An Introduction To The Influence Of The Buddhist Culture In Thailand?

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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Rationale for the study In South-East Asia, it can be said that many of the cultures in the region are exposed to the influence from India. In Thailand and Indonesia, for example, the traditional cultures of the two nations cannot be detached from the “great cultures” from India, in this case are Hindus and Buddhist inspirations. In Thailand where 94 percent of the populations are Buddhist, as according to the National Statistical Office of Thailand, the influence of Buddhism is deeply rooted in the culture and every-day life’s aspects (Prime Minister’s Office Website, 2013). The philosophy and the world-view of people in Thailand are intertwined with legends and myths. According to Anuman Rajadhon the works of literature, arts, performance, and architectures are basically lies its base on the religious works from the Hindus and Buddhist traditions (Anuman, Rajadhon, 2009, p.15). In the course of the nation, the folklore of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions played an important role in the creation of the national identity of Thailand; establishing the identity of a Buddhist nation. Buddhism has also shaped much of Thailand's culture. The early Thai architecture, literature, sculpture all reveal Buddhist influence. It had been a Thai tradition that Buddhist males above 20 years of age must practice at least 3 months of monk hood after which they could retreat to their normal lives. The Buddhist monks are treated with utmost respect throughout the country. Whereas the case for Indonesian, especially Java and Bali, though most of the populations are Muslim, the remnants and traces of the glory of the Buddhist and Hindu’s kingdom of the past can be seen in the traditional culture, especially in the folk belie... ... middle of paper ... ... Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana. Being the longest epic ever written, according to Klostermaier, the narrative is of the Great War of the Kurukshetra War. The story sets the enmity between Pandawa and Kurawa, it also contains “ethical discourses and descriptions of large parts of northern India” (Klostermaier, 1998, p. 108). 6. Folk Beliefs: A broad genre of folklore that includes expressions and behaviors variously called superstition, popular belief, magic, the supernatural, old wives’ tales, folk medicine, folk religion, weather signs, planting signs, conjuration, hoodoo, root work, portents, omens, charms, and taboos. (McCormick & White, 201, p. 206) Folk beliefs are often part of complex cultural processes that involve not only belief but also values and other behaviors and that find expression in different genres of folklore.

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