Isan is the principal language of the Isan region of Thailand. A tonal language of the Tai language family, it is the main language of trade and communication in the Isan region, except for in cities and in media where it gives way to Thai. The main language of the region is Isan, which is similar to Laotian. Thai is also spoken, with regional accents, by almost everyone. Khmer (the language of Cambodia) is widely spoken in regions near the Cambodian border (Buriram, Surin, and Sisaket).
These are some example Isan language:
Khoy ข้อย I/me
hao/haw เฮา we/us
baw บ่ not
nyang หยัง what
pai ใผ who
dai ใด which
het เฮ็ด do
sai ไส where?
waw เว้า speak
beung เบิ่ง watch
ee-lee อีหลี really
wai wai ไวๆ fast
mark-mai หมากไม่ fruit
laew baw แล้วบ่ Yet?, Already?
sa-bai-di-bo สบายดีบ่ Are you well?
Festival/ Tradition in Isan
Thao Suranari Memorial Fair Thao Suranari memorial is an annual provincial event, held on during 23 March-3 Aprilthe period Khunying Mo was victorious over her enemy. The fair features arts and culture, shops and exhibitions of public and private offices.
Phimai Festival is organised to promote tourism activities in the provinces main tourist destination of Phimai Historical Park that is held in conjunction with Phimai Boat Races. Activities include long boat racing, cultural performances, religious processions, and a light-and-sound show.
Dok Khun Sisng Khaen Songkran Festival Date : April 8 - 15 Venue : At Bueng Kaen Nakhon and Khao Neow Road, Khon Kaen
Silk and Phuk Sieo Festival
Date : 29 November-10 December
Venue : at the front area of Khon Kaen town hall.
The main events are the display of the local silk and its contest and I-san making friend tradition called Phuk Sieo. Pha Laeng, a wonderful I-san dinner is also available.
Wichit Phrae Wa Silk Festival
Date : August 12
Venue : at Rim Pao Hotel to honour H.M.
Queen Sirikit who has kindly supported the Phrae Wa silk under her royal patronage and promoted it to wider public awareness. The Queen’s support also helps to create employment for local Phu Thai people. The event features a Phrae Wa silk contest, fashion show of Phrae Wa silk dresses, cultural parade, demonstration of silk weaving, and sales of Phrae Wa silk.
Pong Lang, Phrae Wa and Red Cross Fair
This festival is held in late February in front of the Provincial Hall. The fair features processions of the various districts decorated as Pong Lang, a northeastern musical instrument, and participants dressed in traditional costumes. In addition, there are a variety of local cultural performances and there are shops selling a wide range of goods.
Bun Boek Fa and Red Cross Fair
Held at the start of the harvesting season in February. The event is held at the provincial hall to revive and preserve Isan's cultural heritage. It features the Bun Boek Fa procession, which is a story about Mae Posop (The goddess of rice), beautiful decorated Bai Si Su Khwan pedestals, folk plays, local music, and many rituals.
Phra That Na Dun Festival
The Celebration is held annually on the full moon of February in Maka Bucha Day at Buddhist Park of Isan. The week long celebration will features Buddhism-related activities such as giving alms to the monks, vipassana practice, dhamma lecture, and the glory performance “Champasi-Natakan”.
Bun Khao Chi and Pho Chai Products Festival or Bun Duean Sam
It is held according to Hit Sip Song - the Northeastern twelve festivals for the twelve months. The Northeasterners believe that by making merit with Khao Chi or grilled sticky rice, they would gain huge merit. The festival also features a beauty pageant and competition of a giant-sized Khao Chi.
Phi Ta Khon Festival
Date :June 26-28
Venue : Dan Sai District, Loei District and Province
Yasothon Bun Bangfai Rocket Festival
Date : May 8 - 10 Venue : Phaya Thaen Park, Mueang District, Yasothon
The Illuminated Boat Procession
Date : 29 September – 15 Octorber
Venue : Mekong River, Mueang District, Nakhon Phanom
Surin Elephant Roundup & Red Cross Fair
Date : November 18 - 27
Venue : Surin Province
International Wax Sculpture
Date : July 1 - 31
Venue : Thung Si Mueang District, Ubon Ratchathani
Sakon Nakhon Wax Castle Festival
Date : 1 - 4 October
Venue : Sanam Ming Mueang, Suan Somdej Phra Srinagarindra, Sakon Nakhon