Farang

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Farang (Thai: ฝรั่ง [faràŋ]) is the generic Thai word for a Westerner. A general term for foreigners is "khon tahng prateht (Thai: คนต่างประเทศ)" ('people from other countries'). There is no negative implication in the word itself. However when it is used along with other words, it can bring a negative meaning depending on the context. For instance, "farang keenok (Thai: ฝรั่งขี้นก)" could mean a Westerner who is not trustworthy or reliable. The expression farang ta nam khao (About this sound listen ; Thai: ฝรั่งตาน้ำข้าว literally means "farang with a rice-milk-colored iris"). It is common in Thai to just say "farang" to point out the presence of one, without making a whole sentence. People of African descent from the Western hemisphere have been occasionally referred to as farang dam Thai: ฝรั่งดำ (black farang).[1] Although, Thai people who have not been in Westerner countries nor exposed to their cultures may still refer to all African descents as Negro (Thai: นิโกร) without negative meanings.

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Farang and food

Farang is also the Thai word for the guava fruit, which of course can lead to "farang eating farang" (Thai: ฝรั่งกินฝรั่ง) jokes from Thai people when foreigners are seen eating a guava in Thailand. This is because the guava was brought to then Siam by Portuguese traders over 400 years ago. The tree was thus called the farang fruit. Farang kee nok (Thai: ฝรั่งขี้นก) is a particular variety of guava, feijoa. Unruly foreigners may also be called Farang khi nok. This is usually taken to mean "bird-shit farang", as khi means waste and nok means (wild) bird; but, while khi nok may mean guano, it is also a species of fish, Diagramma pictum, a species of grunts Haemulidae.[2]

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