Main Article Content
This article deals with the issue of how folklore as an academic discipline could respond to the decline of traditional agrarian society and the rise of transnational communities. Folk life and culture have undergone critical transformations in the globalizing world and the key question is: where should the folklorist go? Based on his intensive ethnographic studies of the community of migrant workers and border-crossing women from Thailand to Singapore, the author argues that folklorists, especially from Northeastern Thailand and other countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region, should focus their attention on the transient life and emerging transnational communities. As collecting, reading, and interpreting stories from mobile people are the folklorist’s assets and strengths, the author uses border-crossing tales of Thai migrant workers, tradeswomen, and sex workers in Singapore as an illustration of how the folklorist could engage with the social life in the fast lane of the transnationalizing world. The folklorist can tell stories that unveil migrants’ selfhood and deeply reflect human experience in different life situations away from home and on their long journeys.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.