Virgins of the American Food

Here's the Burger King's advertisement site.

There are already plenty of criticisms and people blogging about this, such as:

Minnesota Hmong protesting against Burger King's Whopper Virgins campaign, on Twin Cities Daily Planet

Burger King Offends Global Culture on the Telegraph by Emily Haile

Burger King is Despicable: A Rant by Pico and the Man

Like the above two bloggers I guess the critics would find refuge in the Inuit's man's remarks that he prefers seal meat over hamburgers... but since the BK shows it as a part of their documentary-ish ad, I wonder if this is carefully crafted by the BK ad crew.

While I haven't been to either Baan Mon Kghor or Baan Khun Chang Kian myself, I also wonder if these villages are really that remote, in a similar vein with what Seng Vang is commenting:
This is obviously a false, as the specific people in the ads (who are our relatives) HAVE seen burgers before, lots of it. Almost every Hmong Thai villages in Thailand have a TV. Thailand has how many BK franchises? How many commercials in Thai have these franchises run in the past several decades? Even the most remote Hmong villages in Thailand, like the ones in your ad, drive Toyota Tundras, talk to their relatives in St. Paul on their cell phones, and watch CNN and BBC on their satellite TVs. Never seen a burger? Pure fiction. Hmong villagers in Thailand aren’t as backward or primitive as you want Americans or the world to think.
From what I have seen in the mountains of Thailand, some Hmong villages are indeed remote with no electricity, but some Hmong villages are electrified, in that case villagers do own satellite dishes.

I wonder why the BK ad crew chose the Hmong people of all "remote" and "tribal" people they could choose from, even though there are significant number of Hmong people who have immigrated to the U.S. after the Vietnam War, who would voice their opinions. If they wanted to pick up some of the most "remote" and "tribal" people from Thailand, they could have gone for the Mlabri people, for instance.

My guess is that the BK ad crew picked the Hmong villages because they are actually some of the most accessible of all the tribal villages. In the documentary-ish video, the Hmong people there are actually speaking Thai, and I won't be surprised if they have come down to the city of Chiang Mai and came across BK and McDonald's outlets in the night bazaar area where they'd sell their beautifully embroidered goods and silver jewelry to tourists.


    well at least it has people talking, I suppose which was the point. Of course it made me cringe slightly but to try and be positive for once what I did like is that the docu crew tried the local food too. What I really loved to see was how open minded all of the different people were to eating something new instead of turning their noses up at it. It is a true sign of garciousness to accept food from other people even if you are unsure, it is a lesson that I think many westerners need to learn again


    i meant "graciousness"


    and also I would say that a lot of the people involved would be too polite to say if they didn't like it either, because it is considered rude in most cultures to say that you don't like the food. Unless of course you are from HK or Singapore


    hmn people from HK and Singapore and not the mainland Chinese?
    My Thai friends also do not mind voicing their criticism towards food they don't like... it appears to me that the Thais are one of the pickiest people when it comes to food! maybe I should be grateful that they are friendly enough not to be very superficial and overly polite about things, or something (but no I do not appreciate the Thai people saying "you put on weight didn't you?" even though I should be thankful they care enough about me to notice weight gain)


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