Hill-tribes generously share crops and food with Thais in towns

The people of Thailand are showing unity during the coronavirus pandemic with hilltribe people gifting 20 tons of agricultural produce to their lowland neighbors in towns and villages. At the same time, the Bangkok government launched a mobile kitchen to cook 500 meals per day for those facing hardship.

On April 24, hill-tribe people in Tak province sent over 20 tons of cabbage, radish, bitter gourd, sweet potato, and leafy vegetables to people living in the lowlands, according to a government official. Townspeople and farmers in the area have been suffering economic hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic and the worst drought in decades.

Tak is a mountainous province on Thailand’s western border with Myanmar and is one of the most scenic places to visit in the Kingdom. About a quarter of those living there are members of hill-tribes. The tribes that make their homes in Tak include the Karen, the Akha, the Lahu, the Lisu, and Hmong. The Karen are the most numerous.

It is also home to several national parks and the Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991.

Because hill-tribes typically live in remote mountain villages, they haven’t shared as much in the development and wealth typical of most of the rest of Thailand. Consequently, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great made several visits to hilltribe hamlets and designed royal development projects to improve the people’s health, education, and livelihoods.

The tribes-people are now taking the opportunity to return the goodwill and grace of their ethnic Thai brethren.

From mountaintops to city streets, Thais were sticking together. In the capital, Bangkok officials rolled out a mobile kitchen to visit neighborhoods where people, particularly low-income earners, have been struggling because of the shutdown.

The kitchen not only serves 500 meals a day for free but also conducts temperature screenings and gives out free masks and hand sanitizer.

Photo courtesy of http://thainews.prd.go.th/th/news/detail/TCATG200424141613532