Written by Mekong Institute
The objectives of the research aimed to study the impact of North – South Economic Corridor towards the changing economic, social and culture of the Hmong ethnic group residing in Chiang Khong district, Chiangrai province, Thailand.
The researcher selected 230 household samples out of 432 households by employing Taro Yamane for sampling selection. The questionnaires and participant observation were used as a method of data collection. The statistical tools for analyzing the data are frequency distribution, percentage, mean, standard deviation and t-test.
The study revealed that the Hmong ethnic group had transmigrated to settle in the areas of Chiang Khong district more than 20 years. The main occupation is agriculture, some income derived from maize, rice farming, gardening, and cloth sewing. The findings indicated that before and after the construction of the North South Economic Corridor, the ways of life of the Hmong ethnic has been adversely affected both in the past and at present with significant difference at 1 percent level.
The economic aspects; (1) there is an exchange of cultural goods along the borders which are benefited to trade and investment, (2) there is an opportunity to increase higher family income, (3) there is the gaining of skills and experiences in livelihood performance, (4) there is change in occupation and production technique. The social aspect: (1) there is a change in living pattern, material used for building and house structure, (2) there is communication and social mobility between the borders for economic and social purpose, (3) there is an opportunity for education. The cultural aspect: (1) there is a decrease in using local wisdom in health care pattern, (2) there is a decrease in desirable behavior and ethnic socialization in the family, and (3) there is a change and an exchange in tradition and tribal culture along the borders of Thailand and Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
The direction of adaptation of the Hmong ethnic group towards the impact along the path of North South Economic Corridor which has been evidently observed that there are business networks established for value added to the cultural products, conservation, revitalization, and transmission of tribal identity. Of utmost importance is to develop the standard of living for quality of life improvement, and more importantly, the increase in earning capability, prevention of diseases, security in life and property, as well as facilitation in the border trades are required.