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Radio Soap Opera in Lahu Language

supported by ADB

In Thailand, UNESCO and Radio Thailand Chiang Mai (RTC) agreed to cooperate in the production and broadcast of a 30-episode programme in Lahu language. The Lahu staff of the Chiang Mai-based New Life Center Foundation (NLCF) conducted community research, composed the drama scripts and recorded the programme. The production of the Lahu drama, entitled, Yesterday’s Sweet Flower, was completed in August 2004, and in early September, it was officially launched to air thrice weekly. Shortly after the start of the Lahu radio drama, UNESCO, RTC and NLCF conducted a three-day direct audience reception at four Lahu communities in Thailand’s Chiang Dao District of Chiang Mai Province. Another similar audience reception was done in early November in Mae Sruay District of Chiang Rai, where Lahu communities that said to have completely stopped listening to RTC Lahu service, are now tuning in again after the launch of the UNESCO-supported Lahu radio soap opera.

Prepared with UNESCO, a weekly quiz about the soap opera is broadcast live by the Lahu drama producers every Sunday. Five Lahu songs cassettes are given out every week to those who answer the questions correctly. Within a few weeks of the broadcast, UNESCO and its partners – RTC and NLCF – have received a large, positive response from Lahu listeners in Thailand and Burma. They include requests, among many, for longer drama episodes (30 minutes instead of 10 minutes); a TV production; radio sets; stronger radio frequency power for improved reception in Kengtung hill and valley areas of Burma’s northeastern Shan State.

Partner organizations:
Radio Thailand Chiang Mai, Thailand -
New Life Center Foundation, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Oct. 2003 - Sept. 2004



See sample synopsis and script of Yesterday's Sweet Flower

Return to Radio Programme in Ethnic Minority Language page