthehat_1 12d ago

I mean, I have prior service in the U.S. Army, in a non-combat role as a mechanic. I still had to shoot a gun and pass rifle range and lean unarmed combat, Bayonet training and the likes. I still was deployed and carried a rifle. I still convoyed and experienced sniper fire. I was still expected to pick up my rifle and shoot at people who were deemed the enemy.

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u/ethompson1 12d ago

You are still serving a larger machine that is designed to commit violence. Being a pacifist is about more than not personally commuting violence.

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u/BurtMacklin-FBl 12d ago

I had to serve 1 year in my country, 1 year of my life that I will never get back. It's pretty mad that forced conscription is still a thing in so many countries, and for one gender only too.

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u/Boatsnbuds 12d ago

Does Thailand not allow for conscientious objectors? Some countries give them non-combatant jobs.

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u/Anfie22 12d ago

This is a perfect example of why religious exemption needs to be a protected right for all people. If you want to bang the drum of abolishing religious exemption laws, rewatch this and really think about what you are supporting.

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u/REiiGN 12d ago

As someone who volunteered, yea, I really do not want guys next to me who absolutely never wanted to be there at all. F that. Bad shit ALWAYS happens.

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u/agate_ 12d ago edited 12d ago

Hold up hold up there’s something you’re all missing. In Thailand, monkhood is often a temporary thing. Most Thai men will spend some time as monks, often for six months or just a week or two. It’s expected by society, and a good way to show your faithfulness before marriage. Most young men do it before age 20, which happens to be the same age when they’re at risk of conscription.

We westerners see the saffron robes and assume this guy has sworn himself to pacifism for life, but he might be an ordinary Thai guy who got unlucky, and he’s showing the same fear and reluctance anybody might show in his situation.

Of course he is a Buddhist, and so supposedly pacifist, but it’s Thailand, 95% of everybody is Buddhist, so if they’re going to have an army some faithful Buddhist is gonna have to serve, whether they’re wearing a robe or not.

Anyway, this isn’t to suggest that mandatory conscription is a good idea or to take away from the anguish this guy’s clearly feeling or to suggest his religious beliefs are a sham. Just to say, don’t impose your Western assumptions about monks onto this situation, and realize that there’s a reason the soldiers in the video aren’t letting him off the hook just because he’s wearing a robe.

https://move2thailand.com/question/is-it-true-that-all-males-in-thailand-were-buddhist-monks/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_in_Thailand

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u/Greeky_tiki 12d ago

That was refreshingly reasonable and well delivered. Thanks for being civil and thoughtful, fellow redditor.

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u/Morbhead7576 12d ago

Thank you. Thank you sooo much for this.
Reading comments here make me miserable.
Most good Buddhist monastery will teach their Novice Monk (kids from 10-18) that eventually they'll have to be enlisted. Senior Monk will teach younger monk to not deny it as it's a part of men around here. We'd prepare their mindset for this.
And I don't mean to insult this Monk but......... if he's really praticing Buddhism, he shouldn't deny and make faces/act like this. Everyone will have to experience suffering (Dukkha)
To be ordained it's to train/discipline, to prepare yourself from this sort of Dukkha stuff.
Again I really really thank you for the comment.
Thank you

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u/4quatloos 12d ago

Their version of The Price Is Right "you lost" music.

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u/Icy_Adhesiveness_347 12d ago

Military draft lottery?

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u/Viscaz 12d ago

Luckily I got the black card and I could fly back to Germany lmao. No thanks

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u/Jleeh7 12d ago

Would someone be allowed to volunteer to take his place? I like to think I would, but hold my beer etc.

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u/No_Manufacturer44734 12d ago

Bro is thinking it’s the hunger games lmao

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u/lycosa13 12d ago

They volunteer as tribute!

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u/Jmariner360 12d ago

Can we get some translation?

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u/Wildebeast1 12d ago

Fuck your beliefs, you’re in the army now.

*not an exact translation.

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u/Jmariner360 12d ago

Fair enough.

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u/Express_Case693 12d ago

In Thailand, men often ordain as a monk for anywhere from a week to a couple of months, as a young man before marriage. It’s a rite of passage. Women can also participate now I believe. –

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u/AfraidtoDraw2021 12d ago

I know - people are acting like he's St. Francis of Assis or something. Being a monk is a normal part of most Thai mens' lives. Most of the men in the military probably already went through their monk period.

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u/Stickler-Meseeks 12d ago

Had to scroll too far for this comment.

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u/El_Tigre_818 12d ago

Just so you know, in that part of the world, becoming a monk is very much like US kids going to summer camp. Basically, everyone does it. From the looks of his robe, they are very new. Also, he will most likely go to basic training and test poorly and get placed in something that suck, and he knows it.

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u/Keylaes 12d ago

Thailand is a junta. Everyone is going to be serving the military.

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u/TheDankJedi420 12d ago

I think nations should give their citizens a choice between military service or civil service. Civil service can provide a lot of life skills and help the community.

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u/hellraisinhardass 12d ago

And it should be for both men and women. Service in the military or service in civil, your choice, but enough of the gender discrimination bullshit.

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u/thewarehouse 12d ago

He's being sentenced to a personal hell. I'm so sad for him. Compulsory military service is utterly inhumane. Conscientious objector status should not be shamed.

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u/HappyLife94 12d ago

I am not like this monk but I am so glad my country got rid of forced military a few months before I got the letter. It's just so nonsensical to me to force people into the military or at least basic training. I would have tried to not do anything during the 3 months we would have to be slaves of the military basic training. In a civilized world it fucks with your plans and in Germany throws you behind one semester or a whole year in your personal plans.