Pop culture is not normally something associated with a moment for democracy. However in late 2014 there was a a phenomenon in Thailand where students, protesters, and other political activists made use of a hand gesture from a Holly Wood film called “The Hunger Games”. The Thai military government took offense to the gesture as it drew parallels from the dictatorial regime in the film and applied it to the Thai government.
The Three finger salute from the Hunger Games franchise being used as a form of real life political dissidence is nothing to scarf at as it brings the Thai struggle for democracy to the attention of those who may otherwise be unconcerned with the politics in South East Asia. The greater attention the more that may be done to further the goal.
The usage of the three finger salute is a generally safe as detainment for usage of the symbol has generally last only a few years. IT is a way of showing disgruntlement against the regime while not placing once life in much peril.
“Students were held for several hours for what was referred to as attitude adjustment and were then released with instructions to report back the next day. This is what happened to a group of students who held the three finger salute high and proud at a movie theater showing the Mokingjay film from the hunger games series.” (Mydans)
Political dissidence does not have to be grandiose. In fact it is the little things that have greater effect. It works even greater in the opposition favor when a regime takes offense and only spurs on the propagation of symbol or gesture such as the three finger salute from an American Holly Wood film franchise.
Mydans, Seth. “Thai Protesters Are Detained After Using ‘Hunger Games’ Salute.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 20 Nov. 2014. Web. 01 May 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/21/world/asia/thailand-protesters-hunger-games-salute.html?_r=0>.