Bangkok - Representatives from 15 nations in Asia are gathering in Bangkok, Thailand this week to discuss the fact that all of them look alike to most people from the West. Although the problem is not one that affects each nation locally on a daily basis, it is troublesome for their citizens traveling abroad and it hinders each nations' efforts to distinguish themselves as unique entities and peoples with vastly different histories and cultures.
Even long-time allies of the West such as South Korea and Japan admit there is a problem. They are attending the conference not only with the hope of ending the perception of sameness, but of laying the foundation for the building up of uniqueness.
South Korea's representative, Weiso Gangnam, expressed his nation's frustration over the situation. "We can tell each other apart just fine. I don't understand why the rest of the world has such a problem. Look, right there, that guy's Chinese, the woman he's talking to is Vietnamese. It isn't that hard. It can feel like the West just doesn't care. All they want is reliable cars and big televisions."
There was some dissension amongst the conference attendees. Taiwan's representative Jessica Fulbright commented that she can't fault the people in the West. Said Fulbright, "I can't tell one white person from another. They all look the same to me."