The Importance Of Traditional Courting

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Traditionally, the local community was the basis for people´s social interactions. Most people´s friends resided locally and face-to-face communication was the predominant mode of communication. Moreover, unmarried women´s mobility was restricted to the village and daily activities were centered around the household and local community (Esara 2009). In many rural communities, traditional courting patterns took place under the watchful eyes of parents and elders. They were part of everyday village interactions and provided opportunities for young men and women to assess potential spouses as well as for their families to encourage or discourage particular directions of romantic attachment. By the late 1980s and 1990s, with many people moving to Bangkok for employment or education, these practices began to erode (Mills 1999). Nowadays, courting practices of Bangkok middle-class women are influenced not only by a new social geography of courtship (Farrer 2002:153) but also by technological advancements, such as mobile phones and access to the internet. My informants would usually refer to their relationship status as single-single, single, or in a relationship. "Saying you are single-single means that you have also no one you are talking to. It is more than single." Pit was one of my single-single informants who had just left her job as an architect to focus on her application for a Master´s degree program in the USA. We talked for nearly two hours in a café, beginning with

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