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My first Isaan visit.


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Nobody claimed Issan was just one big farm, it is indeed a plateau, and as such mostly boringly flat and dry as a bone, when it's not flooded that is! Every small town looks like a concrete copy of another with very little of interest that Thais have ever constructed. However I am all for issan folk keeping up their culture, Lao and kahmin should be taught in Schools, instead Thai authority does not and would be happy to see regional language die away altogether. Similarly 'real' Issan music is almost totally ignored by Thai TV networks, there are no regular morlam programs on the main TV channels and is there any TV broadcast in lao? I think not. No wonder there is such a split down the middle of Thai society when a large part of it has been ignored, sidelined and when they do vote in who they want the tanks roll them over. I don't see any support at all in Issan for Suthep and his laughingly called 'democrats'.

Ubon has, or rather had, 3 Democrat MPs in the last Parliament, Peua Thai 6 I believe.

Today in Ubon and other Isaan areas there were large demonstrations against the government.

My 'real' Isaan friends regularly listen to 'real' Isaan music on TV; and why have Lao and Khamin taught in schools - the locals speak Isaan and Thai. I know very little of the local dialect, but manage OK with the locals because they speak speak Thai to me.

You have a thing about slagging Isaan and its people, why do you bother? I don't go on the General section saying nasty things about your negative contributions.

Lao and especially khamin are actually spoken far less than a generation ago and that's the way Thais want it to go, not dissimilar to the Chinese policy in Tibet. Please let me know the morlam programs on mainstream TV i'd really like to see those. You might be under the impression that luktung is 'real' Issan music, it's central Thai in origin and all the power of it is in Bangkok mostly owned by Chinese Thai business men. Of course there has been a lot of Issan input into the genre over the years but it's just an influence luktung is not essentially lao. When was the last time you saw the much marginalised kantrum on mainstream TV, I don't remember the last time I did yet it's as popular in the khmer areas of Issan as luktung, more so in many villages. These are issues of Issan culture that central Thais have no interest in as it's not their culture.

Issan people were marginalised and ignored for far too long until they woke up a few years ago and started to vote in their own interests as they saw them, looks like they will do it again, the only hope the 'democrats' have are tanks or paid demonstrators.

Anyway that's my view on Issan, wonderful culture but something the ruling class still look down on in Bangkok.

Edited by sms747
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ah! no info from any issan 'expert' as usual.

Like you, would love to know what channel they are watching "real" Issan music on?

Whats "the locals speak Isaan" dont think I have ever heard of passat esan, maybe he means dialect of the Lao language, no mention made of Khmer, or Mon.

Of course no mention of where the poster lives, cant be anywhere near Surin where they speak pasat suay (apologise for transliteration, not allowed to post Thai script).

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Nobody claimed Issan was just one big farm, it is indeed a plateau, and as such mostly boringly flat and dry as a bone, when it's not flooded that is! Every small town looks like a concrete copy of another with very little of interest that Thais have ever constructed.

Ridiculous post. Many mountains, streams and rivers with beautiful scenery. Try Loei, or the Mekong River West of Nong Khai. Several National Parks. Very nice people. Some nice village fronting the Mekong and with a view to Laos (Fabulous hills) near Nakhon Phanom. You must have just slept inbetween bus stops. Sorry for your lack of travel knowlege.

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^^^^^,

forgot to mention, if they speak pasat issan, why cant my friends wife from Surin understand another friends wife who is from KK?

They have to communicate in pasat klang.

I'll take a stab in the dark and say its because your wife doesn't speak Isaan?

Or possibly that your friend's wife doesn't.

Not everyone from Isaan can speak Isaan. One of my friends wives, who was raised in Sarakham, is only fluent in Thai (Although can understand Isaan), as she never spoke Isaan at home with her parents.

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I know a school teacher in S. Isaan, in a village sort of between Sisaket... Well, S. of Sisaket in Sisaket Province. It isn't far from Cambodia.

They have children from 2 villages that attend there, and each village has a different dialect. One has a Khmer influence, and I don't know what the other is - maybe Lao. Neither is true Thai.

I don't know if any of that is "Isaan Thai" because she can't communicate well with people from far NE Isaan. She can speak "Bangkok Thai" and got her master's degree in Bangkok. I believe she told me that she can speak Khmer and Lao.

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^^^^^,

forgot to mention, if they speak pasat issan, why cant my friends wife from Surin understand another friends wife who is from KK?

They have to communicate in pasat klang.

I'll take a stab in the dark and say its because your wife doesn't speak Isaan?

Or possibly that your friend's wife doesn't.

Not everyone from Isaan can speak Isaan. One of my friends wives, who was raised in Sarakham, is only fluent in Thai (Although can understand Isaan), as she never spoke Isaan at home with her parents.

SA, NS in the next post to yours #144 basically nails it.

In the lower part round Buriram/Surin/Sisaket way the are speaking a Khmer influenced language, in the north its a Lao influenced, they are both speaking "Issan" same same but different.

As mentioned before wife from Surin and wife from KK dont understand each other unless they speak in Central Thai.

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ah! no info from any issan 'expert' as usual.

Like you, would love to know what channel they are watching "real" Issan music on?

Whats "the locals speak Isaan" dont think I have ever heard of passat esan, maybe he means dialect of the Lao language, no mention made of Khmer, or Mon.

Of course no mention of where the poster lives, cant be anywhere near Surin where they speak pasat suay (apologise for transliteration, not allowed to post Thai script).

Passa suay cannot be understood by either lao or kahmin speakers in Surin, it's spoken in a small area near the 'elephant village'. There are many more languages spoken in Issan than mentioned, phoot Thai is another, completely different to Thai. This is why Issan culture should be preserved and taught and not steamrollered by Thai culture. Issan culture is rich and fascinating. As for the landscape though, apart from the odd national park and the banks of the mekong it really is nothing to boast about.

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My 4 year old daughter (we live in southern Sisaket) speaks Thai, Isaan and Khmen (Khmer - many villages of Pol Pot refugee Cambodians around here). It's a real bu$$er getting her to speak Englishsmile.png

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Yeah, I remember this thread from before. I think what you did sounds alright. 5k isn't an insane amount, especially if you are seriously interested in the girl. nice gesture.

Really, I find you can't win either way in the short run. If you spend a bunch, you will be an ATM; if you don't spend anything, you will be "ki niao." So, I don't pay much attention to that junk.

Now just realize that, even though I think your 5k gift was fine, what others are saying is true. You are expected to set limits when it comes to money--NOBODY ELSE WILL DO IT FOR YOU. They will take and take and take. I have seen it between Thais. People are just always on take mode, but in the village it mostly turns out to balance out (although some take more than they give, for sure). Since you are a foreigner, you are definitely seen as having more to give.

Anyway, here is a suggestion: next trip, stop by spend regularly and then NO GIFT at the end, or like 500 for mom and 500 for dad. See how that goes down. Don't make a thing of it, but try it. You will get some idea of how they will adjust.

Honestly, my wife and family will spend whatever you give them. It is an endless, gaping maw of need. My wife even knows it and gives me what she earns and lets me divvy it out to her as needed (I keep it separate from my money).

I figured it out, though, several years ago when my wife was talking to me about finances and said "I know you would never let us run out of money." After some clarification, it turned out that she meant that she trusted me to use the money appropriately--even if it meant saying "no" to her or her family.

This will sound bad, but many Thai ladies are like that. They like to spend their husbands' money, but they also expect the husband to manage the money. You lay down the law. Say no when it is overboard. Say yes when you want to and it is reasonable.

I still give money to my in-law (the parents) and sometimes to brothers and cousins and nephews, but I don't feel bad if I can't (or don't want to) and they recognize that and don't make trouble about it.

Set boundaries.....sorry, rambling over.

I agree with you.This seems to be how I have seen it.

Agree 100%

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