These contemporary romantic tales are enormously popular as is evident in their multiple republications and repeated television and film adaptations.Embedded in these love tales are the cultural scripts on love, romance, and marriage; these scripts reflect the corresponding constructions in the Thai culture at large, as well as provide models for the newer generations of audiences.Thai women have greater power in their spouse selection than do Chinese-Thai women in Thailand.Elopements are also, however, well known, indicating the power of parental objection.Parental consent and the payment of a brideprice are generally needed before a wedding can take place.Marriages have traditionally been regarded as unions of families.The English-derived term “romantic” has been widely used in Thai to connote an intimate and private ambience for a couple, often without a sexual undertone, such as “romantic” restaurant, music, or sentiment.
If the bride’s family agrees, the brideprice and the wedding date are fixed.
It is noteworthy that in the Buddhist philosophy, both love and lust are worldly attachments, leading to suffering.
Lust, however, is deemed more harmful because it violates the Third Precept.
A certain Western ethos is abundant in these novels, many of which are adaptations from the classics by Jane Austen, and Charlotte and Emily Bronte, for example.
However, the ethos, particularly the Victorian values for women and the chivalrous demeanor for men, seems congruent with the Thai conceptualizations of gender and heterosexual relationships, and therefore is not seen by contemporary Thais as foreign.