Donation center for earthquake in Shan state, Myanmar

Shan New Generation Network and Thai volunteer group setup donation center in Bangkok, Thailand for funding to help earthquake victims in Shan state, Myanmar.

More detail please visit : http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=110830978999690

Help earthquake victims in Shan state , Myanmar activity in Bangkok (4-10 April, 2011)

Shan New Generation Network and Thai volunteer group make a t-shirt for funding to help earthquake victims in Shan state, Myanmar.

More detail please visit :http://www.facebook.com/pages/Help-Earthquake-Victim-from-Shan-State-in-Myanmar/119938871415356


Happy Shan New Year 2104

Maisoong Pee Mai Tai 2104!

May the New Year bring good health, security, prosperity, harmony and success to all Tai! And, may the blessings of the Triple Gem be upon and with all Tai!

One may notice I use the word Tai in the title of this email and in the first paragraph. This use is NOT just to keep the way we traditionally call ourselves: we always call ourselves Tai. But this is also to follow the now established international scholastic tradition, which has been studying about "the various Tai people in general".

The international scholars on Tai, use the word "Tai" to mean not only what the Burmese call "Shan" but to include also "Thai" "Laotian" "Tai-Dam" in Vietnam, "Tai-Lue" in Xixuangpanna, China, "Tai-Assam" and so on. Regarding this term, Professor David K. Wyatt of Cornell University, Ithaca, NY says: "[T]he word Tai," is "a cultural and linguistic term used to denote the various Tai people in general, peoples sharing a common linguistic and cultural identities. ..... The Tai peoples [note the plural form] today are widely spread over several million square kilometers of the southeastern corner of the great land mass of Asia.... we arrive at a total of about 70 million people, a linguistic and cultural group comparable in number to the French or Germans." (David K. Wyatt, "Thailand, A Short History", Yale University Press, 1982, pp.1-2.)

This scholarly term is important, indeed vital, if we are to try to understand about Tai New Year. This is exactly because the Tai New Year began long before "the various Tai peoples" started migrating to South and Southeast Asia in 2nd and then 8th AD. The fact that the Tai people had established themselves, more than two thousand years ago, linguistically and culturally is now well known to at least scholars. On this Wyatt, again, writes: "By the last centuries of the first millennium B.C., we must presume that the major linguistic and cultural families of the people that we regard as Southeast Asian had become differentiated, and to some extent physically separated, from one another." (Thailand, A Short History, p. 5).

Peter Simms and his wife Sao Sanda Ywanghwe, in their acclaimed work The Kingdoms of Laos echo this opinion when they write: “When we come to the earliest accounts of the Tai, which are to be found in the Chinese chronicles in the sixth century B.C, around the time of the Buddha, the Tai had already created a distinct way of life.” (Peter and Sanda Simms "The Kingdoms of Laos: Six Hundred years of History", Curzon Press, London, 1999, p.2.)

In fact, the identification of this distinctness of the Tai in the "middle of the sixth century B.C" was also earlier made by William Dodd, the author of "The Tai Race, Elder Brother of the Chinese". (See also, Joachim Schlesinger, "Tai Groups of Thailand", White Lotus, Chiang Mai, 2001, Ch. 3: Hypothesis about the Origins of the Tai Race.)

This culturally distinct feature would have to include the way we communicate among ourselves. Among them were an administration system, agricultural know-how, a belief system and a calendar. The Tai were, until recently, known for their feudal system of administration. On agriculture, even the Burmese acknowledge that they had learnt agricultural know-how such as farming and horse breeding from the Tai. (For more see Maynmar Nain-gnan thamaing by U Hla Pe for the middle schools in Burma. This textbook was replaced after 1974.)

Little known though is about our calendar. Not about its existence but about its extensive use and its influence. How could we have a distinct administration system if we did not have our own system of calendar? The Tai calendar, I deduce, must have been similar to the Chinese in some way but differed from it in another. The similarity may be in the way we calculate the year using animals as symbols. For instance, pi sur, pi ma (Tiger Year, Horse Year) etc. which the Thai and the Chinese still use. We Shan people also use this. There are 12 animals, indicating, perhaps, the Chinese must have had a 12-months year.

The difference between the Tai and the Chinese calendar though may lie in the way we calculate months. The way the months are formed in Tai calendar (I do not know about the Chinese on this.) is well explained by Professor Wyatt in his other work Nan Chronicle (Cornell University, Ithaca, 1994) which is the translation and remarks on the chronicle of the province of Nan, in the present northern Thailand. He has an appendix on the way we calculate the months. We WERE very fond of the number 60 (sixty) and one month HAD 60 days. So, there were only six months a year.

The fact that we were FOND of the number 60 is also evident in the Tai-Khun's particular way calculating "one round of years". According to the Tai-Khun chronicles extant today, there was one round/cycle of years every sixty years. (Now in Thailand, 12 years is one round/cycle, and if you are thirty six year old, you complete the third round. There was, for instance, a big Birth Day celebration for Princess Sirindhorn on her 36th Birthday. This may even be argued as the Chinese influence on the Thai on this matter.)

For many Tai peoples, however, this use of sixty cyclical-years was retained even after the Tai-Khun had adopted the Chula Sakkaraja from the Mon through Lanna. Sao Saimong Mangrai, a Cambridge graduate, in his famous work, Padaeng Chronicle and The Jengtung State Chronicle TRanslated (University of Michigan, 2002, Second Edition, pp. 53-57) has a note on this. There is also a chart of the sixty cyclical year provided in this book.

The way the sixty cyclical years is calculated in the Tai-Khun calendar is, however, far from being unique to this important branch of the Tai. In fact, as indicated earlier, the Tai all over used this system in their calculation of days that form a month: there were sixty days in one Tai month. The terms used in the Tai-Khun chronicles and those employed by the Tai peoples in other parts of Asia were exactly the same. This is evident in Sao Gang Sur's famous book, Jatissara Nyan (The Knowledge of Past and Future Lives).

In his book, the Tai scholar Sao Garng Sur explained how to form days into month by matching “mother-year” and “children-year”. There are "ten mother-years" (mea pi), and "twelve children-years" (luk pi). Despite their names as "the mother-" and "children- year", the terms were in fact used to count days and months, not year, at least by the time he wrote his work, which was about one hundred and sixty years ago. (The author of a Shan novel, Khun Sam Law Nang Oo Pem, was his daughter. Her name, as you all know, was Nang Kham Gu.).

One scholar, Sai Fa, told me that Pi Mai Tai was officially in use in the two of the six famous Tai kingdoms, Mong Loong and Mong Pa. However, I have yet to search find any evidence either to support or reject it. However, not just how it all began but also how we stopped using our Tai Year remain a puzzle awaiting to be resolved through further study. Our get-together on this New Year should create us some impetus for this important historical and anthropological work.

by : Sao Dhamma


Shan teacher request for work in Bangkok

Mai Soong Kha,

Shan New Generation Network are looking for an experienced Shan language teacher to working in Bangkok for our learning center to teaching Shan and Thai people, any Shan teacher interest please contact us:

Position Request : Shan language teacher (Salary 15,000Baht)
Number of request : 2 Person


- Male or Female
- Aage 25-50 years old
- Tai (Shan) nationality (preferred)
- Fluent in spoken and written Shan, and Thai language.
- Strong communication and inter-personal skills.
- Ability to work under pressure.
- Over 2 years of experience in teaching.
- All positions will be work in Bangkok.
- Housing and daily food will provide by Company.
- Working hours ( 9 hours perday)
- Working 6 days per week (One day off)
- All benafit will be provide base on Thai labour law.
- Company will provide working ID card as per Thai labour law.
- One month bonus for 12 months working staff.

Interested candidates should send their resume and cover letter to vitoona@gmail.com


Shan New Generation Network Learning Center open in Bangkok, Thailand

Mai Soong Kha All,

Shan New Generation Network Learning Center are now open in Bangkok, Thailand. Location on South Sathon road, heart of Bangkok. Present we have setup 2 class rooms with one room can be handle 15-40 student.

Any Shan people in Bangkok need to help me for setup study course for Shan people (English, Shan, Thai, Computer and other) please contact me on vitoona@gmail.com

Class Room daily open from 7:00 to 24:00

Learning Course
-Computer (Hardware and softwear)
-Thai Massage (with other spa knowledge and massage)

All are Free of Charge.

Class Room

Meeting Room

Teacher's Room



Thai-Burma landmine survivor assistance program

Since early 2002, Clear Path International has been working with ethnic refugee health committees along the Thai border with Burma to provide prosthetic and rehabilitation care to hundreds of Burmese landmine amputees. It has also funded efforts to improve prosthetics fabrication and measurement technology resulting in better and lower-cost limbs for accident survivors.

It all began at the Mae Tao Clinic 250 miles northwest of Bangkok. The clinic, located within a mile from the Burmese border, was set up by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Cynthia Maung to serve ethnic Karen and other Burmese refugees who were displaced by the fighting between ethnic and government troops inside Burma.

At the Mae Tao Clinic, Clear Path has provided financial support for prostheses materials, the construction of a new prosthetics workshop and the training of new technicians – all landmine accident survivors. The clinic’s prosthetics department was founded by Maw Kel, himself a Karen landmine amputee who was trained by Handicap International and made artificial legs in the refugee camps for 15 years.

Maw Kel’s prosthetics department, which has graduated a number of technicians who have spread out to work along the border, has become a hub for the creation and nurturing of other prostheses production shops with financial and technical support from Clear Path:

The goal is to use the Mae Tao Clinic as a center for outreach among displaced amputees who cannot travel because of legal and security issues, using a new remote measurement device developed by Prosthetics Research Study of Seattle with funding from Clear Path. The technology, known as the Transtibial Alignment System (TTAS), is introduced at the Mae Tao Clinic to technicians from each of the four work shops along with thermoplastics production resulting in lighter, cheaper and more durable below-the-knee prostheses. By using this new technique, landmine amputees in the remote jungles are able to get prostheses without travelling to a clinic or production site.

In the Thai-Burma border region, where 2 million refugees have fled their homes since 1996, Clear Path works alongside Handicap International and the International Committee of the Red Cross. HI serves the landmine survivors in the United Nations refugee camps (approximately 160,000 people) along the Burmese border in Thailand, while ICRC has orthopaedic facilities in government-held territories in eastern Burma. Clear Path’s unique role is to help the ethnic refugee committees reach and serve amputees the two other organizations can’t.

CPI’s country representative, a physical therapist from the Netherlands, provides several training sessions per year to the local staff at Mae Tao Clinic. These sessions are designed to improve the rehabilitation treatment of the amputees, and to expand local rehabilitation knowledge and skills.

PENG LO, Thailand – A few hours north of Chiang Mai, the Shan Health Committee has founded a prosthetics shop that employs two technicians who graduated from Maw Kel’s training course at the Mae Tao Clinic. Clear Path funded their training, equipment and operating budget. It continues to provide technical expertise to the remote shop.

KUNG JOR, Thailand – This camp of 600 refugees from the Shan State in Burma is close to the Peng Lo workshop. Here, CPI supports the Shan Health Committee initiative to build a pig and fish farm that will create jobs for seven amputees who live in the camp. This income-generating project helps them generate income, rebuild their self-esteem and independence, and facilitates social reintegration.

LOI KAW WAN and LOI TAILENG, Thailand – These two remote villages at the far north-eastern border with Burma count respectively 2,800 and about 2,000 refugees from ethnic groups. Seven amputees in Loi Kaw Wan want to unite with a group of more than 20 amputees in nearby Therd Thai to find suitable jobs and have asked CPI to support their effort. In Loi Taileng, 28 amputees have asked CPI to help them start income-generating projects through the Shan Health Committee. CPI’s country representative provides orthopaedic rehabilitation training to the staff of the medical clinics in both villages.

LOI KAW, Burma – To meet the needs of the numerous amputees inside Eastern Burma, CPI supports a new workshop in the Karenni capitol. The area is fairly stable, but accident survivors have no other access to medical and/or prosthetic treatment in their area. Seven technicians who were trained at the Mae Tao Clinc are running this new workshop, which started producing artificial legs in October 2007.

KHO KEY, Burma – This small shop was started by the Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People and serves landmine accident survivors in the southern part of the territory held by the Karen National Union. Clear Path provided the budget for raw materials to make prostheses and the local organization has been sustaining the workshop ever since.

CARE VILLA, Mae La camp, Thailand – This is a home, a shelter and a 24-7 care facility for 18 men inside the UN refugee camps at Mae La. Most of the men were blinded by landmines and/or lost their hands and arms in their accidents. CPI funds are used for their daily care and the building. Saw Mordecai, himself a landmine victim, is dedicated to help these severely disabled survivors make their lives as worthy as possible through handicraft and musical activities. The CPI country representative and other volunteers provide intermittent physical therapy for the men.

Source : CPI