Thai Protestors Sing Hamtaro Theme at Pro-Democracy Demonstration
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Reuters reported that hundreds of Thai protesters sang a parody version of the Hamtaro theme song at a pro-democracy demonstration on Sunday. The lyrics compared the government to hamsters guzzling taxpayer money.
"The most delicious food is taxpayers' money,” they are reported as singing, according to Reuters' translation. “Dissolve the parliament! Dissolve the parliament! Dissolve the parliament!”
The protesters also marched in circles around Bangkok's Democracy Monument to evoke the imagery of hamsters running in wheels, pointing to a belief that the government is also "spinning its wheels."
AFP interviewed a 19-year-old university student named Jessie, who said that the Hamtaro theme was chosen for the protest's theme because of its potential to go viral online in other countries. She called attention to the fact that the iconic line "The most delicious food is sunflower seeds" from the original theme song was changed to "The most delicious food is taxpayers' money."
"We are scared but for us, it is important to start speaking up about it," she told AFP. "We need change right now."
A 20-year-old protester who identified under the name Fah told Reuters, “The adults may think because we're doing this, they can't take us seriously. But this is the way for the new generation. We are doing this differently in hope that something will change.”
Last weekend's protest is one among a wave of recent youth-led demonstrations in Thailand. A week earlier, protesters sang anti-government rap songs at the monument. On Saturday, LGBT activists gathered to call for marriage equality and demand for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's resignation. In May 2014, the former army general staged a military coup and assumed control of the country as leader of the National Council for Peace and Order, and was appointed Prime Minister in August. In June 2019, he was elected Prime Minister by Thailand's parliament.
Tottoko Hamtarō is a manga and storybook series created by Ritsuko Kawai. It has inspired multiple anime adaptations, the first of which was a television anime which launched in 2000. ShoPro Entertainment, Shogakukan Production (USA) Inc., and Viz Media imported the first anime series into North America under the name Hamtaro.