Long-Boat Racing in Thailand: An Increasing of Tourist but Losing of Local Identity
Isan region of Thailand has wealthy traditions based on the Buddhist religion and sacred trust which are crucial
tools to build the unity in their community. This article aims to explain the long- boat racing tradition in the Isan region that
was adjusted for tourism and it replaces original purpose. This research is a qualitative research and uses the folklore
frameworks. The data were collected by observation, in-depth interview who concerning this tradition; residents, tourist,
companies, and government officials. The research field is the annual boat racing tradition of Kumphawapi city, Udon Thani
province in Isan region of Thailand held in November 2014 at Pao River in this city.
The result was found that in the past time, the long-boat racing of annual tradition held to enhance the relationship between
the people who live near river and to show the respect the sacred things protecting the river and fisherman according to the
villager’s belief. Unfortunately the elements of long-boat racing were adapted for promote tourism more than maintain the
traditional essence. This lead to loss of Isan local identity.
Keywords- Long-boat racing, Isan traditional, Local culture, Folklore