Blind Thai writers and TUFS Thai language major students get together to discuss Thai poems

August 2, 2021

On May 27, 2021, TUFS students majoring in the Thai language got together with writers for BLIND Magazine Online through an online meeting as part of their active learning for the class “Thai: Writing 3,” taught by SUNISA Wittayapanyanon. This is the second time this meeting hais been held following the first last year. Last year’s topic was “sound” and this year’s was poetry.

In the May 27 class, students deepened their understanding of Thai poetry, learning about its characteristic rhythm. Afterwards, they got into mixed groups of Thai writers, Thai university stuudents and Japanese students to create their own poems.Rinsatta Karnjanawati who instructed this class has won awards from the Ministry of Education and has also been nominated for other Southeast Asian awards. Her class was very easy to understand. On June 3, the Japanese students introduced Japanese poems to the Thai writers who listened attentively.
This event was televised in Thailand by Thai PBS on July 29, National Thai Language Day.

A video of the broadcast can be seen oin YouTube.

Transcription of the newscast:

Newscaster: This is a report on a class whose topic is society during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Newscaster: Today, July 29, is National Thai Llanguage Day. We are going to present to you an online class that took place among Thai and Japanese students that featured poetry. Blind writer Rinsatta Karnjanawati gave a lecture on Thai poetry at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Ms. Rinsatta introduced Thai poetry along with other Thai writers and the Japanese students presented Japanese poems. Let’s take a look at the class!

Rinsatta: Hello, I’m Rinsatta. Today I’m going to talk about Thai poetry. I’m here thanks to Ms. Sunisa who invited me today. I teach poetry’s rhythm with a focus on syllables at a Thai university. What I learned through this experience is the importance of choosing easy vocabulary when introducing something to people from other countries.
(Session to deepen syllable understanding)
Rinsatta: After learning the basics of poem composition, students and writers got together in groups to make their own poems. They were finished within 10 minutes. Let’s listen to them!

(Session to introduce the poems)

Rinsatta: Japanese students introduced us to Japanese poems during the second session of the class. I heard of the Japanese poet Kaneko Misuzu for the first time. She committed suicide at a young age, but she lived in a time that had limited working opportunities for women. I was also able to learn about the living conditions of Japanese women at the time. Online classes are honestly not easy for blind people, but this was a very interesting opportunity. I hope to meet Japanese students once the pandemic is over.

Student: I was motivated to keep up my Thai language studies.

Student: It was very fun to make poems together.

Newscaster: Not even the Ccovid-19 pandemic can get in the way of wonderful opportunities like this. This is a new class format. It’s very interesting to see how cultural exchanges continue to take place.

(Photos of the online classes)