The culture of Thailand has evolved greatly over time, from its relative isolation during the Sukhothai era, to its more contemporary Ayutthaya era, which absorbed influences from all over Asia. Buddhism, Animism and Westernization also play a significant role in shaping the modern culture .
Its unique culture mixes strong Indian influences, Chinese traditions, and elements that are absolutely Thai. With its diverse geography, friendly people, and stunning scenery, the “Land of Smiles” is a must-see destination in South East Asia .
Prior to 1939 and from 1945-1949 the country was known as Siam. In 1949, the name reverted to Thailand , literally meaning land of the free. The country’s origin dates back to 1238 when the Sukhothai Kingdom was established (1238-1378).
Thai people began migrating into present-day Thailand around the 11th century, which Mon and Khmer people occupied at the time. Thus Thai culture was influenced by Indian, Mon, and Khmer cultures .
Thailand was actually known as Siam until 1939 (and again from 1945 to 1949). Siamese cats are native to Thailand . In Thailand , it is illegal to leave your house without underwear on. Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of rice. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, much like England.
Excluding the law that states the King must be Buddhist, there is no official Thailand religion, meaning all Thai people enjoy religious freedom. However, Buddhism is the most common Thailand religion with approximately 95% of the population following this Theravada religion.
Over 90% of Thais are Buddhists, and the religion strongly influences Thai cultural values. It’s important to be respectful when visiting temples. It’s also good practice to take your shoes off in homes, temples, and to avoid shaking hands, giving hugs, and touching your feet or others’ heads.
Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been colonized by a European power. It is known for its beautiful nature, delicious mangoes and strict rules about conversations on its monarchy.
To show more respect , raise the wai higher, to your chin or nose-level. You will see Thai people doing the wai at forehead level, but this is usually only done at temples or to show a great deal of respect to a monk or an elder. As a foreigner, you’ll find it helpful to know that you aren’t expected to initiate a wai.
The name Siam came from a Sanskrit word, syam. A forceful nationalist and moderniser, he changed the country’s name to Thailand . The change was part of Phibun’s determination to bring his people into the modern world and at the same time to emphasise their unique identity.
There are three main features in Thailand’s terrain : high mountains , a central plain , and an upland plateau . Much of northern Thailand is covered in mountains which extend along the Myanmar border to the Malay Peninsula . The central plain is a lowland are drained by the Chao Phraya River and its tributaries.
The country faces problems with air, declining wildlife populations, deforestation, soil erosion, water scarcity, and waste issues. According to a 2004 indicator, the cost of air and water pollution for the country scales up to approximately 1.6–2.6% of GDP per year.
It is said that Sukhothai Kingdom was established as a strong sovereign kingdom by Sri Indraditya in 1238. A political feature which “classic” Thai historians call “father governs children” existed at this time.
If we don’t say it to another Thai person, we feel we’re not being polite.” In the Thai Royal Institute Dictionary, the words “ka” and “krub” are both defined as “an ending word to suggest the politeness of the message.” In my own translation, they are filler words that don’t mean anything.