Khon Kaen University's main gate signs now include Tai Noi, used to display the Thai Lao language, and the same font used in the Isan Culture Maintenance and Revitalisation Programme.
This is the first time a major public university in the Northeast has acknowledged the Thai Lao identity in this way. The move supports the draft Thai National Language Policy and shows that a decentralised education system is required, which recognises regional and local identity, enhanced through the formal incorporation of regional and local languages in the Thai education system and local bureaucracy.
The story is on www.facebook.com /icmrpthailand.
“As part of Khon Kaen University’s drive towards greater multiculturalism and respect for local culture and language, the main gate signage of KKU has been changed to include Isan, technically ‘Thai Lao’. The new script is an ancient Thai script called Tai Noi and dates back to Sukhothai-period King Lithaim, who reigned from 1346-74, although it continued to be used up to the 20th century in temple-based education and is also the chosen script for the revitalisation of Thai Lao by the ICMRP.”
The script was designed by the Fine Arts Faculty at KKU in association with experts from the Culture Department and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. It is an example of inter-faculty synergies in favour of pluralism ICMRP is helping to generate.