The research team from the Center for Documentation and Revitalization of Endangered Language at the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia (RILCA), Mahidol University has developed an innovation called "ICE - GAME" (ICE Game) or "Intercultural Education Game" to promote learning among cultures. Using a curriculum and lesson plans comprising teaching materials that promote intercultural learning, ICE game was piloted on Koh Lanta under the project “Mother tongue-based Multilingual and Intercultural Education (MTBMLE-ICE) in Koh Lanta” in collaboration with 14 local schools in the Krabi Primary Educational Service Area Office, namely: Ban Lo Yai School; Ban Thungwittayaphat School, Ban Klong Tanot School, Ban Ban Sot School, Ban Sala Dan Community School, Ban Phra Ae School, Ban Khlong Hin School, Ban Klong Nin School, Ban Thungyeepeng School, Ban Jalee School, Wat Koh Lanta School, Ban Koh Por School, Ban Sang Ka U School, and Lanta Ratchapracha Uthit School. The project was supported by the Pestalozzi Children Foundation (PCF) for a period of three years (2019 - 2022) to study methods for preserving and inheriting the language and culture of ethnic groups. The "Urak Lawoi", the original indigenous people of Koh Lanta, are classified as a community in crisis, and the goal of the project was to promote diversity through education management in the Koh Lanta area, Krabi province. It also aims to apply the research results in other regions and through developing connections with countries with similar language families and cultures.
The research team collected traditional stories and cultural traditions of the Urak Lawoi that was deemed important to preserve and pass on together with features of the Thai, Chinese, and Muslim cultures found on Koh Lanta. They then created a board game experience in the form of a card game similar to UNO card game, calling it “Lanta multicultural knowledge card game”. The content is very engaging. It is divided into colors associated with the categories of history, landmark, language, traditional, and food according to the cultural groups on Koh Lanta. Each player must read some facts as part of the game, which shares knowledge while competing with the other players. Another game is “Bingo – here at Lanta”. It is a small game which identifies important places on Koh Lanta. The players learn details about and the importance of places in Koh Lanta from the cards, such as the names of villages, beaches, bays and schools. The game promotes cultural diversity on the island through exploring a map of Koh Lanta and learning information on cards covering categories such as history, geography, way of life, religion, traditions and festivals, etc. The game is designed for groups from grade one to grade six. The aim is for players to learn, gain knowledge and at the same time, have fun.
Mr. Panuwat Changnam, an alumnus of Ban Sala Dan Community School and teacher who teaches students about the culture of the Urak Lavoi people in social studies class at secondary level has been integrating the concept of coexistence between cultures. He told us,
“I am proud to be one of the young people in this community with its own culture and language which identifies who we are for more than 10 years. We have worked to preserve the Urak Lawoi culture. It made me appreciate the value of the Urak Lawoi culture and people. And I am going to work to preserve the culture and not to let it be lost. I believe that having the Urak Lawoi culture class in schools is a good way to educate children and continue to inherit the good Urak Lawoi culture. It also helps children to become even more immersed in the culture.”
Dr. Mirinda Burarungroj talks about the preparation of the project: “If we can make youth understand themselves and understand others, it will create a society that respects each other in diversity. The research team hopes to deliver the innovation “ICE – GAME” as a “gift” to ethnic groups in Thailand and internationally. We hope to encourage development and innovation in restoring linguistic and cultural identities. This is for everyone so we will not lose the languages and cultures of ethnic groups, which are precious treasures of this world and should remain sustainable and everlasting”
The results of the research found that the ICE - GAME is an engaging activity among the Koh Lanta community of 1,760 families, 126 teachers and school administrators, and more than 2,200 students in Koh Lanta, consisting of Urak Lawoi, Southern Thai, Muslim and Chinese groups. Together, they are able to coexist in a diverse society in terms of language, culture, traditions and different ways of life with an understanding and appreciation of the similarities and differences. Children and youth of all cultural groups on Koh Lanta are proud of their culture and respect the cultures of others, and are able to coexist peacefully with mutual respect in a multicultural society.
ICE – GAME was created in response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular SDG 4 on Quality Education, in line with Goal 4.7, it aims to ensure that all learners receive necessary knowledge and skills to promote sustainable development, including education for sustainable development and sustainable livelihoods, human rights, gender equality and the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence. It further envisages the notion of global citizenship, encouraging cultural diversity and the contribution of culture to sustainable development by the year 2030.