Childbirth and tradition in Northeast Thailand: forty years by Anders Poulsen

By Anders Poulsen

Anders Poulsens time period as a UNESCO specialist terminated in 1962, yet he has again to an identical sector of Northeast Thailand repeatedly given that, so much lately in 2005. As such, this fantastically illustrated quantity deals a unprecedented examine of Isan-Thai customs and trust linked to being pregnant and beginning and the way they've got replaced over nearly part a century. utilizing a mental and socio-therapeutic framework, Anders Poulsen discusses the functionality of varied delivery rites in addition to giving an unrivaled description of all traditions particularly attached to being pregnant and delivery. He comprises a fascinating description of the culture of confinement via fireplace (yuu-fai) and files that it's nonetheless broadly practiced, opposite to what has been suggested. He additionally places ahead a conception of why a few traditions hold their value whereas others fade away. The findings of this research are supported by means of the transcription in Isan (and translated into English) of the ritual texts which are utilized in those rites.

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Example text

We shall later return to the above in more details. Khwan Rites The villagers have the belief that the ‘fleeting soul’, the khwan, remains with man for as long as he has good health, has vigour and strength and is altogether comfortable with himself and his environment. But, they say, the khwan is inclined to leave man when his state of mind is not good. If man is left by his khwan, his already poor state of mind will be aggravated. The general condition will be bad and the result can be a real state of ill health.

The child does not have to be present when the rite is performed. The mother must decorate the above-mentioned kong khau with flowers and candles and take it to the ritual master in his home by herself or the child’s father must do so. For three successive evenings the master recites the special text required for this ceremony. indd 34 3/15/07 5:40:30 PM the kong khau is standing open in front of him. After having done this, he must at least one of the nights have dreams that bode well, and none that bode evil.

Only the head teacher had any training as a teacher – the other two teachers only had two to three years’ lower secondary schooling in addition to their four years in primary school. The two male teachers owned some rice-land which they and their families cultivated to sustain life. remainder either had no slates or had to make do with pieces of a broken slate that were big enough still to be usable. Pencils and paper to write on did not exist. However, everybody worked incredibly hard and dutifully to create a ‘school’ from nothing, and the parents devoted greater attention and interest to their children’s schooling than could be expected in the circumstances.

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