A Bucketful of Innocence


Village, Songkran Festival

British kids aren’t all bad no matter what the newspapers say about them. There’s some good one’s out there surely…..somewhere in the world there must be…

Village, Songkran Festival…..Not only were British children ranked ‘worst off’ in the developed world – with the highest rates of drunkenness, obesity, bullying, early sexual intercourse, cannabis-taking, and teenage pregnancy – they made it clear that they felt worst off: unhealthy, unhappy with family relationships and friendships, more likely to feel left out, disenfranchised. Ultimately, the picture painted by the Unicef report was of British childhood as the ‘toxic’ equivalent of a nuclear-waste dump, oozing through the soil of this green and pleasant land..guardian.co.uk

If a bucket really was filled with innocence then Great Britain would now have a permanent hosepipe ban. The hosepipes are well and truly spraying away in Thailand, as respect rather than petulance floats on the surface of the Thai kids Songkran buckets.

The children in Wonderful Wi’s northeastern village are always playful but respectful at the same time, I have visited the village shop many times and the kids sat outside have never asked me for anything. The word ” want “ is in simple terms your interpretation of their big brown eyes.

They have an energy that is channeled into enjoying themselves with the simplest of tools and a fun loving nature that bodes well with their Buddhist beliefs. A bucketful of innocence thrown with a smile.

….At a time when fears over childhood obesity are growing, the shocking statistics reveal that from the age of five primary school pupils spend on average £106.20 on sweets and £106.70 on sugary drinks each year..mirror.co.uk

…Several of the 500 12 to 17-year-olds quizzed said they had had their stomachs pumped, half admitted getting into trouble with police because of drinking and 13 per cent had days off school with hangovers. Half of the 12 and 14-year-olds had already had a bad experience with alcohol...mirror.co.uk

Village Songkran FestivalI have never seen graffiti in Wilai’s village nor groups of teenagers stood menacingly on street corners. There’s never been sticks or stones thrown at our home and no words to ever hurt me, only a childs shy glances tossed in hope. The word  ” hope “ is in simple terms your interpretation of their big brown eyes.

I’ve never seen skateboards or mountain bikes and only the occasional mobile phone. I have seen plenty of youngsters playing football, badminton, tag, flying kites and two brothers or sisters riding the same bike. All of them are simple pleasures that reflect an innocence of life. No kiss chase or throwing stones at the old bugger and his wife.

All the photographs in this post were taken by Wilai during Songkran earlier this month. They show me that the kids in Wilai’s village and I’m sure every village in Thailand, put their heart and soul into enjoying life but to them it’s all about sharing their joy with others. I just hope they put lids on their buckets to keep some of that magic inside and sprinkle a little bit of innocence throughout their lives.

© 2009 – 2011, Martyn. All rights reserved.

9 thoughts on “A Bucketful of Innocence

  1. Martyn, I love the innocence of the little kids as much as anyone and they are full of life and everything to them is fun and games ,BUT sad to say as they get older (even in the small villages) and become addicted to the soaps and the music that is invading Thailand, and the video games at the gaming stores , disguised as print and copy shops (if we only knew what goes on in some of them and on the computors they are renting for as little as 15 baht per hour ) they soon loss all their sweetness and smiles and innocence , I have been in our village now for almost five years and some of the kids we first knew are just not the same anymore , I guess this is all a part of growing up , I just wish we could keep them little ,smiling, and silly and cute forever Malcolm

    malcolm’s last blog post..MANGOS , MANGOS EVERY WHERE , FOR A SHORT TIME , SADLY

  2. Hi Martyn, pretty awful reading, like you say, can’t be all bad can they? Are these reports / press too harsh on us?

    I don’t know. Parenting and family play a major part. I suppose UK families are a lot more ‘independent’ than Thai ones (Thai kids are often taught that uncles and aunties are their parents as well).

    I have to say, it’s pretty obvious to me that Thai kids do seem to have much more of a childhood, and the UK government has a lot to answer for (do they test Thai kids when they are 5 years old? I don’t think so).

  3. Martyn you sum it up perfectly. Yet when I was young (groan) village life in the UK was not dissimilar, we made our own fun with what came to hand.
    We didn’t vandalise and the most mischief we got up to was knocking on someones door and running away. Reserved for mischievous night of course so it only happened once a year!

    Mike’s last blog post..Thai Lottery Predictions-The Gecko Speaks.

  4. Chalk and cheese Martyn.

    Kids can be great as we see and experience abroad. It is such a shame that the lovely children of today depends in the main from where they come from.

    Children copy and respond to their environments that’s the trouble.

    Martin In Bulgaria’s last blog post..A New Idea For Catching Bulgarian Rats

  5. Malcolm – I have got a big feeling you are right about the kids losing their innocence as they get older but I suppose in life you have to. I also tend to think your reasoning for this happening is about right as well.Thanks for a well constructed comment.

    Ben – Yes perhaps testing 5 year old kids is probably not a good way to ease them into schooling.With the constant pressure for exam results throughout their school life it can possibly make the less educated ones more troublesome by the time they hit their teens.

    Mike – In those days knocking on a door and running off took a bit of guts as well, I remember those times myself. We used to go apple noggin as the ultimate dare and I can still recall the fear of maybe getting caught.

    Martin – I do think myself that foreign children do in general behave much better than their British counterparts. I do also wonder if it is down to the UK in general losing a lot of it’s religious beliefs and practices.

  6. Horrible comparison right enough!
    That is indeed the way our culture has taken us. We played innocently, for the most part, as young kids, but human nature responds to what is around it, and we are a much less sociable society today. Political correctness and false liberalism play a major part, as does ‘Eastenders!’

    Looks like new year was fun!

    Adullamite’s last blog post..Exercise

  7. I do wish that kids can stay kids forever coz like what Malcolm said I also think that they tend to lose innocenc

    Jade’s last blog post..Happy Koninginnedag!

  8. as they grow up. Oh well wishful thinking!

    Jade’s last blog post..The story behind Me and my Colorful Life

  9. Jade thanks for your comments and I’m not sure what went wrong but I can see that one comment follows the other. Thank you .

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