CULTURAL ADAPTATION IN THAI - LAOS ELEPHANT REARING IN THE GLOBALIZATION ERA
This study aims to understand the cultural adaptation in Thai and Laos elephant rearing in the globalization era. A qualitative research approach is employed to conduct the study. An observation form, interview, and group interview are used to collect data. The participants are Thai and Lao elephant herders which include local philosophers, elephant owners, elephant mahouts, scholars, veterinarians, elephant camp owners, and those who have knowledge about elephant rearing culture. The survey and interview are both structured and unstructured. The data is compiled and analyzed using Structural-Functional Theory. Then the descriptive analysis method is employed to present the data.
The results show that in the present, Thai - Laos elephant rearing culture is both tangible and intangible culture. There is a relationship between the herders and the elephants that can still be seen today. However, globalization has affected the economy, society, technology, and administration, resulting in tangible and intangible culture adaptations. The tangible cultures include food, sanctuary, medicine, and elephant farming equipment. The intangible cultures are traditions, rituals, and beliefs. It is obvious that the current domestic elephant rearing culture is mostly for business. Most Thai and Laos elephant rearing can also be seen in our daily life. The elephant rearing culture has been systematically passed down from one generation of elephant herder to the next. Elephant rearing experience that has accumulated develops elephant rearing skills that are suitable for the current conditions in each area. Over time, the skills development has shaped the appropriate method for rearing elephants that fits in the globalized era, in terms of both rearing elephants for labor and getting other benefits from them.