The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

WoWasis book review: Kaowai & Robinson’s ‘In Grandmother’s House’

Written By: herbrunbridge - May• 07•11

Visitors spending any time looking into the culture of Thailand will run into thousands of folk traditions and beliefs, and Thais are always impressed when a foreigner wishes to know more about them. Understanding these concepts is empirical, as one thing inevitably leads to another. We at WoWasis are still learning. And that’s why we welcome — and recommend — In Grandmother’s House: Thai Folklore, Traditions, and Rural Village Life (2011, ISBN 978-981-08-6658-7).  

The book is a fascinating amalgam of lore told to Sorasing Kaowai by his late grandmother, who was a village healer in the Isaan province of Uttaradit. Co-author Peter Robinson, a former Buddhist monk, does a great job of putting these beliefs and stories into a cultural context. Our favorite chapter deals with the ubiquitous Thai ghosts, including the feared excrement-eating and baby-killing Krasue. Each chapter, though, is compelling, with wonderful explanations on topics as disparate as eating bugs, local festivals, kaffir lime, marriage and death rites, facial moles, and Buddhist monks. 

It’s not easy finding this amount of information about Thai village traditions, and it’s well-covered here, in 240 pages. Buy it now at the WoWasis estore, powered by Amazon.

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