Thai Deep South: Snapshots from Daily Life in Pattani

Mariyam Ahmad and Uayporn Satitpanyapan
Pattani, Thailand

Rickshaw driver Paju Samoh transports Buddhist monk Weera around Pattani as the cleric collect morning alms, Aug. 14, 2018. [BenarNews].


Ethnic Chinese offer alms to Monk Weera at a market in Pattani town, Aug. 14, 2018. [BenarNews]


Police keep vigil at night in central Pattani town, Aug. 14, 2018. [BenarNews]


A Muslim woman sells garlands that are typically worn by Buddhists, at a market in Pattani, Aug. 14, 2018. [BenarNews]


Muslims gather for midday prayers at the famous Krue Se mosque in Pattani, Aug. 14, 2018. [Uayporn Satitpanyapan/BenarNews]


People have breakfast at a Muslim eatery, where milky tea, curries and bread top of the menu, July 27, 2018. [BenarNews]


Two women selling dried fish wait for customers at the Pattani Municipal Market, July 24, 2018. [BenarNews]


A soldier chats with a fruit seller as he guards the Pattani Municipal Market, July 24, 2018. [BenarNews]


The cook at the Namros restaurant fries his noodle specialty, which attracts hundreds of patrons every day, Aug. 14, 2018. [BenarNews]


A Muslim fisherman sails his Kolek boat from a pier in the Bana neighborhood of Pattani, Aug. 15, 2018. [BenarNews]


School boys who are cutting class watch a man fish near Bana pier, Aug. 15, 2018 [BenarNews]


People soak in a view of the sunset along Pattani Bay, Aug. 14, 2018. [BenarNews]

Pattani, the capital of a province by the same name, sits in the heart of Thailand’s troubled Deep South and is home to a hodge-podge of cultures and religions where Malay-speaking Muslims have co-existed for decades with Thai Buddhists and ethnic Chinese.

While news of the separatist insurgency casts a shadow across the predominantly Muslim region and security checkpoints are commonplace in the town, there are countless scenes of people from the different communities inter-mingling every day.

There’s the Muslim rickshaw driver transporting a Buddhist monk on his morning round of gathering alms, vendors selling dried fish or the pungent durian fruit at local markets and truant schoolboys idling near a man fishing from a local pier.

“After I finish my morning-prayers every day, I have coffee and come pick him up. I think we need to help each other,” rickshaw driver Paju Samoh, 68, said of his regular fare, Monk Weera, who is 75.

“I will do it until I cannot go on, and then another one will take on this duty,” Paju told BenarNews.


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