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Title: The formation of identity in my country…'

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Title: The formation of identity in my country…'
  Kimmage DSC 2017 Title: The formation of identity in my country…’.Author: Calum Stoe! Cour!e: Anthro"ology and #lo$ali!ation Cour!e %acilitator: Anne %it&gerald Date of !u$mi!!ion:22'11'17 (ord Count:11)0Signed !tudent declaration form: Calum Stoe!  Identity This will be a short presentation on the formation if identity in Thailand. The presentation will look at how not only identity has been developed, but also how it has been maintained throughout history. The focus will not, however, be solely on a National level but also from an ethnic identity viewpoint. Thai National Identity Thailand can be broken into four main regions. The North with its mountainous and fertile lands viable for growing rice and teak. Central Thailand home to Bangkok"City of Angels" and the fertile Chao hraya basin. The North !ast !ssan# the driest, least productive and least modern place in Thailand. The $outh with its moist atmosphere where many produce rubber, tropical crops and tin. Thailand "%and of the free" &n the past was a country living in the ideal of attaining a virtuous life by shaping their character to Buddhist principles where goodness was pri'ed over personal wealth. Thailand has now changed from an absolute monarchy rule to one of self(sustained )emocracy. Buddhism has supplied cognitive and evaluative elements that have been integrated into every aspect of Thai identity, even &f the individual is Thai or part of a Thai ethnic minority. *or e+ample, many of the "hill tribes" in Thailand may be Christian or follow traditional religious practices. They do however pay respect to monks and often offer alms during ceremonies. Buddhism in Thailand is practised very differently compared to how Buddhism is practised in other many other countries such as in apan, China and -ietnam. !ach country practices Buddhism but in a very different way. *or e+ample, if the )alai %ama came to Thailand he would have to sit down with the lay people as his position is not recognised in Theravada Buddhism. &n apan there are not nearly as many images of Buddha compared to Thailand and if there are they are often uite plain and not e+travagant and often painted and /ewelled as they are in Thailand. As is shown it is distinctly Thai Buddhism that contributes to Thai people0s identity not the Buddhist faith itself with 123 following Theravada Buddhism. Thailand is a very 4ierarchal society, &f you are born into a "4igh(so" family as they are typically referred to her you, your sense of identity is of course very different than if you are born into a "%ow(so" family. Being in a "4igh(so" family often individuals may have a feeling that they are held above " %ow(so" families. This is not through that particular person0s fault but rather how society has helped shape their identity. An individuals &dentity as we know does often change in adolescence as people are e+posed to new groups of individuals. 5hen they leave the "bubble" of the social class and meet people from different backgrounds, religions and classes. This change happens not only throughout 4igh $chool but all the way through to young adulthood. $teinberg sumsup the adolescence /ourney to identity perfectly by saying6"The development of a  strong and stable sense of self is widely considered to be one of the central tasks of adolescence. )espite the fact that identity development occurs throughout one0s lifetime, adolescence is the first time that individuals begin to think about how our identity may affect our lives. )uring adolescence, we are much more self(conscious about our changing identities than at any other stage in our lives" $teinberg, %. 7889#. Adolescence. New :ork6 ;c<raw(4ill. *amilies are close in Thailand and areoften held above all else, maintaining strong relationships throughout their entire lives. Ethnic Identity There are numerous !thnic groups in Thailand according to =each To Teach" >f Thailand0s nearly ?8 million people, roughly two(thirds are from Thai ethnic groups.  Although the ethnic Thai people can be divided into do'ens of different subgroups, their traditions, languages, and cultures differ only slightly. This leads to a population with a strong sense of shared traditions and cultural identity. The remaining third of the population is made up primarily of Chinese, as well as various minorities including -ietnamese, @hmer, 4mong, and ;ein. !ven among these diverse ethnic groups, the Thai language is widely spoken and understood, and the Thai script is often used in place of traditional writing styles.=eachtoteachrecruiting.com,78D.There is also many much smaller ethnic groups throughout Thailand, many who may not even be citi'ens but have lived in Thailand for hundreds of years. The @aren people for e+ample " Current debates on @aren identity have tended to focus on the development of a nationalist construct of a pan(@aren community"=achel $harpes,782D. ;any @aren people are Thai and are citi'ens but identify as @aren more than being Thai. ;any ethnic groups such as the @aren live in the mountainous North of Thailand. As the Thai government started cracking down on the growing of poppiesfor opium and heroin production# many hadto move further down the mountains Now the ma/ority of @aren people still live in the mountains but do however go to lowland cities for work or grow cash crops in the hills. There has been in the past some problems of course between different groups  Although the population of Thailand is relatively homogeneousEregionalism and ethnic differences are issues that are socially and politically significant. ;oreover, these differences affect the access of specific groups and regions to economic and other resources, which in turn heightened ethnic or regional consciousness"%ibrary of congressD. Through all of this, the @aren and others have still kept a strong sense of cultural identity. ;any @aren people are Buddhist, but the ma/ority are Christian and follow animistic beliefs. $gaw, wo, and a0o on top of this, almost everyone speaks Thai. &f there is a temple or a monk near a village they are still paid a high level of respect, given alms and offerings. This shows how the identity of many ethnic groups has changed since they first arrived in Thailand several hundred yearsago.&t is true each has their own customs and beliefs but are still very much living in  Thailand and follow at least some of the Thai traditions. This is not characteristic for @aren people in other parts of the world. @aren people in America do not pay respectto Buddhist monks in America. Conclusion  A sense of &dentity is formed throughout our entire lives, always changing and adapting. 5e are born into an identity in some ways, some people with opportunities that people are not. This does not define us however as we are e+posed to new groups and cultures our own identity changes, especially as young adults. *or e+ample, the @aren people as were shown, very much have their own identity. They are also Thai however. @aren people in America and @aren people in Thailand are asdifferent in many ways as American and Thais are. >ur identity is formed by those around us and our social environment, always changing, growing and adapting.  Bibliography6http6FFfactsanddetails.comFsoutheast(asiaFThailandFsub2G9bFentry(H77I.htmleffrey 4ayes 78I# ;inorities and !thnic groups in Thailand   Accessed 77FIF78?Dhttps6FFchristinebedenis.comF78IF89F82Fethnicities(of(thailand(thai(identityF August 2 78I#!thnicities of ThailandAccessed 77FIF78?D;ichael @elly Connors,)emocracy and National &dentity in ThailandAccessed 77FIF78?Dhttp6FFpioneer.netserv.chula.ac.thFJtampaiFhk788I.htm Am"ai Tirana!ar 200*+ Cultural ,dentity and Art -ducation in Thailand Accessed 77FIF78?Dhttp6FFwww.manusya./ournals.chula.ac.thFfilesFessayFThe378=epresentation($uradech378p.9H(1.pdf  78I $uradech Chotiudompant ) Accessed 77FIF78?D:oshinori Nishi'aki , olitical Authority and rovincial Authority in Thailand .Accessed 77FIF78?D
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