What do Thais think happens to a person when they die?

Non-religious Thais believe the same as non-religious people anywhere else. When you’re dead, you’re dead. That’s it. The only life you will have after is in the memories of those who think of you. Our first respondent believes that there is nothing after death, but that while alive you should do good. And good is what the majority believes is good.

Our next respondent is more religious. She believes that a person will have a life after this one, but that how that life goes depends on whether or not you were a good person in this life. If a person does bad things, they will face bad consequences. If you collect good deeds, but doing charity and being good to others then we won’t have to face bad things in the next life. Your death will be easy and not painless and you will be brought to heaven to live with God.

The final respondent says going to heaven or hell isn’t important to her and she is most focused on doing the best she can in every moment of this life. If she does good and doesn’t bother or hurt someone or make them feel sad, then her death will be peaceful. Where you wind up after death depends on karma and good deeds in this life.

Subtitle script:

Have you ever thought about your own death?

I used to think about committing suicide.
I’m not so sure but I think it was after a midterm final exam.
The next morning I woke up and found out that…
…there was something wrong with my right ear.
There was a constant ringing noise in my head.
My life changed forever because of that ringing noise in my right ear.
At first I couldn’t focus on anything.
I couldn’t study at all.
And there was no way to cure it.
I went to a hospital to check with a doctor and we did a bunch of test with my ear.
He tried to cure me with steroids, medicine etc.
It was so stressful, living with this noise.
It’s a fear that other people will never understand.
It just kept going on like this, and I felt like it might be better if I died.
But I also have a duty and a burden to accomplish things in life.
I will live the rest of my life to the fullest.

I’ve never had any chronic disease before you know.
But one day, I went to see a doctor for a health check.
And he told me that I have a chronic disease.
I was so shocked, so frightened.
I felt like, maybe this is the end of my life.
I I felt so down.
I questioned myself, why this has to happen to me.
So sudden..
I’m just trying to work hard and live my life and suddenly…
…why this disease?..
Then I started losing weight, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat.
After a while I started to think…
When I woke up in the morning and I was still alive.
I was just grateful for that, being alive another day.
day by day.
I live in the present, I’m just happy with it.
I just think of it as karma.
My fate….
…is just like this.
I just accept it.
And don’t think of it too much, then I’ll be happy.

Everyone must die one day.
I think about what I can do today to be prepared.
Planning for my life, my son’s life as well.
How he will take care of himself after I’m gone.
Education is one thing I can give it to him.
I don’t have a lot of money, land, etc. for him so, he can’t just not go to school,…
…live, and waste money for the rest of his life.
According to that, While I’m still alive, I can afford his education cost.
If I died, he can use knowledge to make money and build his own family.
It’s his foundation.

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