Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mlabri, The People Time Forgot ... Easylife Hammocks

I was chatting with my ex-schoolmate just the other day before I went on leave. She was multi-tasking, updating her website while chatting with me on the Law of Attraction. You see, she's a work@home mum, a freelance copywriter. And now into a web-based business too. For as long as I have known her, I have always admired her outgoing can-do-attitude. Some people just don't change right?

I hope she forgives me for paying so little attention on her new business interest when she told me the last time. I enquired little bit and interestingly, I think most of us just use it without much of a second thought. A hammock. You know those swings meant for the adults that you can't miss at the beach resorts? What more do you know about this tool of relaxation? I didn't either until I checked out her website at

Easylife Hammocks are made by a group of indigenous people living in Southeast Asia. Mlabri means “Forest People”, a tribe found living in the jungles of Thailand and Laos. No one knew of their existence until a Protestant missionary decided to lead them out from the Stone Age some 30 years ago. Then, a veteran motorcross biker put them into the internet world through the hammock business. Read more at

1 Bubbles:

Aiyah, I wrote a whole chunk in my comment just before this. I clicked preview to check what I've written and spotted a mistake. But somehow I couldn't edit it. SO when I tried to back click, my comments were GONE! Now must rewrite le... Ok this was what I wrote:

To what do I and my little business owe the honour of getting a mention in your blog? An entire blog entry somemore! Of course I appreciate it, thanks!

Yes, the story of the Mlabri people is truly a unique one. That is why I am selling their hammocks and no one else's. The amazing thing is that the missionary, Pastor Eugene Long, who set out to to convert them to Christianity, is still living amongst them. In fact, the village they are in now is called Ban Bunyuan or Bunyuan Village. I was told Bunyuan means Eugene in Mlabri language. And Eugene himself now signs off his emails (yes, they are wired!)as Bunyuan Suksaneh and his son, Allen, prefers to be called Udom Suksaneh.

I belong to the group of people who think that it is not right for a missionary to convert an entire tribe because he thinks Christianity is the one true religion. I mean who are they to decide what's the true religion for another group of people. More often than not, such mass conversion robs a people of their culture and language, and way of life.

It was therefore heartwarming to read of Eugene and the Mlabri in the Oct 07 issue of DestinAsian, a travel mag. In it, Eugene recalls asking many questions in those early days, such as how could he preach about Christianity when these people where hungry and came looking for medicine in the middle of the night. Or how should he introduce the concept of The Original Sin, when the gentle Mlabri people have no concept of sin at all.

I dare say, Eugene Long has been Mlabrized, and he is the better for it! I have not met him in person yet, but when I do have the honour, I'd be armed with a long list of questions...

I'm not going to preview this... can't afford to lose this again.