Thai people (Kon Thai) ‘s Values
Thai people : population
Currently, the population of Thailand is around 65 million people.
Origin of the Thai population
There are many theories explaining the origin of Thai people. The most accepted theory is based on linguistic and cultural studies. In the south of China, north of Vietnam, north of Myanmar, and north east of India, there are minority groups are called Tai or Joung. Their languages are so similar to Thai language that is fairly easy to communicate. One can observe direct association of the architecture and dress of these populations to that of the northern Thai population. Therefore, it is a high possibility that Thai population migrated from these various regions.
Thai people : Ethnicity
Thai ethnicity is divided into 4 groups. The first group, Kon Thais Pak Klang live in the Central region: Chao Praya delta. This region includes the Eastern and Western parts of Thailand. Second, Kon Isarn live in the Northeast of Thailand- the biggest population. Their culture, language and way of living are similar to Laos. Third, Kon Tai live in Southern Thailand. Kon Nuasettled on the Northern part of Thailand. This area used to be a free state named Lanna kingdom.
Thai features and appearance
Generally, Thais have dark brown skin, black hair and a compact build. However, each ethnic group from each region has a slightly different look. For example, the Northern Thai population, Kon Nua, have a fair skin tone while the Southern population, kon Tai, have dark skin and sharp features. Isarn or Northeast Thai have dark skin, shallow features, high cheekbones and thick lips. They look similar to Cambodians.
Other ethnic groups in Thailand
There are about 11 ethnic groups in Thailand. Ethnic Thais are the majority group, making up about 75% of the population. Chinese is the second largest group in Thailand. Chinese and Thais have been associated with trading since the ancient times. However, the biggest migration was around the 19th century, related to the unstable political issues and drought in Southern part of China. The biggest Chinese group was called the Choa Zhou, from the south of China. There are Thais of Chinese ancestry, most of whom are second- or third generation. They adapt and blend in Thai society well due to the welcoming nature of the Thais. The only distinction to separate the ethnic Chinese from other Thais is physical appearance. Malay, Vietnamese, Khmer, Mon, Semang, Moken, Htin, Mabri, Khamu, and other hill tribes are other minority ethic groups live all over Thailand.
What is Thailand’s beliefs?
95 % of the Thai population are Hinayana – Tharavada – Buddhists. However, there have never been any restrictions upon religious freedom. Other religions and doctrines prevailing in Thailand are: Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikh, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism and Animism. Click here to see related topic in Thai culture and Don’s and Don’t in Thailand
Thailand people ritual
Thai people celebration of life is relevant of influential from Buddhism, Brahmanism and Chinese ritual mixed. Wedding ceremony show the celebration when using holy water blessing which is Brahmanism and Buddhist monk blessing in the morning. Other celebration and ritual such as Ordination ceremony, welcoming new born babies and funeral are also similar.