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Thursday, February 16, 2012

History, Art, Culture and Buddhism in Northeast Thailand I

You might have a bit of trouble reading the print in the photo, but it is a paper by Dr. Boonsom Yodmalee of Mahasarakham University, the title being "Isan: Past and Present".He talks about a number of interesting subjects, which I will not call facts for the simple reason that I do not know if his information is factual.I  have read papers by researchers, scholars, historians, and more than a handful of miscellaneous "academics" and found to many errors misstatements and just plain shoddy work than I would have believed possible if not seen for myself..
Sure I have a Phud in Misspelling and am a masterof torturing any language I attempt but The locations I presesent are geoatagged and posted as point on a map. I present plenty of pictures so the reader can see for themselves what's there and I try my best not to copy paste and if I do I point it out.
Anyhow the good doctor goes on to say that it was unfortunate that Hinduism under the Khmer rulers could only last from 957-1257 A.D. (B.E.  1500-1800).Well I disagree! I think it was wonderful that the Khmer rulers converted to Buddhism and that there is so much transitional art in the region. Also the impact Hinduism had on Buddhism is still visible in the practice of Buddhism, and in the Art and Culture of the region.
He goes on to say that the people of today owe a lot to the Hindu priests, Buddhist monks and their followers for what they left behind."Among them were some 1,501 archeological sites (some 1,501???) . Among these 182 were Khmer ruins; 714 were residential cities (what is a non-residential city). Where do these numbers come from. Seems as though many "academics" in Thailand have graduated from the Tourism Authority of Thailand School of Statistics and Data. This is only a small example of of the "data" I discover.
But then I find this site in Nong Khai that noone seems to have a clue about, more than 500 years old,sites in Mukdahan that should be treated like museums not storage sheds.
Oh well enough of my whining for today. I will carry on refining my acadumbass techniques  and honing by beersearcher credentials.
Their is a rich history in Norteast Thailand that people should experience in spite of the shoddy work done over the years in the region. Visit Isaan, isan, E-sarn, whatever; You'll love it.