June 02, 2011

Thailand Culture Ministry moves to ban tourists' Buddha tattoos

If you were planning to get a tattoo of the Buddha during an upcoming trip to Thailand, you may want to reconsider. Thailand's Culture Ministry has called on all Thai tattoo parlors to refrain from giving tourists tattoos of the Buddha. The AP reports:

Culture Minister Niphit Intharasombat said in a statement that his ministry has been receiving complaints from residents that tattoo parlors are etching sacred images of Buddha and other religious images onto the skin of non-Buddhist visitors across the country.

"Foreigners see these tattoos as a fashion," Niphit said in the statement posted on his ministry's website Thursday. "They do not think of respecting religion, or they may not be aware" that it can be offensive.

The Thai government news agency, NNT, reports that Niphit is pushing for a law that would permanently ban parlors from giving tourists tattoos of the Buddha.

Image courtesy of tattoodream.net

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erikshulind86's picture

I don't care for that, too repressive. Josh hit the nail on the head on this.

pbstice's picture

What about t-shirts? Hats? Will they stop tourists from buying little Buddha keychains or earrings and forbid the sale of same? Will they bar tourists from the country if they already have a Buddha tattoo somewhere on their body? I agree with Joseph. What's next?

Dominic Gomez's picture

Hats? I'd like one that's got a lump on top and is covered with lots of knobby little buttons.

Joseph Rogers's picture

this ruling seems rather fundamentalist to me, and typical of a repressive theocratic government. what harm comes from tattooing an image? the only reason to object comes from the view that the buddha is some kind of god. it's this type of religiosity that takes away from the teachings. can you imagine the uproar in America if the government tried to ban tattooing of a religious image? what's next for Thailand, issuing death penalty fatwas for sacrilege?

b2652885's picture

good step took by the goverment, totally understandable as most of the foreigners do not have any religion respect & they wouldn't mind talking bad about anyones religion.

b2652885