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 […]

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 […]

The value of village health volunteers In times of universal health care

For 35 years, Thailand’s primary healthcare system has rested on the shoulders of a legion of Village Health Volunteers. Now that Thailand has had universal healthcare for some years, is this model – which was originally established to boost poor rural communities’ access to essential healthcare – obsolete? GUEST CONTRIBUTION by Zoe Swartz, Mariko Powers, […]

NEW SECTION: Letters to the editor

The Isaan Record is happy to announce a new section in the publication: Letters to the Editor. We invite readers to share their thoughts by sending comment to editor@isaanrecord.com. Please be aware that any published letter or comment might be subject to editing for clarity. (We apologize for republishing a Letter to the Editor from […]

False front rings familiar in the northeast

Last Sunday, the military government’s hand-picked National Reform Council (NRC) voted down the blueprint for Thailand’s new political system in a process that the military itself had initiated.

Isaan Lives – “It’s better to give than to receive”

The Isaan Record unveils today a new section called “Isaan Lives.” It will feature the stories of Isaan people—the low, the mighty; the rich, the poor; the actively engaged and those just carrying on with their work and lives. We debut with the work and life of a Village Health Volunteer who takes care of […]

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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