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By Lanner Burma |
When Songkran arrives, people in Thailand flock to buy bus and train tickets to return to their hometowns. In Myanmar, this mid-April holiday, celebrated all over mainland Southeast Asia, is called Thingyan. However, the festivities have been disrupted for the past four years, both by the Covid-19 pandemic and by the military coup in 2021 which led to a military dictatorship and an ongoing civil war. Many people are now seeking refuge in Thailand and are no longer safe to return home.
By Hugo Volkaert |
With the arrival of the Songkhran holiday comes concerns over road accident and traffic safety. However, Hugo Volkaert writes, the holidays are not why the yearly number of road accidents and casualties in Thailand are among the highest in the world. Design flaws in the road network is part of the problem.
By Harrison George |
<p>She is a paragon of a Thai citizen.&nbsp; She fasts after noon every <em>wan phra</em> and she knows the Pali responses in Buddhist ceremonies (but not always what they mean).&nbsp; Even more religiously than her religious observances, she wears yellow and purple on the appropriate occasions.&nbsp;</p>
By Noom Rednon |
<p><em>Translator’s note: This is a different kind of new year story. Every year, Buddhist New Year is observed from 13-15 April. People tend to spend the holiday with their family and friends. One part of the holiday involves “playing water,” which means to throw water and flour on friends and community members in a joyful and playful fashion. In this essay, Noom Rednon reflects on the four Songkrans between 2010 and 2013 he spent behind bars. “Playing water” takes on a new meaning behind bars.</em></p>