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LSA Debutante: Jinnie Leelapanyalert on the importance of youth participation in politics

Welcome to Lifestyle Asia Thailand’s newest column, LSA Debutante. Here, we meet some of Thailand’s younger generations and discover how they impact today’s society, including their views and opinions. With that, we introduce our first debutante Yossuda Leelapanyalert, whom many know as Jinnie. The young woman has been making waves as a young generation participating in Thai politics. But before we go into detail, let’s get to know who Jinnie is a bit more.

LSA Debutante: Jinnie Leelapanyalert

Photographer: Wanlaporn Chanchao

Jinnie’s personal life

After graduating from Chulalongkorn University just over two years ago, Jinnie started her career as a fashion marketing manager. Outside of work, she enjoys fashion and listening to music. She tells LSA that one of her favourite genres is look tung, Thai country music, especially from the artist Jakrapun. “Before my grandmother passed away, I often hung out with her. She would listen to look tung, and we would watch music videos together. I think I picked it up from her. I even wanted to be a look tung dancer when I was younger.” When asked about her favourite hangout spot, she says Chatuchak Market, because she loves to buy interior products to decorate her room. 

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As Jinnie wanted to be a part of something big, she started to shift her focus to politics to help better Thailand. “Politics is important. I know it can change society and people’s lives. I want to see the political situation in Thailand improve.” With that, she spends her time helping with her mother’s, Sudarat Keyuraphan, campaigns by going into fieldwork and visiting local communities. Her current role is to talk and listen to people in these areas. She also told us how nerve-wracking it was to give her first public speech in Chiang Mai. 

On politics and the youth’s participation 

As our conversation moves deeper towards Thailand’s political situation, Jinnie tells LSA how intriguing our time is. “There’s a lot of different parties, but it is a good thing. We listen to debates between each side, which opens our eyes to many perspectives.” She further comments how happy she is that the younger generation in Thai society is becoming more involved and interested in Thai politics.

Yet, there is an issue that still hasn’t been solved; inequality, especially in education. “Something very close to my heart is education. Thailand needs to give students equal access to better education.” The driven woman suggested providing funding to the students, but it is crucial to distribute them efficiently. “We believe that the education funding should be distributed directly to the parents or the students instead of the institutions. This will give the parents and students the power to choose the right institution for their child. At the same time, this act will encourage educational institutions to keep up their standards to attract students.”

Now, with the Thai election coming up, Jinnie has some advice on choosing a party. The first significant aspect to look at is their policies, including their justification. Next is their political leader and the people in their party. A leader has to know how to lead, be reliable, and emotionally mature. The last tip she gives us was to listen to debates, which can be found on YouTube. By doing this, you can see if the political party or representative has the ability to think and analyse specific topics critically. 

Photographer: Wanlaporn Chanchao

Advice to Thailand’s future generation 

Before we end our talk, Jinnie wants to inform future generations to remain active and aware of Thailand’s political situation. “In the past, politics were seen by many as a taboo topic for the younger generation to discuss. But now, we live in a society where people, especially the younger generations, are becoming aware and active in this sector. This is a great sign; although politics might seem stressful or tedious, it’s vital to know what’s happening. Politics affects everyone. It will affect you and your family’s life.”


Photographer: Wanlaporn Chanchao

Location: House of Fritz Hansen

LSA Debutante: Jinnie Leelapanyalert on the importance of youth participation in politics

Drinking is best during the day, especially when at brunch. If she's not working, catch her at the gym or socializing with friends. An introvert extrovert at heart. She's a Capricorn.

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