Thao Suranari Monument – the pride of Khorat
Thai people call northeastern Thailand “Isan,” and whenever I hear it, I immediately think of homesickness. The reason it reminds me of homesickness is because I’ve heard so many people from Isan say they longed to go back home.
I love Isan too, but of course, not to the extent that they do. I sometimes feel the urge to go there. I’m honestly not sure why… Maybe I want to go because the people there don’t treat me as a tourist?
Anyway, the real thing I want to talk about today is Khorat. Khorat is considered the gateway to Isan, and it has the same kind of feeling that I mentioned above. Its real name is Nakhon Ratchasima, but it’s commonly known as Khorat.
I took these pictures at the Thao Suranari Monument, which is located in the dead center of the city. I hadn’t been to Khorat for a while and was surprised to see how much it had changed, but her statue remained right where it was.
Thao Suranari’s real name was actually Ya Mo (Grandma Mo). Thao Suranari is the name she was given by the king. He gave her this name meaning “brave woman” because she saved Khorat from the invasion of the Laotian army. And now, she is regarded as one of the four bravest women in Thailand.
By the way, the other three women are Sii Suriyothai (a queen from the Ayutthaya period whose life has been made into a movie), Thao Thep Satri and Thao Sii Sunthon (sisters for whom the Heroines Monument in Phuket was built).
It is difficult for me to continue talking about her history in details, but she was certainly a great woman. Even though she left this world 163 years ago, her statue is still always surrounded by worshippers. I think Thao Suranari is more than just a statue – I think she has also become the pride of modern Khorat.