Luk Thung Singer ‘Lumyai’ Invades, Divides Laos

BANGKOK — Lumyai is back and this time her golden hot pants and crop top have caused an international furor.

Teen country singer Lumyai Hai Thongkam, whose sexually provocative dancing this year became an obsession of junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha himself, has drawn fresh critiques, this time from Laotians for a video shot in their country.

Though her video “Plaa Kor Yai Viagra” (Snakehead Fish Viagra), was filmed back in May in Vang Vieng, Laos, it wasn’t until now that a debate erupted among Lao netizens about her costume and dance moves.

The video was posted Wednesday to a Lao-language community online, where it drew a slew of displeased comments, many of which said bikinis were inappropriate in Laos, a landlocked nation more socially conservative than Thailand.

In Thailand, where displays of female sexuality are encouraged yet shamed, a few joined in on the criticism.

“I heard that in Laos they’re criticizing this. Did you even study their culture before going to film this? You’re damaging their area’s reputation. Why didn’t you just film in Thailand?” YouTube user Rattcha Gio wrote.

Still, others saw no problem.

“It’s so hard to be born a Thai, people are always criticizing you for this and that. Have you actually ever been to Vang Vieng yourself? Farangs are in bikinis everywhere. Do you commentators wear traditional Thai costumes to the beach?” Pitch Kunlanonphisit wrote.

In the video, Lumyai sings and dances with country artist Charoenpan Phrakanyai before Vang Vieng’s mountain backdrop. Other Laos netizens said Lumyai was helping by promoting tourism in the small town located north of Vientiane.

Lumyai, whose real name Supansa Wetkama, first rose to fame in June when Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha repeatedly criticized her her sexy dancing and attire, even dispatching police to her concerts to cover her up.

Since then, she’s released a music video featuring a Prayuth look-alike and her own brand of soap, which somehow also turned controversial.

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