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?
A team of local artists have proposed a design for a memorial commemorating the “Holy Man Rebellion” in Ubon Ratchathani province. They want to promote the area to become a historical tourist destination and symbolize a kind of a public apology to those slaughtered.
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.
Isaan would not be in poverty if the central government distributed administrative power to localities and was more careful in how it imposed development policies and projects in the region. The series “What will Isaan people get from the 2023 elections?” looks back on how Isaan has been left out in such policy making processes, and what can be done to resolve the issue.
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.
The trade of waste makes a lot of money for people in Na Kaew Village, Ubon Ratchathani Province. Recycling trash turns many local farmers into business owners. Na Kaew has now become the largest waste-trade hub in the region. But there is growing concern in the waste-trade industry. As people continue to generate money from recycling waste, Thailand might become a dump site of the world.
Once upon a time, on a small alley next to Wat Machimawat on Mak Khaeng Road, a dozen houses could be seen. The houses were the homes of molam artists and dancers. Once scattered throughout Isaan, they had all moved from their hometowns to this alley in the city of Udon Thani. There they all had dreamt that they would become stars. But today, only a few of the original houses remain, sheltering aging molam artists.
Undocumented Thai workers in South Korea can earn five times more than the minimum wage in Thailand. Hundreds of thousands of Thais have migrated to work illegally as laborers in factories or in agriculture. Most come from the Northeast, seeking to escape the poverty in their homeland. They are called phi noi (“little ghosts”). They are the flame-of-the-forest flowers that could never bloom in the arid lands of Isaan.
Picking berries or other wild fruits in Europe is a very lucrative job for many. It has become popular among Thai workers, especially those from Isaan. Many invested their life savings to fly to the opposite side of the world, with high hopes of turning their lives around. However, for some, they return to Thailand […]
This year provided more sorrow than cheer for Isaan people, especially for those in Nong Bua Lamphu, who suffered a horrific loss after a mass shooting at a nursery killed 37 people, 24 of which were small children.
People in Isaan across several provinces also had to endure hardships that came from floods and from many of the government’s construction projects. The Isaan Record documented and published these struggles that remain unresolved.
For The Isaan Record, the year 2022 was one of greatest sorrow, as we suddenly lost our aspiring reporter and photographer, Adithep Chantet. In his short time, though, he created an impressive photographic world. We showcase a number of Atitep’s final photos as part of our “Photos of the Year 2022.”
Media of the margins join hands to build bridges through their effects that lead to increased understanding and reduced conflicts in society. A former TV anchor of Thairath says the media can serve as a bridge that connects people with different opinions. The Editors of local media outlets, as well as the alternative media, Prachatai, in Bangkok, speak out about their roles and hopes for a better Thailand