Thai Girl Group Forced to Apologise to Israeli Ambassador over Swastika Shirt
One of Thailand's most popular girl groups has been forced to apologise after one of its singers wore a shirt emblazoned with a swastika during a televised performance.
The photos of BNK48 singer Pichayapa "Namsai" Natha, 19, went viral after surfacing on social media at the weekend, prompting Israel's embassy in Thailand to post a statement on Twitter expressing, "shock and dismay over the Nazi outfit worn by the singer".
"Presenting Nazi symbols by the band's singer, hurt the feelings of millions around the world, whose relatives were murdered by the Nazis," it said.
In a statement posted online, Natha apologised for the gaffe, conceding: "It's all my mistake."
Management of the group, noted more for its marketing prowess than its musical abilities, also apologised that they had, "inadvertently caused dismay and distress to people affected by the historical crime against humanity".
The singer has since met with the Israeli ambassador to apologise in person, and has agreed to participate in an, "educational workshop on the Holocaust in order to emphasise their commitment to this important subject", the embassy said.
Incidents involving insensitive use of NS symbols occur from time to time in Thailand, where there is little awareness of the Holocaust and an inclination to use them as design elements or comic props.
Past jewish outcries have involved bars, restaurants, motels and clothing using swastikas and images of Hitler for decorative purposes.
But on several occasions, students at schools and colleges have mimicked NS regalia and rituals, including the famous "Heil Hitler" salute, in skits, artworks and ceremonies.
Thais are not alone among the peoples of Asia with little care or sensitivity for the so-called Holocaust.
Late last year, management for South Korean hit K-pop boy band BTS had to apologise for one of its members wearing a T-shirt depicting the explosion of an atomic bomb and another a hat with a NS emblem, in a magazine photo book.
Band members previously flew flags with what appeared to be the swastika during a concert.
In 2016, the producer for Japanese all-girl "idol" group Keyakizaka46 joined Sony Music in apologising after the popular act performed in outfits resembling NS-era German military uniforms.