The more you know about the past, the more you understand the future. It’s all about history, customs and traditions that shape and define us not only as a person but also as a nation.
Thailand has evolved over time from the Sukhothai era to a more contemporary Ayutthaya era, absorbing influences from all over Asia. There has been a strong Indian, Chinese, Burmese and other Southeast Asian influence over the Thai culture which can be seen in religion, traditions, cuisine and the day to day lifestyles.
Thai history’s ‘golden era’, was in the 13th Century when they became a powerful force, gained independence and got an ideal state governed by kind rulers. This was known as the ‘Sukhothai Period’. Then came the more powerful ‘Ayutthaya Period’ followed by the present Rattanakosin period. During this era, Bangkok was made the capital and The Grand Palace was established. Further, many social and economic reforms restored relationships with surrounding provinces and western nations that were established during this period.
Diversity of thought, culture, and religion is what binds a nation and are important to national identity. Theravada Buddhism is the national religion and includes the facets of Hindu spirituality such as worshipping ancestors and animism. Buddhism is the widely practised religion in Thailand, with almost 93% of people following it, followed by Islam with 5% of adherents. In Thailand, families are the main centre of life with the utmost importance to family and their values. Studying Buddhism, meditating and visiting Buddhist monasteries, talking to Buddhist monks and experiencing Thai hospitality is favourite among the tourists too.
The Thai language belongs to the ‘Tai’ family, which is the majorly spoken language in Thailand and is also used for official purposes across the country. Regional languages vary a little depending on the location. Other languages spoken in Thailand are Chinese, Lao, Malay and Mon-Khmer. English has started becoming a prominent language with the changing times and onset of tourism.
A great introduction to the culture and traditions of any culture is through its food and cuisine. Thai cuisine is a complex fusion of sweet, sour, salty, spicy and bitter flavors that are balanced in a way that creates ‘harmony’. Rice plays such an important role in Thai cuisine that the word for ‘rice’ and ‘food’ is the same. It is typically eaten in all the meals in different forms like white rice, sticky, glutinous variety. It is usually mixed with exotic flavors, meat, seafood, beef, pork, chicken or vegetables. Thai delicacies are one of the most relished cuisines internationally with foodies always on the lookout for the most authentic and delicious favor.
Thailand’s culture has a very dynamic and colorful mix of traditions and history which is expressed by many folk tales, dances, and drama. These performing arts bring music, vocals, scriptures, dance, ritual, and handicraft elements together and depict the journey of the nation and its culture from the gone era.
Everyone has their reasons for beaches, food, adventure and culture for a travel destination. Thailand caters to all groups of people with its rich and culturally diverse heritage. People here have compassion, and also believe in friendship and unity. They speak and think in a constructive way to ensure peace and happiness.