Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More about the Akha Hill Tribe

Here are some things Tee told me about the Akha people: The Akha hill tribe people are originally from China who then moved to Burma (due to political and human rights issues), with some coming to Thailand as refugees. Currently about 60-80,000 Akha people live in Thailand and over 200,000 in Burma. Four generations of his family have lived in Thailand. Tee expressed concern over the disappearance of the Akha culture, particularly with the young generations. Tee’s own nephews and nieces do not know how to speak the Akha language, as Thai is mandated to be the language of instruction at school. Like many Akha familes, Tee’s family is Christian. He feels that a deep reverence for nature (influenced by the Akha tribe’s traditional animist religion) should still be followed. Through a radio program at the college where Tee teaches, he seeks to have the different hill tribes hear talks in their own language, as well as discussing important topics.

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