In Thai culture, kneeling in gratitude is the highest form of respect. Such a touching gesture was shown by a Thai beauty queen who knelt at her mother’s feet next to a row of garbage bins.
The down-to-earth Khanittha ‘Mint’ Phasaeng who won the title Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015, prostrated and invoked the blessings of her 47-year-old mother Orathai Pormaun, a garbage collector, amidst garbage bins.
It was her way of thanking her for everything she had done for her. Their photo which was shared on social media won the hearts of everyone who saw it.
The incredible picture shows the 17-year-old Mint decked out in her pageant accouterments which included a sparkling tiara and silk sash, along with impressively high golden heels. She returned to her home in Amin, Thailand and got on her knees by the garbage which her mother makes a living from collecting and recycling. Mint said that she was never ashamed of working with her mom who raised her alone.
“What I am today is because of my mother. There is no reason why I should feel inferior because my mother and I earn our livelihood by doing honest work.”
Reportedly, Mint’s parents had separated when she was young and her mother had remarried. She lived in a 4-by-5-meter shack with five other family members where her mother also stored garbage for separation before sale.
Because of the crowded conditions at her home, Mint had to move and live with an aunt. Due to poverty, she was then adopted by a salon owner named ‘Know’ who sent her to school until she completed primary school.
The teenager helps her family by assisting her mother sort recyclables from the trash. She also takes on menial jobs and sells used clothes to help cover household expenses and her brother’s education.
Because she is tall and good-looking, some friends suggested that she should enter the beauty contest Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015 launched by Exclusive Star, the Tabloid magazine, which aims to promote gender equality and same-sex marriage.
Encouraged by her friends, Mint decided to take part in the competition. Thanks to the win, Mint has lined up work as a model for advertisements and acting which she hopes will improve the situation at home.