Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Myth of Thai Homogeneity

In fact, the three-year-old political crisis has exposed the reality that, contrary to widespread perceptions among the elites, Thailand is not a homogeneous nation in terms of race, religion and ethnicity. Recently, the discourse has been further challenged by the emergence of widely diverging political views that have seriously threatened the conventional way of looking at politics.

The prominent history professor Charnvit Kasetsiri recently launched a campaign to change the name of the country from Thailand back to Siam. Charnvit argues that the name better reflects the country’s ethnic diversity. To him, “Thailand” was intended to be exclusionary from the start, referring to a distinct people, supposedly derived from the Tai of China.

Full article at Asian Correspondent

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

No comments: