Sanuk, Sabai, Suay: Filipino Teachers in Thailand as Modern-Day Ambassadors of Thai Studies
30 Pages Posted: 19 May 2022 Last revised: 11 Aug 2022
Date Written: May 17, 2022
The growing attention on Thai Studies can be mainly attributed to scholars and experts who continue to uphold the study of Thai society and culture. The nature of multi- and/or interdisciplinary approaches to Thai Studies also contributes to the interest in Thailand and its peoples, locally, in the region, and beyond. With the increase in the number of Filipino teachers who work for Thailand's education system, a phenomenon could be identified as these expatriates also become an essential part of the entire Thai socio-cultural landscape. While economic purpose is their main intention, Filipino teachers have developed their niche in Thailand not only as expatriates but more importantly as core members of the local community: sharing vision, creating impact. Thai Studies as a distinct discipline is made dynamic by various driving forces with Filipino teachers serving as its enablers in the context of education. Using a case study approach, grounded on indigenous Thai concepts of sanuk, sabai, suay, this research looks at the narratives of Filipino teachers and their contribution as modern-day ambassadors of Thai Studies. The present study is an attempt to advance Thai Studies as a global, inclusive, and encompassing discipline beyond border, race, ethnicity, and profession.
Keywords: Thai Studies, Filipino teachers, sanuk, sabai, suay
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