During the COVID-19 pandemic, streaming businesses and online platforms enjoyed explosive growth, especially for the entertainment industry. In Thailand, however, one particular traditional music business — molam — plunged into dire circumstances. Yet to be afforded legitimacy, molam artists receive little to no support from the government. Today, they hang onto a dimming hope that they will return to the stage as their art form gradually dies.
Would you buy yogurt drink from a teen selling it at an intersection because they were wearing a school uniform? Yogurt drink dealers across Isaan train teenagers who are no longer students to dress up in a school uniform to increase sales. Do people passing by tend to buy out of pity?
The upcoming general elections in May could be another turning point for Thailand. Will voters choose to remain under a military regime or turn to a civilian government? The decision will be left up to the voters who will elect 400 members of parliament, of which 133 will come from Isaan. More than three generations ago, Isaan MPs were lauded for their courage to stand up against authoritarian governments — even at the cost of their lives. The names of these brave MPs have been invoked in recent years, as hopes are growing for Isaan MP who can live up to the grit of their predecessors, especially the four ministers who serve as the archetypes of democracy fighters.
Thai workers die in South Korea the most in the world, at least 522 cases died in the last 6 years, and 86% of them are 'little ghosts'. One of them was Boonchu Prawasanang native from Khon Kaen province.