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Issan Territory , The Village Funeral in Lam Kho Hong

Issan is known for producing many Muay Thai boxers: as with Western boxing, kickboxing provides a rare opportunity to escape from poverty.

Marriage and courtship in Isan and especially rural area’s around Thailand still  follows strict tradition,  and most young women are married by the time they are 20 years old. Many girls, despite the legal requirement, marry as young as fourteen to escape poverty as usually marriage is associated with a dowry paid by the husband to the bride's family. A dowry will not normally be less than 40,000 Baht, and according to the status of the bride or her family, can often greatly exceed 300,000 baht What would be considered the norm would be around 100,000 baht. Isan women rarely have boyfriends until they meet the man whom they will eventually marry, and tradition requires that the betrothal is then announced. Younger fiancées will be chaperoned, usually by a female friend, brother or sister while in the company of their future husband. The wedding ceremony usually takes place in the bride's home and is normally officiated by one or several monks or a respected village elder who has been a monk. Young couples are increasingly registering their marriages at the city hall which they can do if they are over 17. The extended family system is still very much the traditional social structure in Isan, with newly wed couples often living with in-laws or building a home on the family compound or farmland. It is not unusual however, for many women to remain single until much later. Tradition demands that the youngest or only daughter continues to live at home to take care of her parents. They are then only free to marry when both parents are deceased.

Water buffalo’s are a regular feature, even in the suburbs, being walked to and from the fields at dawn and dusk. Although rarely used nowadays for working the land, they are considered an important status symbol. The current value of one head of buffalo is about 20,000 Baht ( about £412 as at March 2010 )

Picture above area in Isan called Lam Kho Hong is typical of the many village’s around Thailand.

Below funeral of one of the village elders

Issan Territory Page 4, The Village Funeral in Lam Kho Hong
Issan Territory Page 4, The Village Funeral in Lam Kho Hong
Kalasin Province, Page 1, Situation of the Province, Provincial Seal, Map of Kalasin, Districts.