Villagers supporting urban dwellers in Chiang Mai, Thailand

nils carstensen

Dear all,

Below please find an interesting example of cooperation between Karen villagers, the Thai military and urban citizens in Chiang Mai – all shared by good colleagues in Thailand.

Villagers supporting urban dwellers in Chiang Mai, Thailand

In the face of the Covid-19 global pandemic, Pwo Karen villagers recently contacted the Thai military with a request to share their harvest with residents of Chiang Mai as a way to help in the relief effort. On Wednesday, 29 April 2020, thousands of individual bags of organic rice, vegetables, fruit, and vitamins (smile) carefully prepared by the Karen were transported in a large black military truck to a square across the road from the Chiang Mai Thai military barracks. Beginning in the late afternoon, 30 villagers, men and women, young and old, served food for several hours to more than 1,000 Chiang Mai citizens, who, destitute by the pandemic, had lined up in the park for hours. 

It was an unforgettably experience to see the Pwo Karen villagers, beautifully dressed in their traditional hand-woven clothing, stretching out their arms with the fruits of the earth and the fruits of their labor. The efforts of these Karen, who are often not fully recognized as Thai citizens, united together diverse peoples—Chiang Mai residents, Thai soldiers, monks, and Karen villagers—in a moment of compassion, a gesture of humanity.

And for those interested, this US website is trying to capture community responses globally – but so far with a majority of examples originating out of the US:

Greetings - Ramadan Kareem to all