Topics: Thailand, Religion, Southeast Asia Pages: 10 (3323 words) Published: February 3, 2014
Pang Xuewei Darius
SE4101: Essay 4 Research Proposal

Dear Dr Goh, thanks for understanding and advising me. I have added the portions in highlighted yellow for essay 4, and I guess I may have overlooked some points that Dr Goh suggested, or may have misunderstood some points that Dr Goh was looking for. The portions in red are my questions and comments, which I really sincerely hope Dr Goh can help me rectify or provide the best advise.

I will send you a draft of the final proposal by 20 November 2012, and hope that Dr Goh can advise and prepare me for submitting the final proposal at its finest quality. Thanks so much and enjoy your holidays.

Main Research Statement

The Existence and i already deleted this in last essay!! Evolution of Magical Thai Erotic Amulets in the Understanding of Erotic Religiousity and Sacred Power in Thailand. title is still too long and convoluted – break it up if necessary. So how can I improve on this? This is my research statement and not my title of the HT, is this too long for a research statement? Please advise Dr Goh.

I will add the HT title in the final proposal – sorry for overlooking it


Bangkok is like an onion. A loud, congested onion.?? is this a quote? I think I will remove this, I didn’t seem to be able to put across what I want to describe through this.

I thought I’ve seen it all in the bustling city of Bangkok, then I turn a corner and found myself in another world. In The Tha Prachan amulet market north of the Grand Palace, vendors line the streets around the Wat, selling amulets and Buddhist paraphernalia. Package tourists usually don't get a chance to see the market. Their chartered bus drops them in front of the palace. They see the palace, buy mural painting replicas and ‘I love Bangkok’ memorabilia from street peddlers, then it is back on the bus and onto the next stop on the tourists' trail.

But there was a whole new world that awaited me as I ventured off the main street and into the alleys along the Chao Phraya River. It was a dark and congested space, but one of the most interesting places I have found in a very interesting city. Amidst the cornucopia of antiquated and battered stalls, the suffocating odour of corroded metal and damp wood pervade the nostrils of those who dare venture this far - a stench nearly thick enough to see; just short of causing the curious visitors of the market to choke and sputter. Small stores and workshops sell Buddhist religious materials of all sorts from amulets to texts to statues and iconography. One can find an amulet for almost any need. Soldiers and policeman shop for amulets to protect them from bullets and the forces of evil.; the lovelorn look for an amulet to help mend their broken hearts, and those struggling in business shop for one to ensure their financial well-being.

As I ventured deeper, the muskiness of the place was forgotten. Grisly amulets made from fetuses preserved in corpse shin oil and sacred magical vests with images of women engaging in sexual intercourse with horses were hard to miss! I was lifted out of my bewilderment by an interesting transaction that was taking place right in front of me. Three men, none local, were speaking in strings of fluent Thai phrases peppered with broken grammar and thoughtful pauses. They were talking about sex. Yes, sex. Curious, I peered at the objects of desire that these men were heatedly discussing about, and to my astonishment, found amulets with blatant displays of genitalia and sexual intercourse, furthermore inscribed with Buddhist Yants (mantras)! My shock quickly gave way to confusion. I was perplexed, it was as if all the theories I learnt about religion and the taboo were crashing down on me and suddenly, there were too many questions waiting to be answered. the above can be in an ethnographic essay and maybe in your thesis but not in a proposal for now. it is too long and confuses the entry point – lay the...

Bibliography: Anderson, Benedict. The Fate of Rural Hell: Asceticism and Desire in Buddhist Thailand. Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2012.
Cornwel-Smith, Philip. "Amulet Collectors: Lucky Charms as a Lifestyle." In Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture, by Philip Cornwel-Smith, 142-145. Bangkok: River Books Co. Ltd, 2005.
Eliade, Mircea. Myth and Reality (Religious Traditions of the World). San Francisco: Harper and Row Publishers Inc, 1963.
Johnson, Irving C. Sacred Steps: The Nuuraa as a Magical Practitioner in the Kelantanese Thai Culture Region. Honours Thesis, Southeast Asian Studies, NUS, Singapore: NUS, 1995/96.
Kitiarsa, Patta. Religious Commodifications in Asia: Marketing Gods. Routledge, 2008.
Malinowski, B. The Sexual Life of Savages in North0Western Melanesia: An Ethnographic Account of Courtship, Marriage and family Life Among the Natives of the Trobriand Islands, British New Guinea. London: Routledge and Keagen Paul, 1932.
Spiro, M. "Religion: Problems of Definition and Explanation." In Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion, by Michael Banton. London: Tavistock Publisher, 1966.
Swearer, Donald K. Buddhist World of Southeast Asia. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2010.
Taylor, JL. Forest Monks and the Nation State: An Anthropological and Historical Study of Northeastern Thailand. Singapore: Institure of Southeast Asian Studies, 1993.
Tham, Stanley. Thailand Culture, Spiritual, Amulets, Magical Charms. 2000. (accessed 09 27, 2012).
Turner, Victor. Liminal to liminoid in play, flow, and ritual: An essay in comparative symbology. Rice University Studies, 1974.
van Baal, J. Symbols for Communication: An Introduction to the Anthropological Study of Religion. Assen, van Gorcum, 1971.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • The Purpose of Amulets in Ancient Egyptian History Essay
  • Essay on The Amulet by Ralph Waldo Emerson Explication

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free