The Long Neck Tribe – at souvenir shops in Chiang Mai
Those are pictures of Karen people. They are known as the long neck tribe, but the people in those pictures weren’t living in the mountains. They were selling souvenirs to tourists at a village that was located not so far from the town of Chiang Mai.
To tell the truth, it was not my intention to go to the village. At that time, I had a lot of free time, so I reserved a one day tour at my hotel in Chiang Mai without looking into its itinerary. Visiting the village of the long neck tribe happened to be a part of the tour.
Actually, I’ve had opportunities to visit the Karen people’s villages before, but I never went there because I didn’t really agree to their culture, which makes women’s necks long. It is not easy to make their necks like that. It must be painful. Generally speaking, women are perceived to be able to endure pain in order to become more beautiful, but these people are forced to do so from an early age. I think it is definitely child abuse, and that makes me sick.
However, that is their culture. I don’t have any right to judge some culture. Still, I have the right not to see what I don’t want to see. That’s why I had never visited their village until that time.
As I previously mentioned, I had no intention of going there specifically. However, actually, it was fun. I think they didn’t want to sell souvenirs or show weaving, but some girls looked like they enjoyed their work by dressing themselves up. It was not their actual village, but it was a village for tourists, so I’m not sure if that was their actual life or not, but I guess I made a mistake. I should have visited their actual village. I don’t understand what I saw because I never tried to visit their actual village. Now, I’m waiting for an opportunity to go there.