We studied a school trip in Phayao prefecture, Thailand from the 25th to 30th of September to understand more about coexistence of multiculturalism and multiethnicity.
We visited the YMCA Phayao Center in Dok Kham Tai, Phayao in the north of Thailand. This facility was built to protect children from human traffic and sexual exploitation and to improve the life of children and their families. Their activities are ① to protect children in a shelter (emergency evacuation and protection facility) ② to provide them education ③ to offer job training ④ to form a support network ⑤ to intensify activities to raise awareness ⑥ to form a community for victims and support rehabilitation. It is impossible to learn all the activities for a short time so we studied about support for a mountain tribe (②③④), visited the tribe’s village, and experienced their lifestyle.Here is our schedule :
|25th of Sep.||Travel days
|26th of Sep.||Activity at YMCA Phayao Center : study about the center and interaction with children|
|27th of Sep.||
Activity at the center : study about the mountain tribeHomestay in the village of the mountain tribe : first discussion with leaders of the village and interaction with people in the village
|28th of Sep.||
Activity in the village of the mountain tribe : second discussionActivity at the center : interaction with children
|29th of Sep.||
Activity at the center : go to school with children and summarize activities with staff of the centerTravel days (Phayao→Chiang Rai→BangKok)
|30th of Sep.||Travel days (BangKok→
※We stayed at a guest house of YMCA Phayao Center and houses in the village of the mountain tribe.
We stayed there only for 4 days but we got to know the mountain tribe’s lifestyle and their perspective beyond our imagination and realized the mountain tribe is mentally satisfied with their life more than we are. Their lifestyle leads us to a question, “What is abundance or happiness?”
Shared values are indispensable in coexistence. Before we went to Thailand, we thought, “our lifestyle is abundant and we are equal. We had better share our values to them.” but we started wondering whether our values are the best for abundant life or not or do they feel abundant life more than we do?
The purpose of this study in Thailand is not to get an answer for coexistence of multiculturalism and multiethnicity. The purpose is for our students to realize their values are not absolute, start to think how they live and think about coexistence. So, we achieved the goal successfully.