Water buffalos aren’t particularly highly regarded in Thai culture, and we’ll be the first to admit that we’ve never associated the familiar beasts of the rice fields with the word “cute.”
But we were oh so wrong.
All it took was this Thai farmer’s relationship with his beloved buffalo to change our minds.
“Live among those you love, do what you like … this is true happiness,” wrote Facebook user Surat Paeowgate, who lives in the central province of Chai Nat with his family and buffalo.
A series of selfies that shows Surat goofing around with his smiling companion (it is smiling, right?) has been shared more than 29,000 in the two days since it was posted.
“It’s refreshing to see these kinds of photos with a buffalo. I’ve never seen this side of them before,” wrote one commenter.
Though buffalos are a cultural symbol for Thailand, having been used by farmers to plow rice fields since ancient times, the “Kwai” often have a negative connotation, as the term is often used as a way to insult others for their stupidity. (Editor: Much the way “ass” is used in English.)
Though Surat’s posts have just begun blowing up, he has been optimistically publicizing his life since May, when, according to his Facebook timeline, he completed training in the Ministry of Agriculture’s “Young Smart Farmer” program.
The training course was launched in 2014 in a bid to help modern farmers take advantage of technological innovations in order to grow, plan, manage, and sustain their businesses.