Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

November 26,2015

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND— As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security.

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival.

In a nation now run by the military, which overthrew civilian leadership last year, many in the country-side yearn for policies of the past government that favored farmers.

But villagers like 75-year-old Takham Daungkaew, also have concerns about safety within the country.

“I wish to not have bad things come close to our country. I wish for the Buddha to protect us. I don’t want to have bad luck and have a civil war or conflict," she said.

At the local barber shop, teens are more focused on fashion than Thailand's political problems.

Hair stylist Army Papluen’s latest creation tackles the perennial debate over the dangers of releasing lanterns into the sky.

"In Chiang Mai during the festival they release a lot of lanterns in the sky," he said. "They might float into the airplane and cause more damage. It's not worth it. I think that it’s a better idea to release the lanterns on the head.

This year’s festival marks 18 months since Thailand’s latest military coup took control.

Since then, the population has witnessed Thailand’s worst-ever bomb attack and a clampdown on many freedoms.

As the world focuses on increased global security following the Paris attacks, Thais, for now, are sending their worries down the river and waiting to see what lies ahead.