The Whitening of Asia

The Whitening of Asia

“I’m not Racist – It’s Just a Cultural Thing” …

Watch this video reel first that I have put together with English Subtitles –

Does Media Influence Culture, or is Media just a Reflection of Culture?

Bears Changing Colour over 10.4 Million WeeksI have run cultural workshops across Asia for over 15 years now. It never ceases to fascinate to see the different reactions that these kinds of commercials receive from different cultured audiences.

Many expats in Thailand don’t really watch Thai TV. When they do, while the visuals are often shocking, when you get the innuendo and the subtleties that only the language can provide, it is even more shocking … or maybe not.

I have put this reel together of four commercials to give the English speaking world a taste of what’s ‘par for the course’ when it comes to racial PC in Thailand.

I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions. If you would like to contact me, you can drop me an email via my website –

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Stuart Jay Raj is a polyglot who specializes in the languages and dialects spoken in South East Asia and China. His talents have allowed him to earn a professional living as a simultaneous interpreter in Thai, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Indonesian, among others, providing language and cultural training for multinational companies in the region and hosting his own TV programme on Thailand's Channel 5. He holds a degree in Cognitive and Applied Linguistics from Griffith University and has become an expert in the field of language acquisition with a strong track record of success. Stuart's background knowledge of Sanskrit, Khmer, Lao and various Chinese dialects and minority languages enables him to present a fascinating and unique perspective on the Thai language which makes everything fall logically into place.
  • Lucas

    It’s very interesting to see that pretty much nobody pronounced a single word about this issue

  • Hillary Newton

    It’s interesting because it’s everywhere. Colorism is world wide just done in different ways. It’s dispiriting though… Kinda weird to me. Always has been. For instance, how can I dislike someone based on skin color, it’s like not liking someone bases on eye color. Genetically your working with MC1R or TYRP1… so people don’t like someones genes? Weird…

  • justme

    What hasn’t been mentioned here is that the value given to pale skin in Asia has different origins than in the U.S., for example.

    It is a matter of higher class being associated with pale skin and lower class with dark because the peasants worked the fields under a harsh sun, getting their skin tanned and hardened,while the upper class lived sheltered lives and keeping their skin light and delicate.

    Just as in Europe, where women used parasols to keep their skin light and delicate, until Coco Chanel created a revolution by putting women in bathing suits and making sunbathing and tans “sexy”, because associated with people who had the luxury of free time and money to luxuriate on a beach rather than toil in an office or factory.

    Asia needs its own Coco Chanel….