Thai culture and national heritage are important factors that contribute to the uniqueness of the Thai people. Thainess, the spirit of the Thai people, is expressed through characteristics such as humility, generosity, wisdom, and detailed finesse. Here at Thailand Foundation, we believe that Thainess is derived from three principles:
1. Respect: the attitude and act of reverence towards nature, spiritual forces and fellow beings
2. Compassion: the desire to help others, human and nonhumans alike
3. Openness: the acceptance of people with different customs, beliefs, and identities
Thailand Foundation invites you all on a journey to explore the different aspects of Thai culture and heritage. From the famed flavors of Thai cuisine to the renowned prowess of Thai kickboxing, you will find within every story the elements of respect, compassion, and openness.
We have divided stories of Thai culture and heritage into seven categories, including:
1. Artistry and Craftsmanship
This category is the story of Thainess, as expressed through beauty and details. Thai art and craftworks are renowned not only for their delicate finesse, but also innovation and creativity. Thai artists and craftsmen carry with them ages of refined skills which are passed down through generations and built upon through personal innovations. The result of which is an artistic and craft heritage that, while never shedding its past, keeps on growing to new heights.
2. Music and Dramatic Arts
This category is the story of Thainess, as expressed through songs and movements. For the Thai people, music and dances are not only means for entertainment, but also spiritual elements that can uplift the spirt, heal the sick, provide a sense of identity, and drive social functions. As such, Thai music and dramatic arts are not just subsets of art, but rather a lifestyle imbued in dedication and spirituality.
3. Traditions and Festivals:
This category is the story Thainess, as expressed through lifestyle. Thai traditions are the Thai spirit captured through ways of living. The festivals are the ways in which Thai people celebrate life and death. At the center of these two concepts is the community: the building block that unifies all people. Through support from the community, an individual is able grow, prosper, and face the challenges of life.
4. Literature and Folklore
This category is the story of Thainess, as expressed through tales. For the Thai people, stories have the capacity to empower, educate, and entertain. Literature consist of stories captured in written forms, and folklore through words of mouth. Some stories may appear realistic, while others seem to be works of imagination. Regardless, there is a lesson to be learned from all of them.
5. Local Wisdoms
This category is the story of Thainess, as expressed through accumulated knowledge and practices. Thai local wisdoms are living testimonies to Thai insight and ingenuity. Disciplines such as Thai massage and yantra tattooing maybe famous throughout the world, yet few knows of the details and stories behind these art forms. In its truest essence, Thai local wisdoms tell a story of spirituality, connection to the past, and the desire to help others.
6. Thai Food
This category is the story of Thainess, as expressed through tastes and senses. Today, Thai cuisine is recognized far and wide for its bold flavors. What truly makes Thai dishes standout in the international stage is the ability of Thai cooks to blend complex tastes, fragrances, and textures. This unique ability stems from ages of tradition and innovations, all of which tell a fascinating tale about Thailand and its people.
7. Muay Thai
This category is the story of Thainess, as expressed through physical and emotional training. Muay Thai is the national martial art of the Thai people that is internationally renowned for its deadly and highly affective fighting style. Yet, the spirit of muay Thai rests not in violence, but in respect and restraint. Muay Thai trainings are aimed toward molding the individual into strong, honorable members of society. As such, the story of muay Thai is not a story violence, but rather the story of personal growth.
Through exploring stories of Thai culture and heritage, we hope that you all will gain a better understanding about Thailand and its people. Regardless of where you are in the world or what you may be facing in life, we hope that our stories can always bring a smile to your face.
Sawasdee Krub and Sawasdee Ka to You All!