A long way from home – Isaan villagers’ experience of farmwork in Israel

Since the early 1990s, tens of thousands of Northeastern Thais have left their farms at home to work as agricultural laborers in Israel, often facing exploitation by manpower agencies and employers. Despite a recent push to improve the working conditions of Thai farmworkers in Israel, their situation often remains precarious. GUEST EDITORIAL by Matan Kaminer […]

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The Isaan Record

October 15, 2015

Letter to the editor: Ratanawan monastery reflects a globalizing Isaan

This weekend I went to Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) to attend a community-based ceremony called Gratitude to the Teacher at Ratanawan Monastery. Located on a hilltop amid perennial green forest, it is considered a forest-tradition temple, a sub-category of Theravada Buddhism. This type of tradition is interspersed throughout Isaan — you may be familiar with Luang […]

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The Isaan Record

October 1, 2015

Thai has the highest percentage of second-language speakers among major languages

If Ethnologue says 67% of Thai speakers speak it as a second language, what language are those people speaking as their first language? And what does this mean for Thailand’s divided politics? GUEST EDITORIAL by Karl Victor The organization Ethnologue has a peculiar statistic in its 2015 report on Thailand. The Thai language comes in […]

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The Isaan Record

September 2, 2015

International Mother Language Day: implications for Isaan

Without an official language policy, Thailand’s many ethnolinguistic minorities cannot experience equality. GUEST EDITORIAL by  John Draper This past Saturday marked International Mother Language Day, and while it is not particularly celebrated in Thailand, there were a couple of academic seminars in Chiang Mai and at Mahidol University in Bangkok. It is a difficult day […]

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The Isaan Record

February 23, 2015

PISA Thailand regional breakdown shows inequalities between Bangkok and upper north with the rest of Thailand

GUEST CONTRIBUTION by John Draper As reported previously in The Isaan Record, there are clear inequalities in Thai students’ academic achievement, and these are easily seen in official Ordinary National Educational Test (O-NET) Results by province. These results have been seen to broadly follow ethnolinguistic and class groupings, with Bangkok, home to wealthier ethnic Central […]

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The Isaan Record

February 21, 2014
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