The main purpose of this article is to argue for the importance of protection as a concept for understanding religion, power, and social structuring in Thai tradition. Protection is a prominent motif in the Thai folk epic, The Tale of Khun Chang Khun Phaen, and the work describes a range of practices and devices sought to provide protection against various sources of danger. The article traces the origins of this “knowledge” and its modern adaptation into the Buddha amulet.
Thailand has seen a large increase in migrant workers from Myanmar since the 1990s. A constant flow of migrants arrive to seek refuge from dire circumstances in their homeland and/or to seek better work opportunities. They have adapted to changing state policy regarding their migrant status and work permits as well as to more immediate means of control. Previous works on this subject have tended either toward macro-level policy and economics, or more journalistic accounts of individual migrant experiences. Little attention has been paid to differences in the migrant processes and networks formed across the border and within the country.In this paper two locales, one on the border (Mae Sot) and one in the interior (Samut Songkhram), are compared based on interviews conducted with migrant workers on their mode of arrival, living and working conditions, migrant status and control, and how they form networks and relations within and across the border. By comparing the two locales, rather than emphasize how the state and geopolitical space define mobility we argue that transnational migrant workers formulate and define their space through adaptive networks in articulation with geopolitical factors as well as local socioeconomic and historical-cultural dynamics. The dynamics among macro policies, micro-level agency of migrants, and meso-level networks define each locale.
Motivation for learning a second language varies among individuals: some people enjoy the process of learning languages, while others learn a second language for practical reasons. Previous fieldwork research in Thailand has shown that many consumers of Japanese cultural products are also learners of the Japanese language. This suggests that Japanese cultural products motivate consumers to start studying Japanese and to continue learning it. In this study, two hypotheses will be posed inorder to reveal the relationship between the consumption of Japanese cultural products and Japanese language learning: (1) exposure to Japanese cultural products induces Japanese language learning, and (2) Japanese language learning induces the consumption of other Japanese cultural products. Through questionnaire research conducted on university students in Thailand and through ethnographic data, this study attempts to examine the hypotheses and to demonstrate a continuous cycle model of Japanese language learning and the consumption of Japanese cultural products.
Enriching farmers' knowledge of the risks and consequences of climate change is the most promising strategy to better assist them. Nevertheless, we have to bearin mind that people filter and absorb scientific knowledge through pre-existingcultural models and aspirations for desired outcomes. The severe pest/disease outbreaks during the La-Nina periods of 2009 and 2010/2011, and the unpreparedness of farmers in many places in Java, was a timely opportunity for many parties to reflect seriously on the deficiencies in our approaches and facilitations. Our inter-disciplinary collaboration proved successful in strengthening and enriching farmers' knowledge by bringing agrometeorological thinking and knowledge, based on scientific ideas, premises, and methods, to local people who had theirown "ethnoscience." This benefits farmers over an extended period and until the public extension intermediaries have been sufficiently trained. Our suggestions are: assisting farmers to discover their own vulnerability issues through continuous dialogues and knowledge exchange in "Science/Climate Field Shops," and the measurement of rainfall and the observation of weather and climate implications for fields and crops in a standardized way as the basis of an improved Climate Field School. To that end the training of public extension intermediaries is necessary.
Talun-huma is an intensified land use system for swidden agriculture in Indonesia. Talun is a productive fallow system that is meaningful from ecological, social, and economic perspectives. Although it is considered a typical practice in West Java, this study proves that the term talun was used in many places in Indonesia besides West Java during colonial times.
This study also shows that talun-huma and agroforestry practice in the surveyed village is closely linked to the socioeconomic structure of the rural society based on the data collected in 2000–1. Huma is more likely to be practiced by the lower strata owning little agricultural and forestry land. The economic development reflected in the growth of banana leaf production and income from the non- agricultural sector income has not excluded or diminished talun-huma and agro forestry practices. Sharecropping practices and agricultural labor relations among the villagers have established huma practice. The social forestry program implemented in this region also supports the continuity of huma practice. Increase in banana leaf production does not diminish the practice of huma and talun agro forestry, although banana leaf production tends to shorten the duration of the cycle. Moreover, the development of non-agricultural sectors and wet rice cultivation has had a positive impact on the existence of huma practices and the continuation of slash-and-burn practices.
Talun-huma and permanent forests with or without talun are good practices that keep the system sustainable from an economic and social point of view. Diversified farming, balanced rotation of land use, and diversity of plants, as well as the planting of leguminous land conservation trees such as kaliandra and gamal, play an important role in sustaining the system.
The introduction of banana leaf plants to the village in the 1990s has contributed significantly to the continuity of the system because the plants are a considerable source of income for villagers, both as farmers and as agricultural laborers. They can rely on the income from the hilly dry land. A problem that might, however, become serious in the near future is that banana leaf planting shortens the duration of the cycle and may render the land infertile.
Slash-and-burn cultivation (SBC) is an important food and cash crop productionsystem in mountainous regions of many countries in Southeast Asia. While linksbetween unsustainable SBC and the formation of Imperata grassland (IGL) havebeen well documented, there has been limited research on the issues with theintention of providing appropriate information to communities in Laos aiming atbetter use of natural resources. This paper reveals the IGL area, distribution, andcharacteristics in the uplands of northern Laos, and discusses the importance of IGLfor upland development based on the synthesis of remotely sensed Landsat-5 TMand GIS data. We have demonstrated the potential use of geoinformation technologyas a set of informatics tools that can be applied in other area studies in Laos. Nineteenland uses/land covers of 196,317 hectares in Nambak District in northern Laoswere mapped with an overall accuracy of 92.1% and a kappa statistic of 91.3%. IGLachieved >90% mapping accuracy. The current IGL was estimated at about 2.5%(4,878 hectares) of the district area and characterized as a "micro-grassland," withmost patch sizes being less than half a hectare. About 37% of the district area inthe southeastern part was identified as the most Imperata-infested zone. The studysuggests that improper SBC intensification into more permanent crop productionsystems is a major cause of Imperata infestation in the upland areas and that thespread of IGL can be a threat to the productivity and sustainability of traditional SBCsystems and already intensified land use systems. In order to utilize land resourcesmore effectively, government intervention is indispensable; and developmentefforts should initially focus on the most affected areas.