Singer in Thai girl band apologizes for swastika shirt

FILE - In this June 2, 2017, file photo, Thai pop band BNK 48 performs for the first time in a large commercial facility in Bangkok, Thailand. The popular Thai music act BNK 48 has set off a scandal after one of its members wore a shirt showing the swastika flag of Nazi Germany during a performance. (The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images)

A popular Thai music act has apologized after a member wore a shirt showing the swastika flag of Nazi Germany during a performance

BANGKOK — A popular Thai music act has apologized after one of its members wore a shirt showing the swastika flag of Nazi Germany during a performance.

The incident involving the girl group BNK48 occurred just two days ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marked Sunday with somber ceremonies in other parts of the world to remember the 6 million Jews and others killed in Adolf Hitler's death camps.

Israel's embassy in Thailand posted 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.

The performer, 19-year-old Pichayapa 'Namsai' Natha, blamed her own ignorance for her actions as she delivered a tearful apology and asked for forgiveness. In the video apology made on the stage where the group usually performs, she dropped to her knees as she finished her brief statement and was comforted by fellow band members. Her apology was also posted on her Instagram account.

Management of the group, noted more for its marketing prowess than its musical abilities, also apologized that they had "inadvertently caused dismay and distress to people affected" by the historical crime against humanity.

Incidents involving insensitive use of Nazi 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 scandals 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 Nazi regalia and rituals, including the 'Heil, Hitler' salute, in skits, artworks and ceremonies.

Thais are not alone among the peoples of Asia with little knowledge or sensitivity about the Holocaust. In what may be a mark of disinterest in history among the younger generation, several other youth-oriented music groups have been involved in similar scandals.

Late last year, management for the South Korean hit K-pop boy band BTS apologized for one of its members wearing a T-shirt depicting the explosion of an atomic bomb and another a hat with a Nazi emblem in a magazine photo book. Band members previously flew flags with what appeared to be the Nazi swastika during a concert.

In 2016, the producer for a Japanese all-girl "idol" group like BNK48 joined Sony Music in apologizing after the popular act performed in outfits resembling Nazi-era German military uniforms.

Keyakizaka46, a group of about 20 mostly teenage girls who sing and dance in synch, appeared at a concert in black knee-length dresses that look like military overcoats, and black capes and officer caps with a Nazi-like eagle emblem. Sony Music is the group's label.

Peaple also read these

Tillerson lauds China-US contacts in meeting with...

Mar 19, 2017

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. is looking forward to the first meeting between...

World stocks mixed on Trump fallout, watch G-7...

May 12, 2017

World shares mixed amid US political uncertainty and ahead of G-7 finance chiefs' meeting

Trade groups appeal to Beijing to postpone...

May 15, 2017

Global business groups asked China to postpone enforcing a cybersecurity law they say violates its...

Computer wins 2nd game against Chinese go champion

May 25, 2017

A computer that plays go has won a second game against China's top player in a match authorities...

China criticizes British freedom of navigation...

Jul 31, 2017

China has criticized plans by Britain to send its new aircraft carriers on freedom of navigation...

Sign up now!