We are in an age where everything has been touched by technology and modernization is evident in every part of our daily lives. No wonder why ethnic tribes such as the Lisu in Chiang Mai are struggling to keep their indigenous culture a part of the present. Take for example the rise of establishments, businesses and accommodations like private boutique resort Chiang Mai which is slowly changing the landscape of the province.
This topic is quite a hot issue and therefore it was given due attention during the conference held in Mae Taeng district of Chiang Mai which lasted for three days. According to the people who were present during the conference, the biggest challenge lies in keeping the interest of the new generation in the traditional ways and culture of the Lisu tribe.
Michael Zack is an author who published a book about the Lisu and he was present during the conference. He explained that one of the issues is that the tribe is slowly losing their language because the members of the Lisu themselves are not educated with regards to their own system of writing. He added that the most admirable thing about them is that they have the perseverance to fight for their cultural survival. The act is so pure that one can’t help but to feel emotional seeing their efforts.
In the region of Southeast Asia alone, over one million individuals are part of the ethnic Lisu but in Northern Thailand there are about 50,000 residing among the 150 villages present in the provinces of Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Sorn.
They are originally from the eastern part of Tibet and they build houses with foundation touching the ground. Their houses have dirt floors while their walls are made of bamboo. In the middle of the structure is a ridge.
The hopes of the members of the tribe as well as the people who want to preserve their culture that the new generation will take up an interest in their culture so as not to totally lose it. While it is good to see private boutique resort Chiang Mai, the locals should not forget the tribe as they move forward.