The Supernatural Dolls of Thailand
Just when you thought the world couldn’t get any more weird, along come the supernatural dolls of Thailand. These often child size dolls are selling as fast as cold beer at a Flame’s game.
These childlike dolls have been allowed their own seats on airplanes and their own portions of food in restaurants. They are something of a cultural phenomenon in Thailand. Not linked with any particular religion, the dolls are popular with superstitious members of the Thai population, who believe the dolls possess the spirit of a child, and, as such, are considered lucky.
The dolls have been around for several years now, but have gained popularity in recent months, as businesses cash in on their popularity by offering services for the dolls. It is reported that the dolls were thought up three years ago by 'Mama Ning', a woman from west Bangkok, who said she calls on a Hindu goddess to create a new soul for each Look Thep.
She also states that her first ever Look Thep, Petch, helped her tame the behaviour of her teenage son after she began treating Petch as her own child and taking him with her to temple.
But many owners of the 'child gods' or 'child angels', known locally as Look Thep, are not content with merely keeping one of the dolls. Instead they believe that the better the dolls are treated, the luckier the owner becomes. This belief has led to owners splurging on designer clothes, meals and even plane tickets for the angels; in short, treating them as their own child.
Thai Smile Airways recently stated that child tickets could be bought for the dolls, to save them travelling as hand luggage or carry-on, on the understanding that they wore a seatbelt for take-off and landing, and didn't sit in an exit seat.
Meanwhile restaurant Neta Grill in Bangkok announced it would provide child-priced meals for Look Thep, provided all of the food was consumed, and therefore not wasted.
Ownership isn't cheap with dolls reportedly costing between $50 and $450 Canadian, before the expense of clothing, feeding and flying with them. But it's a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down.
I now have acquired the Canadian distribution rights to the supernatural dolls and am taking orders. They will be delivered upon our return to Canada in two weeks. And no, they will not be sitting next to me, they have their own charter plane!