Thailand – education
According to the Constitution (1997), all children and young people have a duty and a right to a 12-year basic education, which is proposed to be free from 2002.
The preschool, which is not compulsory, admits approximately 87% of all five-year-olds, and the six-year primary school for 6-12-year-olds approximately 91% (1998); there is a dropout of approximately 12% during primary school.
The secondary educations, which are general or vocational, are divided into two three-year levels. The private school share here amounts to approximately 6% (1996).
Higher education takes place for the most part at the 22 public universities, of which two are open, as well as 13 private universities.
ETYMOLOGY: The country’s Thailand is named after Thai Prathet Thai ‘the land of the free people’.
OFFICIAL NAME: Prathet Thai
CAPITAL CITY: Bangkok
POPULATION: 65,480,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 513,115 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Thai, more than 50 languages, including monkhmer language, tibeto-burmese language and chinese
RELIGION: Buddhists 95%, Muslims 4%, others (especially Christians) 1%
CURRENCY CODE: THB
ENGLISH NAME: Thailand
POPULATION COMPOSITION: Thai 80% (53% Siamese and Lao 27%), Chinese 12%, Malays 4%, Khmer 3%, others 1%
GDP PER residents: $ 2440 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 67 years, women 74 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.784
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 74
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .th
Thailand, formerly Siam, is a Kingdom of South Asia; its current extent is the result of the demarcation of the European colonial powers, but as the only country in South Asia, Thailand was not colonized. Thailand is known as a destination for several million. charter tourists annually, but also for significant industrial growth and general economic development.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as TH which stands for Thailand.
Thailand – plant life
Thailand’s rich vegetation with 10,000-12,000 species is divided into a northern and a southern part of the plant geographical border, which extends across the Malacca Peninsula at approximately 10 ° n.br. South of this border, the evergreen Malaysian rainforest vegetation dominates, while the climate north of it is distinctly seasonal, and the lowland vegetation deciduous; this becomes more pronounced the further north one moves. However, most of the lowland’s vegetation has been cleared and replaced by agricultural land. The largest contiguous forest areas are found along the border with Burma.
In northern Thailand, the lowlands are dominated by deciduous trees of the genus Dipterocarpus, called Yang, and a rich mixed forest with teak (Tectona grandis). With increasing altitude, the vegetation changes, and in approximately At an altitude of 1000 m, there is predominantly evergreen forest dominated by the beech family (Fagaceae) with genera such as oak (Quercus) and Castanopsis, the laurel family and subtropical-temperate elements such as Magnolia. Higher up, pine (Pinus) and Rhododendron appear.
In eastern Thailand, where precipitation is low, large areas are characterized by savannah-like vegetation with thorny scrub. Along protected shores, mangroves are found, and in southern Thailand freshwater swamp forests.
Thailand – people
Thailand immediately appears to be an ethnically homogeneous nation, but the country accommodates a number of ethnic minorities and regional cultural differences. NE Thailand is thus both historically and culturally closely associated with Laos. Khon mueang is the term for Thais from the northern provinces; they still emphasize their cultural differences compared to eg Thais from the central provinces and Bangkok. In the north there are also the tai people Thai-lü. In southern Thailand, there is a Malay-Muslim element, and traces of a previous Chinese immigration are still visible. Finally, there is a remnant of the original mon population, which was widespread in Burma and Thailand.
In northern and western Thailand, there are ten ethnic minorities, the so-called mountain people, whose way of life due to deforestation and the creation of national parks is undergoing drastic change; the largest group are Karen. The other ethnic groups are hmong, lahu, akha, mien, tin, lisu, lua, khmu and mlabri. Minorities often feel ill-treated and have mobilized across groups to demonstrate for their rights.
Thailand – language
Over 50 different languages are spoken in Thailand. The official language is Thai, which is estimated to be spoken by over 80% of the population. The most common unofficial languages are in northern Thailand northern Thai or kammüang, the lü and shan language tai yai, in northern Thailand Laotian and in the mountain villages of northern Thailand the hmong-mien languages hmong and yao. To the NE and east, a number of mon-Khmer languages are spoken, to the north and west Tibeto-Burmese minority languages, akha; most common is qualifying languagealong the border with Myanmar (Burma). To the south, Mon-Khmer and Malay languages are also spoken. Largest minority language is Chinese.
Thailand – religion
About 95% of Thailand’s population are Theravada Buddhists. Buddhism is a state religion, but full religious freedom prevails. Theravada Buddhism, introduced by the monks around 500 BC, was elevated to a state religion in the late 1200’s. of the Thai king Ramkhamhaeng. Hinduism has prevailed for several periods between the 500’s and 1000’s. with the worship of both Vishnu and Shiva. It has lived on at the royal court, with Brahman priests still performing certain significant rituals and ceremonies.
In Thailand, there is close cooperation between the Buddhist monastic order (sangha) and the state. The education of monks is controlled by the state, and the supreme leader of the sangha is appointed by the king. The many monasteries and temples play a major role in the daily lives of the people. It is custom that young men are admitted to the monastic order and live for a time, eg three months, in a monastery. The monks have many practical tasks in the community, teaching the Buddhist teachings, being responsible for a large part of the school education, comforting the sick in the hospitals and guiding them in the homes if there are family problems.
The religious minorities consist primarily of Muslims (about 3%), Christians and especially in the mountainous animists.
Thailand – Constitution
Thailand’s constitution is from 1997. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, where the monarch is head of state with few powers, but with great symbolic significance. The king must be a Buddhist. He appoints up to 18 persons as well as a president to a council, which he can consult in the performance of his duties, and he may, in certain circumstances, declare a state of emergency.
Legislative power lies with a two-chamber national assembly: the House of Representatives has 500 members, elected by universal suffrage for four years, so that 100 are elected according to national party lists, and 400 in constituencies. The Senate has 200 members, elected by universal suffrage for six years. The House of Representatives has priority in the consideration of bills, and it appoints from among its own members a prime minister who has the executive power and who composes his government.
With the consent of the Senate, the King appoints an anti-corruption committee with nine members, up to three ombudsmen and a constitutional court with 15 members.
Thailand – economy
Based on state capitalism and import substitution, an industrialization of the traditional agricultural land began in the 1950’s, which laid the groundwork for significant growth. However, after the second oil crisis in 1979, Thailand was hit by a slowdown and large deficits in both public budgets and the trade and payments balance; In 1980, the government reached an agreement with the World Bank on loans on favorable terms in exchange for implementing a number of structural reforms, including balancing public budgets and developing the export sector on the basis of labor-intensive production.
After a significant devaluation of the currency, bath, of approximately 15% against the dollar in 1984, the economy grew again. Structural changes continued in the 1990’s with deregulation in the financial sector and a reorientation of industrial policy towards more capital-intensive companies, especially in the electronics and automotive industries; however, growth led to large external account deficits.
In 1997, after a fierce speculation against the bath, the central bank was forced to abandon the fixed exchange rate policy. The currency lost about 50% of its value against the dollar, just as stock prices came into free fall; Thailand had to announce that the country could not pay interest and installments on its foreign debt. The government was granted significant support from the IMF against e.g. tightening fiscal policy and implementing financial sector reforms; in addition, efforts were made to increase education and employment and to solve social problems. However, Thailand had to go through a deep economic recession in 1997-98, when GDP fell by more than 10%. The scale of the crisis caused the IMF to ease its fiscal policy requirements, which in combination with a significant increase in net exports again boosted the economy in 1999-2000.
During the international downturn in 2001, Thailand’s growth was low, but the Thaksin Government’s (2001-06) expansive economic policy, in terms of both export growth and increased domestic demand, has provoked annual growth rates of 4-7%. Inflation and unemployment are low, but decades of strong growth have manifested themselves especially in the capital region and the tourist areas; the productivity gap between industry and agriculture is more than 1:10. The share of the black economy is considered to be one of the largest in the world. After a number of years of profit, the trade balance (2005) shows a small deficit.
Thailand’s most important trading partners are Japan, the United States and China, which together account for almost 40% of the country’s foreign trade. Denmark’s exports to Thailand in 2005 amounted to DKK 1,077 million. DKK, while imports from there were 1607 mill. kr.
Thailand – social conditions
Thailand is characterized by great economic inequality between the poor rural areas and the area in and around Bangkok, where most of the industrial growth has taken place. With the economic crisis of 1997, which hit Thailand particularly hard, the country’s lack of social safety nets became seriously visible. A study by the World Bank in 2000 on the social consequences of the crisis showed that without unemployment benefits and social benefits in general, the young, the poor and the least educated were hardest hit. Millions of low-skilled people lost their jobs, while high-educated people did relatively better; it has further deepened the divide between rich and poor. As trade unions have been banned under various military regimes for a number of years, the trade union movement is relatively weak.
There are still problems with child labor, also in the extensive sex industry, just as prostitution is a major social problem. Check youremailverifier for Thailand social condition facts.
Thailand – health conditions
Life expectancy in 1996 was 72 years for women and 67 years for men. In 1960, it was a total of 52 years for the two sexes. Infant mortality in 1996 was 34 ‰ against 73 ‰ in 1970.
The prevalence of actual tropical diseases is declining; thus, the number of new malaria patients in 1993 had fallen to approximately 100,000. Tuberculosis is increasing by approximately 100,000 new cases in 1997. It is estimated that by the end of 1997 there had been 230,000 deaths due to AIDS, and that at that time there were 780,000 who had AIDS or were infected with HIV, including 14,000 children. The most common form of cancer is liver cancer followed by lung cancer; the number is increasing for both sexes. The number of lifestyle diseases is also on the rise, and it is estimated that 15% of the population has high blood pressure.
Various insurance systems cover the costs of illness for part of the population, but the World Bank estimates that approximately 23 mio. population is not covered in connection with illness. In the late 1990’s, Thailand spent approximately 6% of GDP in health care, and around 1990 a family spent approximately 5% of the income on this. In 1970, Thailand had 1.2 doctors per. 10,000 residents In 1993, there were 2.3 doctors and 11.1 nurses per. 10,000 residents Medical coverage is very uneven, and in the 1990’s Bangkok had six times more doctors per. per capita than rural areas.
Thailand – military
The Armed Forces is (2006) 290,000. Conscript service is 20 months. The army is at 200,000, the navy at 45,000 and the air force at 45,000. The reserve is 1,653,500, of which the army is 1,500,000, the navy 32,000 and the air force 90,000.
The forces have Western-produced equipment, much of which is older due to weapons-producing countries’ consideration for China. The army has 3 corps headquarters and in peacetime 5 armored, 1 armored infantry, 28 infantry, 5 motorized infantry and 1 hunter brigade. In addition, 3 brigades with armed and transport helicopters. 32 fleet has larger and 59 smaller fighting vehicles, 4 submarines, 12 mine clearance vessels, 339, landing ships and vessels of various sizes, a marine infantry of 15,000 and a flådeflystyrke with 32 planes and 20 helicopters. The Air Force has 479 fighter jets – including 12 Saab 39 Gripen, 37 transport aircraft of various sizes and 35 transport helicopters. The total strength of the security and border forces is about 26,500.
Thailand – mass media
Unlike in Thailand’s neighboring countries, the constitutional freedom of expression is respected. Only the royal house is perceived as sacred. 35 dailies and more than 30 magazines are published. The sensational newspaper Thai Rath from 1948 is the largest with a daily circulation of 1,000,000 (2005). There are four newspapers in Chinese; largest is Sing Sian Yit Pao (90,000). The most important English-language newspapers are The Nation (67,500) and the Bangkok Post (55,000). Thailand got television in 1955 as one of the first countries in Asia. In 1998, there were nine channels, owned and operated by private, state or military. All radio and television channels are advertising-financed. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs operates the Voice of Free Asia, which broadcasts in Thai, Laotian, Khmer and Vietnamese.
Thailand – visual arts and architecture
The handed down art in Thailand is mainly religious and includes partly the creations of previous cultures, partly the Thais’ own art. An unbroken chronological line can not be drawn in the art history of Thailand. Cultural centers arose in different places, and the periods often overlapped. Present-day Thailand was dominated by the Buddhist mon-people and by the Hindu-Buddhist Khmer culture. Statues and ruins of buildings descended from these peoples are scattered throughout Thailand. An example of Khmer architecture is the 1100’s temples of Lopburi. The Thai people, who from about 1100-t. penetrated from the north, gained strong religious and cultural influences from these cultures, and gradually developed a special Thai style in the arts; thus the Buddha figure found its special form in 1200-1300-t. In addition to the traditional seated, standing and lying figures, a walking Buddha was also depicted; a fine example of this type is found in the Marble Temple (1900) in Bangkok. Characteristic of the architecture are the rooftops with the layered roof construction and the temple structures with high towers (prang). One of the most famous temples is Wat Po in Bangkok (started 1793) with an approximately 50 m long resting Buddha figure.
In Thai art, there is a distinguished tradition of porcelain and stoneware made in Chinese techniques. Temples and monasteries are often adorned with frescoes depicting episodes from the life of the Buddha. From the mid-1800’s. has also Western influence left its mark on Thai art.
Thailand – literature
The first text written in Thai and with the Thai alphabet is King Ramkhamhaeng’s stone inscription from 1283, which gives a vivid but idealized picture of the king and his contemporaries and is considered a national treasure. Traiphumkhatha (The Three Worlds) is a Buddhist cosmology, written in 1345 by King Lithai of Sukhothai, giving a detailed description of the Buddhist heavens and hell.
The Jatakas, accounts of the Buddha’s past existence (see Jataka), are a much-loved theme in Thai literature, including Panjatcadog (The Fifty Jatakas), local tales in Jataka form, originally written on the palisade of northern Thai monks around the 1500’s. and the page has been translated into Thai. Proverbs and maximizes are found in verses as didactic collections, Suphasit Phraruang (King Ruang’s proverb).
In the Ayutthaya period (1351-1767), literature was characterized by poetry, while prose was used in historical works and official writings. Lilit Phra Lo (Prince Lo) is a tragic love story in verse about a prince and two princesses from two warring kingdoms in northern Thailand, dating to 1400-1500-t. and considered a masterpiece.
Nirat are long, reflective lyrical poems in which the author describes a journey and how landscape and events make him remember the happy moments he has had with his beloved. The most famous nirat is Khlong Khamsuan (Heart Sigh) written by Si Prat (approximately 1660-approx. 1700) during his exile in southern Thailand. It is considered one of the best in Thai literature.
From the end of the 1700’s. and the early 1800’s. there are two major editions of Ramakia, the Thai version of the Indian epic Ramayana about the heroic prince Rama. Ramaki is used in various forms of classical theater as well as often as a motif for temple paintings.
The period 1809-24, when Rama II reigned, is considered a literary golden age. The king, who was himself a writer, gathered around him a large number of authors who collectively contributed to the many literary works from this period, including the epic Khun Chang Khun Phaen, which provides a detailed insight into the customs and way of life of the time. The central figure in the literary collective and perhaps Thailand’s greatest writer was Sunthorn Phu.
In the interwar period, the short story and novel were developed by authors such as the radical Kulab Saipradit (pseud. Siburapha, 1905-74), who attacked the nobility and the feudal social order, and Bubpha Nimmanahemin (pseud. Dokmaisod, 1905-63), who described how modernization affects the position of the woman.
Prominent writers in the post-war period include the writer and politician Kukrit Pramoj, the radical poet and literary historian Chit Phumisak (1930-65), the poet and painter Angkhan Kalayanaphong (1926-2012), who has renewed the traditional forms of expression, and Khamsing Sinok (pseud. Laokhamhom, b. 1930), whose collection of short stories Dust Grain Under Your Feet has been translated into Danish (1957, extended then published 1985).
Thailand – theater and dance
From around the year 1000, Thailand was massively influenced by immigrant warriors, monks and traders from South India. These brought with them the Hindu and Buddhist traditions and culture of the homeland, which were quickly absorbed and developed into a distinctive culture. After the conquest of Angkor in 1431, there were further influences from the Cambodian culture. The heroic poem Ramakien forms the basis of most dance and drama forms. The shadow game nang yai is played with carved, flat dolls (up to 2 m high), which are held behind a white screen. The theatrical form nang talang from Southern Thailand uses smaller puppets, while the puppet master enchants his audience with song and comedy. In addition, she is known as krabok, which is a puppet theater, where the puppets are led with threads from below. In khon, dance and drama merge, and the form is characterized by lively, highly formalized movements, where both the bodily and the mimic expression correspond closely with the rhythm of the music. The main characters are played without masks, while everyone else wears masks made of papier maché decorated with gold, lacquer colors and gemstone powder. The elegant brocade costumes are sewn on mirror pieces and kept in the style of the court suits.
Lakhon is a less formal dance drama that, in addition to Ramakien, also uses lyrics from e.g. folk tales. The movements here are more graceful, sensual and smooth with expressive hand and arm movements that reflect the moods of the individual character. Lakhon forms the basis of li-ke, a burlesque style with elements of pantomime, comic opera and social satire. Although the dancers enjoyed royal protection and performed dance and drama with religious themes, they were only allowed to dance outside the temples. The court supported dance and drama until 1932, after which its institutions were taken over by the state. At state-subsidized schools in Bangkok, teaching is today in e.g. arms and light dances.
From the mid-1900’s. Western theater has influenced the like form, and various forms of mixture have emerged with social satire as the essential content. Today, Western theater technique and dramaturgy are taught both at the university and at private theater schools in Bangkok.
Thailand – music
Classical Thai music is historically associated with the courts. The characteristic percussion orchestra piphat has been developed since the 1300’s, influenced by Khmer culture and gamelan music from Java. The music is essentially linear. The melody instruments each play their own design of the basic melody and meet only in unison on important points in the music. Each instrument has its own character, giving the music excitement, color and variety. The melodies use pentatone scales, which due to the mood can seem false in the western ear (see Southeast Asia (music)). The vocal soloists perform in parts of the repertoire. The curves of the sung melody follow the language tones in Thai so that the lyrics can make sense. The classical piphat has in recent times acquired the character of museum music. It is grown only in cramped environments and performed on ceremonial and tourist-related occasions.
In the countryside, popular forms of piphat still live as an indispensable part of social and religious life. In the religious processions, portable percussion ensembles and shrill oboes are a necessary part of the music. In NE Thailand, there is a strong tradition of night-long alternating songs between man and woman, accompanied by the large mouth organ khaen. Among the many ethnic minority groups in the mountains of northern and western Thailand, music and instruments differ greatly from those of the Thais and form an important part of the cultural identity of these groups.
The commercial music of the West, India and China and its local imitations are dominant in the modern Thai soundscape.
Thailand – cuisine
Thai cuisine is developed on the basis of a rich variety of fresh ingredients and under the influence of the surrounding countries. Therefore, it is not one large kitchen, but several regional ones. From China come utensils, slicing techniques and quick-frying methods, while Thailand’s lushness has contributed to the many raw, julienne-cut vegetables in salads in contrast to strong chili spice mixes. Rice forms the basis of any meal, for example supplemented by a nam pla, a fermented fish sauce, or a kapi, a fermented shrimp paste. Protein sources are seafood, frequently salted and dried, as well as poultry and pork. To the south, coconut milk is often used as the mild element, while lemongrass, galanga root, fresh coriander and fresh turmeric root shoots help to give the characteristic slightly perfumed aroma that is today associated with Thai cuisine.
In the late 1900-t. Thai cuisine became popular in Denmark, in connection with the expansion of charter tourism.