Tai Kaleun in Laos

Tai Kaleun
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Peoples of Laos, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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People Name: Tai Kaleun
Country: Laos
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 3,500
World Population: 12,500
Primary Language: Thai, Northeastern
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 7.00 %
Evangelicals: 5.41 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Tai
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Tai Kaleun people live in central Laos. The majority are in the Khamkeut District of Borikhamxai Province.. A small, geographically separated number of Tai Kaleun have moved to the Nakay District of Khammouan Province. In addition, Tai Kaleun are reportedly located in Thailand, although it is very difficult there to distinguish them from the Isan. Why or when the Tai Kaleun migrated to Thailand is uncertain.
Even though the Tai Kaleun view themselves as a distinct ethnicity, their language is considered only a dialect of Lao and not a separate variety. In Thailand, the Tai Kaleun have been listed merely as a dialect group of Thai Isan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The average size household in Khamkeut District is 6.4 people.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Tai Kaleun practice a mixture of Theravada Buddhism and animism. In Laos, there are major differences between the two Buddhist sects.
Maha Canla, a Buddhist monk from the Lao Thammayut sect, wrote. "In Laos the division was very wide. It was if neither sect recognized the other as made up of Lao people. They were completely distinct from each other and were always trying to get the better of each other. The entire Lao population was divided on the same basis, so that a young man who was an adherent of the Mahanikai could on no account marry a young woman who was an adherent of Thammayut, because their parents would not allow it. The trouble was the political left was aware of this weak point and they managed, by inciting the two sides and spreading evil rumors, to make the gap wider and wider."

What Are Their Needs?

Over the course of many centuries, while the two Buddhist sects in Laos struggled for supremacy, the Tai Kaleun have waited to hear the gospel for the first time. Today, they are still waiting.

Prayer Points

Pray the Tai Kaleun would soon receive a powerful and culturally relevant presentation of the gospel.
Ask God to thrust forth laborers into His harvest field of Borikhamxai.
Pray Lao Christians would be motiv-ated to take the Gospel to the linguistically similar Tai Kaleun people.

Text Source:   Joshua Project