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A luk khrueng (Thai: ลูกครึ่ง), literally "half-child", is a colloquial reference in the Thai language to a person who is of mixed Thai and other origin, according to The New York Times and Taipei Times. However, according to the Royal Institute Dictionary 1999, the official dictionary of Thai words, the term refers to a person of any mixed origins, not only one of mixed Thai and other origin. The dictionary defines the term as "a person whose parents are of different races, also called khrueng chat (ครึ่งชาติ)".
In the mid-20th century, the number of luk khrueng increased dramatically in the period following World War II, with the increasing number of Western residents and visitors to the country. Many were the children of American servicemen who came to the country in the 1960s and 1970s, when there were several large US military bases in the country. While some of these servicemen formed lasting relationships with Thai women, some luk khrueng were the product of temporary relationships with "rented wives" or prostitutes, a fact which led to some discrimination in that era. Some Thais were also hostile because of the perceived lack of racial purity but most were quite accepting.
In the modern era, many luk khrueng are born of relationships and marriages when Westerners come to live and to work in Thailand, or when Thai people go to study in Western or foreign countries. In more recent generations, luk khrueng have become accepted and even highly embraced by society, and many luk khrueng have carved out a prominent role in the entertainment industry, in which their often fluent English and their Caucasian features (such as fair skin, larger or colored eyes and tall physique), which are deemed attractive in Thai culture, have proved to be advantageous. Much of the Thai population finds luk khrueng highly attractive because of these features, and within teenage culture, they are also extremely popular.
- List of luk khrueng people
- Bui doi
- Mydans, Seth (2002-08-29). "Bangkok Journal; Thais With a Different Look, Flaunt Your Genes!". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- "Restaurant: Luk khrueng 混血兒泰義餐廳". Taipei Times. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- "พจนานุกรม ฉบับราชบัณฑิตยสถาน พ.ศ. 2542" [Royal Institute Dictionary 1999] (in Thai). Royal Institute of Thailand. 2007. Retrieved 2014-04-05. "ลูกครึ่ง น. ลูกที่เกิดจากพ่อแม่ที่เป็นคนต่างชาติกัน, ครึ่งชาติ ก็ว่า."
- "Eurasian Invasion". Time. 2001-04-23. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- Maurizio Peleggi. "Thailand: The Worldly Kingdom". Google Books. Reaktion Books. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- The sum of our parts: mixed-heritage Asian Americans - Teresa Williams-León, Cynthia L. Nakashima - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-28.