Food in Isan Country Songs : The Urban and the Rural Construction of the Isan Diaspora

Sirichaya Congreat 




This research aims to study the construction process of “urban” and “rural” contexts in the Isan country songs of Grammy Gold Company Limited during 2002-2011. The research has found that the representation of food in country songs through the perspective of the Isan diaspora when referring to urban and rural contexts is different. The representation of food in the urban context reflects poverty and suffering, while the representation of food in the rural context represents prosperity and happiness. Such image is used to voice out to the society that the urban excess is only for the city people, while the Isan diaspora is suppressed and pushed away from having the same privilege; the constructed image for the rural prosperity is also used to counter the mainstream discourse that views Isan rural area as being dry, poor and lacking economic potential. Moreover, food in country songs is well applied to communicate the exclusive shared experience between the Isan diaspora.


(Published in Rian Thai: International Journal of Thai Studies, Volume 7/2014, Page 105-129)


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