In Northern Thailand, a game that builds upon an uncanny cooperation between human beings and rhinoceros beetles (xylotrupes Gideon) has developed at a high level of refinement and institutionalization. Beetle-fighting is even being widely presented as a marker of the local identity and a local ecological wisdom. In this paper, I will show how it is not so much the coleoptera that symbolize a harmonious connection built by human populations with their natural environment, but rather a question of what happens in the intimate relationship between human beings and insects. Following the way players build on the great alterity between them and the insects, this article will address how the technical and conceptual handling of the beetles shapes pragmatically an original cosmology. It will pay specific attention to the ways players try to connect with their coleopteran by projecting human traits on them and adopting their communication mode. Through these, we can examine how beetles force humans to reflect on their engagement in the world, up to the point where it brings this game onto the stage of political ecology.
This paper brings together a number of disciplines in order to demonstrate how historical, anthropological, ecological, zoogeographical, ethnobiological, and linguistic evidence relating to the physical distribution and linguistic representations of pythons in northern Southeast Asia and southern China can be brought to bear on Kra-Dai prehistory and intrafamilial as well as interethnic relationships. The normal and most recognized word for ‘python’ is confined to the Tai family proper, and even then there are some qualifications. Two species of python are found in much of the Tai linguistic area south of the Sino-Vietnamese border, but only one, the Burmese python, occurs in Guangxi, Guangdong, and Hainan. Some Central Tai dialects have acquired another name that seems to be Austroasiatic (AA) in origin, and yet no AA languages are found in those areas. It is suggested that these dialects received the word via Kra to the west. On the eastern side, yet another surprising correspondence is noted between Lung Ming in southern Guangxi and Hlai on Hainan. Sek, located far to the south, which usually preserves archaic forms of Be-Tai, has no words for ‘python’ that correspond to those in the rest of the family. Close examination of the linguistics of this particular member of the Southeast Asian mega-fauna reveals a pattern of interaction between the families of the Kra-Dai stock, Austroasiatic, and southern Chinese that mirrors the phylogenetic tree.
Based on the generalizations in international researchers’ views on the relationship between the center and the periphery, the author maps out a theory on the relationship between Vietnam (as the periphery) and China (as the center of East Asia) during feudalism. On the basis of the theory of central-peripheral relationships and the realities of a diplomatic relationship between Vietnam and China during feudalism, the article proves not only that China considered itself to be the center of East Asia with the role of “educating” surrounding peripheries, but also that surrounding countries were influenced by Chinese Confucian ideologies. For example, Vietnam also followed the Chinese-centric order. Accordingly, acts such as requesting investiture and tribute from Vietnam to the “center” (China) were sustained for a long period, although there was no balance in interest between the two countries. In addition to the subordinate tendency of the periphery in relation to the center, there is a centrifugal tendency because of the asymmetry in interest. In the case of the Vietnam-China relationship at that time, Vietnam’s subordinate tendency was relative and superficial, while the centrifugal tendency was mainstream. The author shows that the strong centrifugal tendency led to the transformation of Vietnam’s position from a Chinese vassal/peripheral state into a center in relationships with smaller countries in Southeast Asia.
The internationalization of higher education over the last two decades has transformed the education sector into a globalized, interconnected knowledge-based society. Higher education institutions and national governments have been compelled to pay more attention to academic relations and knowledge exchange opportunities with partners in other countries, particularly in the same region. The current study aims to investigate the role of higher education internationalization in Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) for the development of a more harmonized region. Previous research has revealed that less developed countries in the ASEAN region are far behind in the race to globalization and transformation of the education industry. Therefore, it is crucial to explore the policies and strategies enacted by the ASEAN administration and determine what it lacks to achieve this goal. An exploratory comparative approach has been used to identify and investigate recent internationalization trends in ASEAN member countries. The internationalization of higher education is a compelling and logical approach to increasing harmonization at the intra-regional and interregional levels.
In the study of contemporary local politics and the dynamics of decentralization in Indonesia, there is insufficient research on how political actors integrate both psychologically and emotionally as a strategy to gain power at the local level. This paper explores the way in which the emotion labelled “fear of crime” embodies local power, specifically in the Central Lombok District of West Nusa Tenggara Province. Efforts have been made to investigate how the fear of crime emerged and was disseminated, as well as how the politics of fear appeared and functioned in a social setting. This paper argues that fear can be socially constructed through talk of crime and politicized in the context of local elections by elites through informal security groups or individual datu maling, two entities that I refer to as “fear entrepreneurs.”
This paper analyzes the influence of social media in the revitalization of tradition. The case studied here is the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, Thailand. This festival has been promoted as the largest local tourist event since the tourism industry became a dominant business in the 1990s. Through this festival, Chinese people whose ancestors migrated from Fujian have gained an opportunity to strengthen their Chinese identity, which was oppressed in the era of Thai nationalism. However, only some dominant groups have been accepted by the local government as knowledgeable enough to portray the authenticity of the Vegetarian Festival. As a result, a master narrative (Cohen 2001) explaining the history of the festival has been published by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The narrative gives prominence to dominant shrines in Phuket, where various regulations were created to preserve the original traditions of the festival. Subsequently, younger generations who questioned the authenticity of the practices of the dominant shrines found that the festival had its origins in Taoism. Due to social media, online counterpublics emerged where counter-narratives were circulated among subordinates who were excluded from the public sphere of Phuket’s dominant shrines.