Searching for Love: Junction between Thai Buddhism, Consumerism and Contemporary Thai Film

19 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2022 Last revised: 21 Sep 2022

See all articles by Pram Sounsamut

Pram Sounsamut

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: September 19, 2022


When we compare the word from the sutta with contemporary pop-song lyrics, we can see that the 'ideology of love' of Thai people, especially of the youth, is changing. The Buddha gives us the advice that 'love' is suffering, therefore 'love' ought to be ceased because '…the basic wish of any living being is to avoid suffering….' (Goleman, 2004:77) Thai youth understand that 'love is suffering', they have learned this from school, but they are not encouraged or eager to relinquish it. Love becomes a 'must' for their life; love is a goal of their life. For them, to love someone and to have someone to love is the most important element of their life.

It is the aim of this paper to give the reader a broad picture of the changing ideology of love of Thai people. I will explain this by using two popular tragic romances, in the form of films, as examples. Before continuing, there are some limitations to this paper that I must explain. First, this paper is written on the assumption that the majority of Thai people are Buddhist, Theravādin. To be a good Buddhist, they have to follow Buddhist teachings and practice Dharma. The most important of the teachings of Buddhism is the four noble truths, which is the core teaching of Buddhism. Additionally, when we talk about love, or the ideology of love in this paper, I only refer to romantic love, or love as an attachment to someone.

The paper will begin with the discussion about the significance of death and funeral rites. Then, it will give a general idea of how tragic romance is related to 'ideology'. After that, I will discuss some difference between ideology of love in relation to consumerism. Later on, I will give an example of the ideology of love in Thai tragic romance films between 1997 and 2007. I sum up this paper by posting a recent problem of Buddhist Teaching in Thailand and some interesting issues that seem to offer solutions to this problem.

Keywords: Buddha, Thai film

Suggested Citation

Sounsamut, Pram, Searching for Love: Junction between Thai Buddhism, Consumerism and Contemporary Thai Film (September 19, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Pram Sounsamut (Contact Author)

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