The Royal Thai police have imposed a curfew on kids and teens on Valentine’s Day in Thailand. Children and teens will be expected to be at home by 10pm, and not wandering around with boyfriends, girlfriends or unaccompanied. Reasonable enough, when you think about it. After all, 10pm is late enough to be outside for anyone under the age of 18 on any special day, but particularly on Valentine’s Day as it’s a school night.
The punishment for being caught outside after the 10pm curfew on Valentine’s Day anywhere in Thailand will be a quick trip to the police station, and a call to the kid’s parents to come and pick them up. Not something any Thai kid or teen would relish happening, particularly if their parents are strict.
The curfew imposed by Thai police is, as they say, in an effort to stop Thai youth acting inappropriately, taking drugs, or engaging in other forms of vice. A little odd though that they wouldn’t be considering this important at any other time of year.
The Valentine’s Day teen curfew is however a direct reaction to a problem in Thailand that does happen on Valentine’s Day. Young girls fall pray to the media hype about it being a “romantic time” and so are persuaded to have sex by a boyfriend blathering on about how “romantic” it would be to do it on Valentine’s Day. As a result, authorities notices an increase in pregnant teens a couple of months after Valentine’s, and every year make an effort to stop that from happening.
Unfortunately though, so many young Thais are moving away from traditional Thai values and adopting more of a western way of behaving. They see young teens on western TV shows and movies having sex, and so think it’s “appropriate” for them. Needless to say, the Thai teen pregnancy problem has skyrocketed in recent years, and is something Thai authorities are desperately trying to stop.
As for Thai parents, police are asking them to please make sure their kids are home by 10pm. Of course, if accompanied by parents, although Thai police don’t actually come out and say this, it’s probably fine to be out later and, for western teens, of course, no Thai police officer is going to stop them.