THE CULTURE AND CUISINE OF THAILAND
Thailand is located in Southeast Asia and has never been officially colonized by any other countries (Lysa, 2008). The weather in Thailand is so changeable. It is very cool from November to February but it is very hot from March to May. During June to October, the weather is very rainy. Thailand is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is known worldwide as the Land of Smiles. Thailand has rich historical culture and fine natural landscapes and inspiring ancient and modern buildings. Also, Thailand has world famous and delicious cuisine and most people in here are very hospitable which make Thailand to be one of the world’s most famous traveling places. This paper aims at describing Thai history, culture, and cuisine. To be more specific, it will focus on food and discuss about traditions and patterns in Thailand as well as eating habits and etiquettes and therapeutic food. BRIEF HISTORY AND CULTURAL BACKGROUND OF THAILAND
Two millennia ago, the Mons as the earliest people entered into Thailand (Chiranai, 2008). They came from the central part of China and lived along with the river which near Burma and Thailand. They built cities here and developed a civilized culture. The word “Thailand” means land of free and Thailand has 800 years history which can contains five major periods: Sukhothai Period, Nanchao Period, Ayutthaya Period, Thonburi Period, and Rattanakosin Period.
The first Thai kingdom started in Sukhothai period (1238-1378 A.D.) which was the most flourishing period in Thai history (Lysa, 2008). Sukhothai was created by Khun Bang Klang Thao and Khun Pha Muang in 1238 (“Wikipedia,” 2013). Khun Pha Muang and Khun Bang Klang also gave independence to the original region. During this period, Thailand gained independence and expanded its own boundary of influence very quickly. This period was identified as the golden age of Thai culture. During this time of period in Thai history, everyone lived in a very good life. The boundary of Sukhothai has stretched from north Lampang to Vientiane, and it’s like the north Laos to the Malay Peninsula in present day.
The second period is Nanchao Period (650-1250 A.D.). In 13th century, Thai people started to become a main force in the region and asserted independence from existing rulers, such as the ruler of Khmer and Mon kingdoms. Like the Sukhothai period, this period also was considered as the golden era in Thai history. In that time, Thailand was an ideal state that was dominated by paternal and generous kings. King Ramkamhaeng was the most famous and influenced king among them. However, the stronger state of Ayutthaya appeared in 1350 and its influence already over Sukhothai.
The third period is Ayutthaya Period (1350-1767). U-Thong King set Ayutthaya as the capital city of the Thai Kingdom in 1350. Ayutthaya was a place which surrounded by rice terraces. And the important reason why the U-Thing King set Ayutthaya as a capital because it is a place where three rivers met, the Pasak, the Loburi, and the Chao Phraya. Therefore, Ayutthaya had the geographical and economic advantages to be a capital. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Thai king of Ayutthaya has become more powerful and taken over Ayutthaya, U-Thong, and Lopburi. However, Ayutthaya has been invaded by the Burmese in 1765. Thais were very afraid of Burmese because Burmese soldiers tried to destroy their homeland, such as destroyed the temples and religious sculpture, burned manuscripts.
The fourth period is Thonburi Period (1767-1772) (Lysa, 2008). After the capital fell into Burmese hand two year, the Burmese were not capable to control the kingdom anymore. In 1769, a very famous Thai general whose name is Phaya Taksin were promoted himself to be the king. He chose Thonburi that was located near of Bangkok to be a new capital. The new site of capital was near to the sea which could promote the economic...
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