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Here in Thailand, ASEAN is very much a buzz word that is often mentioned on radio stations and tv shows. It stands for the Association of South East Asian Nations. There are 10 nations that form the ASEAN group. These 10 nations will form in 2015, and a lot of changes will happen from that point onwards in this part of the world!


But so far, many Thai people that I speak to can not even remember all 10 nations! When you consider that the ASEAN declaration was originally established in Thailand, this could be an embarassing problem! What can they do to make sure they can always remember these 10 important names?

I have developed a simple mnemonic to solve this problem. It revolves around the popular TV show “Thailand’s got talent”. This show is a nationwide talent contest that is open to anyone, from any age or background.


Very good mnemonics revolve around strong emotional imagery and crazy stories. So I ask people to imagine that their Mother has entered this TV show to sing a song. Then I ask them to imagine the audience on the show going wild and errupting in applause at this event! Now everything is set for the mnemonic:

“people on TV CLaP Because My Mother Is on the Show”

Let’s look at just the bold letters in that sentence:


Every bold letter in the above sentence is an ASEAN nation. Here is the complete list:

  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Philippines
  • Brunei
  • Myanmar
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Singapore

Because there are two nations beginning with the letter ‘M’, I made sure to encode the “My” sound of Myanmar into this mnemonic.

If you visualise this story – with your Mum on the TV show, the audience going wild in applause… then you will never forget the 10 ASEAN nations ever again.