- 03 Nov, 2010
From a reader, who snapped this on the expressway into downtown Bangkok:
I’ve seen this for a long time not only in Bangkok,but also the main hospital in each provinces.I think it’s a nationwide campaign.
Actually – it does not necessarily translate as “breast is best”.
“Nom wa di” can also be translated simply as “milk is best”.
Thai is a very succinct language – perhaps too succinct on this matter.
Chris, thanks for the tip but I think they are promoting a particular type of milk. In Australia, “Breast is Best” is a common slogan for this important public health issue. AW
What type of milk are they “promoting” Andrew ?
Chris, are we really having this discussion? It may come as a shock, but milk does not just come from cows. I don’t think this is a campaign in support of Thai dairy farmers. This article may provide some clues. AW
To spell it out more directly, that boy’s mother is a public proponent of breastfeeding (see http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2006/04/27/special/special_30002628.php ) and active in a breastfeeding promotional campaign (http://www.pattayamail.com/748/news.shtml#hd1)
Chris Beale, linguistically, some transaltion cannot be translated directly or word by word. the word “р╕Щр╕б” originally means “milk” the word “р╣Бр╕бр╣И” means “mother”. So “Breast is best” is the best transaltion.
And, most importantly, please do not make it political.
This is indeed part of a national campaign that has been running for a number of years. It was given momentum by the findings from the NSO in their 2005-2006 national MICS survey that Thailand has very low rates of exclusive breastfeeding (5.4% for age 0-5 months). Apparently this is among the lowest rates in the region.
Depending on which agency’s views one listens to, there is a considerable difference regarding the implications of these findings for the health and development of children in Thailand. However, there is strong evidence that the multinational producers of milk formula have been highly active – and less than scrupulous in their methods – in promotion of their products in Thailand. For this reason, with encouragement from global bodies, the Department of Health launched their breastfeeding promotion campaign, and were able to take advantage of a certain royal event.
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