PICNICLY VIDEO HOSTS ‘LUKE’ AND ‘TAE’ PLEDGE TO INSPIRE THEIR AUDIENCE TO MAKE A BETTER WORLD
A SPEECH by young Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has inspired YouTubers from Thailand who have promised to do good deeds for Thai society even when their impact may not be huge.
Co-founders of the Picnicly channel said they have realised how fortunate they are to participate in the YouTube Creators for Change Summit and vowed to use their voice to return good deeds to Thai society.
Cassady Dorion, better known as “Luke”, and Thapanont “Tae” Phithakrattanayothin – the co-founders and hosts of Picnicly channel on YouTube – were chosen to represent Thai YouTubers at the summit held in London last week for the second consecutive year.
One of the guest speakers at this year’s summit was Malala, a Pakistani teenaged education activist who had been shot by the Taleban.
Her speech about how people could use their voices to change the world impressed over a hundred YouTube video creators, including the two Thai representatives, who gave her a big round of applause in the Oval Space, an arts and event venue in London.
Malala, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, recounted from the stage her travels around the world to visit refugee camps. She knew that things would not change in one day, a year or even in five years, she said.
“But I do know that at least I can [make an] impact if I can have just one girl go to school ... and that means a lot,” she said.
“So whenever you make a video or want to highlight an issue, just remember that it has an impact. So use your voice or video to change the world,” Malala advised.
The speech inspired Thapanont, who said he and Luke had discussed their intent to create videos that would help people improve their lives, even if that video would get less than 10,000 views.
“Like Malala said, even just one voice can change people’s lives. I will do that,” he said.
Thapanont said that he thinks that for business purposes, Thai YouTubers too often care only about the number of views in their channel and so they focus on producing viral content to get more views.
The Picnicly co-founder said he also plans to create a video content project focusing on campaigning against labour abuse and promote society’s acceptance of gays.
His idea is to pursue low-budget travel around the world to visit and do reviews of food shops and restaurants where people cook food with “love”.
He said he will visit and create video content featuring shops that promote labour rights and use ingredients that do not exploit nature.
Inspired by the food served by London’s Mazi Mas restaurant at the summit, Thapanont wants to review the award-wining social enterprise that provides training and work experience to help women build careers in food industry.
“I’m impressed with the shop’s concept,” said the 35-year-old YouTuber. “They showcase the cultural heritage of migrant and refugee women, as well as use eco-friendly disposable material.”
Cassady and Thapanont are also planning to visit the countries that promote LGBT rights to show LGBT people – who are their prime audiences – how gay people can live happily. They hope it would help people see the possibilities of living openly and encourage gays, lesbians, bisexual and trans people to come out of the closet.
Picnicly started its YouTube channel in 2015 after realising that the video-sharing site is more accessible to teenagers than is television.
Its website claims that Picnicly is one of the fastest growing Thai language social news, entertainment and educational sites on the web, providing the most shareable original reporting about new experiences, personal stories, fashion, entertainment, food and health across the social web.
The channel was initially formed by five foreigners who were friends and could speak Thai as main hosts, (along with Thapanont, who is Thai). Later, Luke and Thapanont took over running the channel, which now boasts 463,000 followers.
Although its current content is focused on travel and food, the video duo inject content meant to build awareness about social issues. In 2016, Picnicly was chosen to represent Thailand on YouTube’s “Proud to be” campaign celebrating the LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, questioning, and asexual) community all across the globe.
Seven months ago, Picnicly added English subtitles to their videos after being inspired from the summit. They wanted global communities to get to know more about Thailand.
Thailand is a small country with a population of around 60 million, said Luke. “If we see Thailand as the extent of our market, our message cannot reach audiences world-wide. With the English subtitles, we can deliver our message and reach out to more viewers.”
Luke first visited Thailand 13 years ago as a traveller, but fell in love with the Kingdom and chose to live here.
He graduated with a bachelors degree in the Thai language at Ramkhamhaeng University.
“I’m glad that I can share ‘Thainess’ with people globally,” said the 40-year-old American host in fluent Thai. “I want to expose Thai content for foreign viewers too.”
Luke was very proud to be able to share Thailand’s culture when he called on his hometown in the US.
A video of him teaching his mom and her friends in the States how to cook a Thai Omelette garnered almost a million views in just a few days.
As he participated in the summit for the second year, his priority was to encourage the young Thais who are his channel audience to change their attitudes by looking for solutions and not obstacles.
“We should look for opportunity. We can do anything if we work hard. Nothing is too late,” he said.
In particular, he would like young Thai’s to not be afraid of speaking foreign languages, or to fear refugees, or LGBT people. Then the world would be a better place, he said.
For Thapanont, this year’s participation in the London programme helped him see the power of creators, And he learnt three new things: “First, be yourself and do not lie. Second, be brave to speak out. And last, dare to act and never give up.”