Photos by Suphaphorn Tumprakon Early this morning at about 4:30 a.m., a group of around 500 crowd-control officers with shields and body armor broke up a group of about 1,000 protesters demonstrating on the street next to Government House. It took the police just one hour to take control of the area where they also […]
A new trend of not standing in theaters during the royal anthem is going viral. People who do not stand declare it as an individual right and the act of not standing is not illegal. It’s happening in Isaan, too.
In this final part of our series on the mia farang phenomenon in Isaan, we capture some of the comments and feedback we received from Thai and foreign readers. Themes raised by our readers included attitudes towards Isaan women and men, and questions about equality, social mobility, racism and the position of Isaan within the Thai state.
The Thai middle-class often looks down on Isaan women who marry Westerners at the same time they don’t support policies that could benefit the marginalized. But some academics argue that these women are in fact empowered by their marrying a Westerner, providing them with the means to achieve “international” status that in many ways threatens Thai gender and class distinctions. How does status as a mia farang open new opportunities for Isaan women, threaten the status of local men, and help us understand the very notion of love?
The rising number of marriages between Isaan women and Western men has not been lost on the government. Is the concern of the government warranted? Recent research suggests that, far from being victims, these women have shown agency over their own lives and improved the situation of themselves and their families.
A series examining the lives of Isaan women who have married Westerners. How has what the “mia farang phenomenon” affected the life trajectory of these women? How have these “good daughters of Isaan” fulfilled their filial duty and changed the lives of their families? How has it challenged traditional gender roles in Isaan society and altered the economy and culture?