A Girl’s Life in Moon River Village, Thailandby Ted Gugelyk
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Village girls torn between two worlds indulge in sex at a very early age. Teen age pregnancy, drug use, dropping out of school and running away from home have become common. Extended families once dependent on young people for labor are left on their own. Young people escape from the villages. Some will return, to die of HIV, privately, hiding their illness silently, adding more shame to their family’s lives. Fathers and mothers and grandparents, illiterate but hard working and honest, are left wondering - How did all this come about so quickly? Why did village life centuries old break apart?
This is a story about “Happy”, a young girl from a rural Thai farming village. She is a happy girl because she escaped the confines of her parent’s rice fields and the restrictions of village life, where everyone knows everyone and everyone contributes to village labor. She is happy because she is liberated from all that is loved by her farmer parents and traditional village people. She is free of farm labor and free from helping her extended family harvest rice.
“Happy” is free because she entered the “entertainment industry” of Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket, free to dance naked to the intoxicating sounds of rap music, free and happy to sell her sex.
Poverty and lack of education is the sex trafficker. It is more anonymous, but its face is everywhere. It is the mother of ignorance and the father of futility.
This is a story written by the only Western man living in a remote Thai village. He writes what he observes. He writes about the characters in his small village: “Happy”, “The Solder Man” and his wife, “The Pumpui Fat Lady”, “Buddhist Monks” who come to rid a place from bad spirits manifesting themselves as pests; bed bugs, cock roaches and fleas. And he writes about “Kitty” a seven year-old girl infected by HIV, brought to the village by her prostitute mother who hopes to find someone to care for “Kitty” before mama dies. It is a story of dramatic social change and the breakup of traditional Thai village life.
Keywords - Thailand, Rural Thai Village Life, Prostitution, Social Change, Issan, Teen Pregnancy
- First Edition Design Publishing
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