New Thai culture minister pushes phallus amulets

Other News Materials 1 October 2008 08:45 (UTC +04:00)

Thailand's newly appointed Culture Minister Worawat Ua-apinyakul has announced plans to promote the sale of black magic amulets, including phallus and buffalo-shaped ones, as souvenirs for tourists, media reports said Wednesday.

"We can turn local amulets with phallus symbols and buffalo statuettes into key chains and sell them to tourists," said Worawat, unveiling his bold plans for the culture ministry under his leadership. Worawat was named Minister of Culture last week, dpa reported.

Although the dominant religion in Thailand is Buddhism, there is a strong undercurrent of Brahmanism and black magic in local customs, such as the use of amulets that are believed to protect the wearer from harm or endow them with special powers.

Two of the most popular such amulets are the phallus-shaped Palad Khik - a prophylactic against danger, and the buffalo-shaped Kwai Tanoo - a strength enhancer.

"They are cultural products," insisted Worawat, as reported by the Daily XPress newspaper.