When you look at the things people in other countries search for on Wikipedia (Whitney Houston, Kim Kardashian, Mike the Knight), you may think what Thais search for on Wikipedia would be just as trivial. In fact, that’s not true at all. According to a list just put out by a Swedish engineer, Johan Gunnarsson, Thais searched for far more serious subjects on the online encyclopedia in 2012 than did people in many other nations.
Thais who searched in Thai on Wikipedia in 2012 seemed more concerned with ASEAN, The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, than anything else as that topic received almost 1.2 million hits on Wikipedia in Thai during 2012. Not surprising really though as Thailand is expected to be fully integrated within ASEAN by 2015 much like most countries now are within the EU.
The second most searched term by Thais on Wikipedia in 2012, however, was still as serious — as the King’s sufficiency economy came in at second place. Not surprising either, as Thais are very proud of the King’s idea and actions towards Thailand being completely self-sufficient. And Thailand, of course, came in as the third most searched for term.
The rest of the list, however, was almost all just as serious — just look at the complete top 10 list of search terms below to see just how much Thais use Wikipedia as a ‘real encyclopedia’ and not one to find out information about the latest pop craze:
1. Asean สมาคมประชาชาติแห่งเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้ (1,199,945)
2. Sufficiency Economy เศรษฐกิจพอเพียง (1,102,110)
3. Thailand ประเทศไทย (1,073,484)
4. Laos ประเทศลาว (830,186)
5. Singapore ประเทศสิงคโปร์ (712,687)
6. Myanmar ประเทศพม่า (697,029)
7. His Majesty the King พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดช (633,166)
8. Nadech Kugimiya ณเดชน์ คูกิมิยะ (631,802)
9. Thai postal codes รายชื่อรหัสไปรษณีย์ไทยเรียงตามจังหวัด (631,450)
10. Brunei ประเทศบรูไน (613,644)
Nadech Kugimiya, by the way, was the only non-serious search term that fell in the Thai top 10, and he’s one of Thailand’s most famous actors and models.
Interestingly too, the Wikipedia searches by Thais show how little interest many Thais have of anything outside Thailand or South East Asia itself with no searches showing up in the top 10 for non-Thai or non-South East Asia terms.