Violence in the south of Thailand has caused a number of local residents to uproot their homes and move away, but some Thai residents aren’t willing to give up on Pattani, the southern provinces of Thailand or on the idea of cultural diversity.
One such person, Prangsai Lanthaisong has been a student in Chonburi province and recently made the decision to head south. “I wanted to study international relations and I was afraid when deciding to come here. My mother opposed my decision but my father encouraged me. He told me that any place can be dangerous not only the three southernmost provinces,” she said, speaking about her recent enrolment in the Prince of Songkla University, Pattani Campus school.
The mix of various cultures in the southern provinces of Thailand is one of the reasons Prangsai loves her school. She hopes to learn more about the different people who make up her country and said she was impressed by so many different cultures coming together to study.
Another student came to the area from Chumphon province. Thanwa Charoensiri said, “But here (in Pattani) it is different from Chumphon. There’s not only differences of languages and nationalities, but also differences of cultures, religions and their own identities. He, too, has been enjoying the cultural diversity of the south.
Clashes between Muslims and Buddhists have been causing problems, particularly in educational institutions and schools in the south but it looks like at the university level, students are still willing to work things out. Most of Thailand’s hottest tourists spots, such as Pattaya and Phuket, are completely unaffected by the problems and continue to attract hordes of eager tourists to their sunny beaches.