Thailand Culture

Thailand Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Thailand

According to MATHGENERAL.COM, Thailand is a country located in Asia. Thailand has around thirty newspapers, most of them in Bangkok; most important are Matichon (180,000 copies) and Siam Rath (120,000 copies). Larger in size are the more sensationally oriented Thai Rath (800,000 copies) and Daily News (650,000 copies). All of these are published in Thai; The English-speaking Bangkok Post has a relatively small edition (57,000 copies), but is considered to have a large influence. The news media is largely controlled by the state.

The same goes for radio and TV. State Radio Thailand (RTH, founded in 1930) broadcasts in three channels and has international broadcasts. Thailand has nearly 500 radio stations. These are either owned by government agencies or are licensed by the state. In addition to State Television of Thailand, there are seven other TV channels. There are 235 radio and 284 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ANIMALERTS, a strong national culture, deeply influenced by Buddhism, has emerged for 750 years of almost unbroken independence. Visitors are often struck by the magnificent temples in all cities and larger villages.

The oldest preserved remains of Thai architecture and art date from the Dvaravati period (c. 500 to the 1000s), which received influences from Cambodia, Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Sumatra. It was not until the Chiang Mai style (around 1000–1767) that a Thai art was developed. In the ancient capital Ayutthaya there are remains of impressive Buddhist buildings in stone from different eras.

Almost all older buildings have a religious function and are richly decorated with one or more Buddha statues. The sculptors closely followed the look attributed to the founder of religion in Sanskrit poetry – “legs like a deer, chin like a mango core, hair like the scorpion’s stern”. Even classical art had a religious connection. It was not until the end of the 19th century that more popular motifs began to emerge.

Thai literature dates back to the 13th century, when several poetic works were written, often based on Buddhist stories. The 13th-century prose work Thraiphum Phraruang, probably written by King Lithai, describes the underground, the earth, the sky and a utopian future world. The work has had a great influence on Thai worldview.

The first modern author was the national bald Sunthon Phu, who was read and appreciated during the first half of the 19th century both by the court and by a fairly broad public. The Thai novel was developed with the support of the poetic king Vajiravudh in the early 1900s. Since then, modern literature, influenced by romance, expressionism and other Western trends, has developed in the country.

Thailand has a large film production, but the language barrier makes Thai films rarely reach outside the country. In 2010, however, director Apichatpong Weerasethakul received the prestigious Gold Palm at the Cannes Film Festival for his film Lung Bunmi Raluek Chat (Uncle Boonmee who can recall his past lives). Apichatpong Weerasethakul rarely has subtle political messages in his films and after the military coup in Thailand 2014 he chose to work from abroad.

National sports Thai boxing (muay thai) has medieval ancestry. Today, it is the country’s most popular sport and often the only way to success for poor boys from northeast Thailand.



King Rama X is installed

1 December

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn formally becomes Thailand’s new king at a ceremony in the Royal Palace in Bangkok. His royal name becomes Rama X. The throne change takes place 50 days after Bhumibol’s death. The new king’s mourning period lasts for one year.


Cash grants to the poorest

November 22

The military-backed government announces that cash grants totaling $ 358 million will be distributed to the country’s poorest households, as they have been hit hard by the fall in rice prices. Prime Minister Prayut has previously sharply criticized Yingluck’s contribution to poor families and called them populist.

Rescue packages for the rice growers

November 1st

Just a few weeks after the military government demanded Yingluck a billion dollars for the precious rice project during her reign, the government announces that it will itself contribute a $ 550 million rescue package to the country’s poorest rice farmers. Rice growers are undergoing a crisis due to falling rice prices and surpluses in the market. The military government fears unrest in the areas where many rice farmers live. Rice farmers are often supporters of the Thaksin family.


Tens of thousands of streams to the palace

October 29th

The hall where Bhumibol is located on lit de parade in the Grand Palace in Bangkok is opened to the public. Tens of thousands of Thais gather around the buildings to bid farewell to the King.

Yingluck is required for a billion dollars

21 October

The military government fines Yingluck personally for fraud in connection with the rice subsidy program during her time in power. Yingluck says she will contest the junta’s claims and adds that it would be right to try her case in court instead. The fine is equivalent to nearly a billion dollars. Yingluck is embroiled in a tangle of court cases, which she says are politically motivated and driven by the rulers. If she is convicted of criminal neglect in connection with the rice subsidies, she can receive ten years in prison.

TV broadcasts canceled

October 14

In the first few days after the monarch’s death, all Thai TV channels, including international satellite networks, have their broadcasts replaced by black-and-white images from the events surrounding the palace in Bangkok, where Bhumibol’s remains are on lit.

One year of country grief announced

October 13

One year of country grief is announced. The public is asked to dress in black or white (both of which are the color of mourning in Thailand) and to avoid inconvenient events such as concerts and sporting events. The atmosphere is also expected to be subdued in the tourist areas.

The king dies, the crown prince appeals for more time

October 13

Thailand’s King Bhumibol dies at the age of 88 after being a monarch for 70 years. Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 63, according to the constitution is to take over the throne, which the government quickly confirms. Vajiralongkorn, however, asks to be allowed to wait with the entrance in order to mourn his father in peace and quiet. The acting regent becomes the chairman of the Crown Council Prem Tinsulanonda.


Suspected Majesty’s offenses should be tried in civil courts

September 12

The government announces that civilians charged with majestic or other crimes against the security of the nation will no longer be tried in military courts, which has drawn sharp criticism from human rights organizations. The defendants should instead be tried by civil courts. However, the approximately 500 pending cases will be decided in military courts.

The defense gets more money

September 8

The Legislative Assembly, hand-picked by the military, adopts a budget for 2017. The Armed Forces’ appropriations are raised by 2 percent to around $ 6 billion. This is the third year in a row that the junta raises the defense budget. The Ministry of Education receives a 5 percent reduction, while appropriations for the transport sector more than halved, from $ 136 billion to 63.5 billion.


Car bomb attack in Pattani

August 24th

A man is killed and some 30 are injured when two car bombs explode outside a hotel in Pattani town in southern Thailand. According to the military government, the attacks are unrelated to the attacks on tourist destinations earlier this month.

Attacks on tourist destinations in the south

12th of August

A series of explosions at five different tourist resorts, including a city on the island of Phuket, requires the lives of four people. The police reject theories that it was Islamist terror. Instead, the suspicions are directed at militant separatists from southern Thailand. The bombing takes place in connection with the Queen’s birthday and one of the targets, the city of Hua Hin, is the King’s favorite wedding outside of Bangkok.

Military Constitution approved

August 7th

More than 61 percent of voters in a referendum approve the military’s proposal for a new constitution (see Political system). All criticism of the proposal is banned and in connection with the vote, more than 10 people are arrested who are considered to violate the ban. The military government’s fear of all opposition will have absurd consequences when two eight-year-old girls are prosecuted for tearing down posters for the yes side. The girls wanted the posters for they liked the pink background color. The 55 percent turnout will be a disappointment to the military, which had hoped that 80 percent of those entitled to vote would participate. After the election, Prayuth announces that parliamentary elections will be held in the latter part of 2017.


Campaign work can give prison ten years

April 22

King Bhumibol ratifies a law that can provide ten years in prison for those who campaign for the referendum on August 7 on the future constitution. The constitutional proposal has received sharp criticism from various political camps for strengthening the military’s power at the expense of Parliament. Many judges believe that the constitutional proposal is undemocratic.

The military receives police information

April 5

The military government gives the armed forces far-reaching police powers.


A referendum on the constitution in August

March 15th

The government announces that a referendum will be held on August 7 for a new constitutional proposal. The proposal has been written by an election committee and approved by the military government.

Thailand Culture

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