Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tai Lu historical source bibliography (Liew, Foon Ming)

Liew, Foon Ming (2004) "An introduction to the Tai Lu sources of the history of Moeng Lu (Sipsong Panna): Various Tai Lu Manuscript-copies on the 'Dynastic History of Moeng Lu' that have been translated into Chinese or transcribed into Thai and the salient studies of the History of Moeng Lu (Leshi), 1947-2001," Aseanie 14, decembre 2004, p. 149-194.

On a recent trip to the Siam Society library in Bangkok I was so happy to find this extensive annotated bibliography that puts order to a very complex textual genealogy. I learned exactly where all those Tai Lu books published in Thailand that I have given to my uncle (in-law) over the years fit into the whole complicated textual genealogy. Keep up the great work Dr. Liew!

I have a personal interest in Tai Lu history since my family is Tai Lu. On any given night you can hear old traditional Tai Lu folk ballads being sung, on a CD from China of course, but I often catch my wife and mother-in-law singing along. All our dogs have Tai Lu names (8 Shihtzu's and a German Shepherd). When I lived in Maesai, Chiangrai we'd go with all the other Tai Lu families to the wat on Doi Wow and worship on Buddhist holy days. We go to all the Tai Lu weddings (meal of sticky rice and nam prik at every rest stop from Chiangrai to Bangkok) and of course my wife Saipin and I had a Tai Lu wedding ourselves. According to Tai Lu tradition, I had to carry the whole cooked chicken up to the front door and beg admittance to the house, bribing all the matrons of the neighborhood with little 20 baht notes which they, of course, said wasn't enough and teased me. Every holiday season my mother-in-law (my mother) puts on her Tai Lu black housewife clothes for the parade and evening of festivities. Every year there's an annual Tai Lu festival in Chiang Kham east of Phayao with a wonderful little Kantok dinner.