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Scholar Highlights Week Ending July 13, 2018

August 7, 2018

Tiana Richards

This past weekend, I took a trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand. After only spending a couple days there, I was able to recognize the differences between Khon Kaen and Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is a city and more of a tourist area. While there I didn’t feel as immersed in the Thai culture as I do while in Khon Kaen. For example, whenever I tried to practice my Thai language skills the person would always respond in English. It was almost as if there was a no language barrier. In Khon Kaen, knowing the Thai language is your best way to survive. In comparison to Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai is less traditional in their customs. The main traditional custom that was shared between both provinces were the rules at the temples. At the temples, you should be dressed modestly or you will be given a long cloth to borrow to cover up, shoes off when entering the temple and to be respectful of the monks. Although I have only been here for a month, I believe that I have experienced more of a cultural immersion in Khon Kaen than I did while in Chiang Mai. Going to Chiang Mai was extremely beneficial, especially in order to see the differences in Thai culture among the different provinces. It will be interesting to see the differences in the Thai culture when I travel to the southern part of Thailand in two weeks. The similarities and differences in the Thai culture reminded me of the United States. In the United States, the southern and northern part differ in culture and lifestyle.


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