In Thailand we have many indigenous people such as the Mon and Karen Hills tribe people. These people are considered on the endangered people’s list because a large part of their culture, traditions and civilization are being assimilated into modern society. Where they once lived in harmony with the environment around them, they are now faced with the modern world and having to live and compete in it in order to survive. We are encroaching on their lands, livelihood and introducing modernization to their society.
No doubt we think it will benefit them but have we ever considered that they have lived for hundred or maybe even thousands of generations off the land and that it was a better way of life than the one we are now living? We need to respect the rights to the life they have lived for generations, preserve their cultures and traditions.
We should open our eyes when we visit their villages and understand how they live their lives each day, without trying to introduce modernization that would be of no help to them before and in the future such as material things like hand phones, televisions and other non-essential items. Where their children used to play in open spaces to try and modernize them to the city children that spends most of their time glued to iPads and YouTube programs.
We should respect their way of life and be aware that these people are now a rarity and soon all we will know about them will only be from photographs and books. How many of us really know why the Karen Hill tribe people wear layers of gold rings around their necks, what is the significance of these rings, what is their traditional craft just to name a few. Take the time to find out, learn and respect them for who they are and take the opportunity to really know them and their needs!
Try one of the tours with Khaoyai Nature Life and Tours Resort tour programs where we try to educate our guests on the importance of preserving these indigenous tribes and how they play an important role in the environment we all live in. It might also interest you to know that a portion of our costs from the tours and resort goes towards the support and benefit of activities, conservation efforts and indigenous communities as well as to wildlife groups that are in need of funding to support their conservation programs. This is our way of giving back to the effort and communities that we share in.