Original Research

Preserving the values of cultural negotiation through social learning: ‘Two Religion Community Life’ case study in Phattalung, Southeast Thailand

Sri Sumarni, Abdulaziz K. Kalupae
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 1 | a5947 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i1.5947 | © 2020 Sri Sumarni, Abdulaziz Kalupae | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 January 2020 | Published: 27 July 2020

About the author(s)

Sri Sumarni, Master of Islamic Elementary Teacher Education, Faculty of Islamic Education and Teacher Training, Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Abdulaziz K. Kalupae, Master of Political Science Program, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Fatoni University, Pattani, Thailand


Prolonged conflict on the southern Thailand border still continues, especially in four provinces – Pattani, Yala, Narathivat, and Satun. These four provinces are the home base of the Malay-Muslim community. However, conflicts have almost never occurred in the province of Phattalung, particularly in the region called ‘Two Religion Community Life’. This is because people can find solutions to every problem using cultural negotiation. This research aims to describe the results of cultural negotiation and social learning between Muslims and Buddhists in solving daily life problems. The most important data collection techniques are in-depth interviews and observations. There are five critical informants chosen purposively: Islamic and Buddhist religious leaders, community leaders, school principals, and community members in the Tamot and Khaocan regions. The results found that there are several forms of cultural negotiation in Phattalung, including annual ritual prayers conducted together by Muslims and Buddhists, agreement on how to slaughter animals to be served during ceremonies, tradition of food bartering, and agreement on animal caring. Furthermore, social learning to preserve the results of the negotiations is carried out through the establishment of voluntary medical groups whose members consist of young men and women from the Muslim and the Buddhist community, sports and arts activities, commemorations of national holidays, and conducting annual religious rituals at the same place and time. This study also found four important aspects to strengthen the social learning in multireligious society – moderate values derived from their respective religious teachings, moderate values taught by the country, the existence of trust among citizens, and win-win solutions to the emerging problems.

Contribution: This research promotes the world that there is a heterogeneous religious community in the Phattalung province, Thailand which has a building construction of tolerance and harmony of locality namely the ‘Two Religion Community Life’ by preserving the cultural negotiation values through social learning.


cultural negotiation; moderate values; social learning; two religion community life; multicultural society


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