The geography and history of freedom fighters set Sakon Nakhon off from the rest of Isaan. Though youth protests have been slow to start and lack some of the vigor seen in other Isaan provinces, Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University, has played an important role in linking the province’s past with the new generation’s protests. (See “Part II: Sakon Nakhon’s rediscovered heroes of democracy” tomorrow.)
Rajabhat University students in Isaan who want to get involved in the ongoing rallies have often faced resistance. Many of these students have asserted their right to protest and are also questioning the kind of education they are receiving. In joining the region’s student movement, they are calling for education reform and the dismantling of the obsolete social system underpinning these institutions.
A victim of the pandemic, CIEE Khon Kaen, a unique exchange program for American students in Northeast Thailand, had to close its doors after 28 years. Guest contributor Weerawat Somnuek talked to the people involved with the program who hope their “people to people” education model can one day make a comeback.
The conventional view of Thai-Western relationships is older Western men meeting their future partner, often a single mother, at a tourist venue, getting married, and then moving to the man’s home country or settling down in Thailand. But online dating apps also see a new phenomenon emerging: younger Thai women connecting up with younger Westerners. Guest contributor Kate Santaliz takes a look.