The numerous Buddhist temples with their multi-storey roofs, many towers and magnificent decorations are testimonies to the ancient kingdoms of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya. In addition to the architecture, art, with its large wall paintings and the numerous, often larger than life-size Buddha figures, also served to decorate the temple complexes (Buddhist art). Traditional Thai art shows strong influences from India, China and the Khmer Empire. Western influence can be felt from the 19th century. In the arts and crafts, Thailand is known for its traditional silk weaving, pottery and silversmithing (Thai art).
In its beginnings, Thai literature was determined by poetry. For a long time, the royal family and the nobility were the only ones concerned with literature. From the 20th century, prose forms prevailed, especially the novel and the short story. Well-known novels in modern literature that have also been translated into other languages are “The Judgment” (1982) by Chart Korbjitti (* 1954) and “Schlangen” (1984) by Wimon Sainimnuan (* 1955). The theater draws its themes primarily from Indian mythology, in particular from the Thai national epic “Ramakien”. It has developed into different forms. These include the Lakhon Theater, in which chanting, dance and a joker play a major role, the Khon Theater with the pantomime of masked men and the shadow play of the Nang Theater. The Thai film is often used for entertainment. Martial arts films are particularly popular. The filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakui (* 1970) won the Golden Palm of Cannes in 2010 for the fantasy film “Uncle Boonmee remembers his previous life”.
Classical Thai music is courtly music that is played with drums, xylophones, metallophones, gong games and an oboe leading the melody. In the 1930s, Lukthung developed as its own folk music. In the 1960s, rock music came up with the American soldiers. Thai pop music emerged from this in the 1990s. One of the most popular representatives is Tata Young (* 1980). Under the influence of military rule, the younger music scene has experienced a strong political orientation, for example »Rap Against Dictatorship«.
According to philosophynearby, Thai boxing is the national sport of Thailand. It evolved from a form of martial art to a competitive sport that has been popular around the world since the 20th century. Golf and boat racing are other popular sports. Sepak Takraw, a kind of “soccer tennis”, is practiced all over Southeast Asia. Makruk is the Thai way of playing chess.
World Heritage Sites in Thailand
World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage (N)
- Wildlife Sanctuaries in Thailand (N; 1991)
- Sukhothai Ruins (K; 1991)
- Ayutthaya ruins (K; 1991)
- Prehistoric Monuments of Ban Chiang (K; 1992)
- Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai forest complex (N; 2005)
Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex (World Heritage)
The two nature reserves have an exceptionally rich fauna and offer a refuge for endangered species such as tigers, leopards, gibbons and hornbills. They are the last remaining areas of a forest ecosystem in the Thai monsoon forest.
Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex: Facts
|Official title:||Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex|
|Natural monument:||Four national parks and a protected area on a total area of 6155 km²; Khao Yai jungle as the oldest national park in Thailand; exceptionally rich animal world (over 800 species), including 112 mammal, 392 bird and 200 reptile species; many endangered species such as tigers, leopards, gibbons, hornbills, pelicans, elephants|
|Location:||230 km between Ta Phraya National Park in the east and Khao Yai National Park in the west|
|Meaning:||Unique, substantially preserved area of a tropical forest ecosystem of global importance|
Thai music, formerly Thai music.
Since the former Siam was never a colony of the Western powers, the “classical” art music carried by the royal court and aristocratic circles, unlike the originally closely related forms in Laos and Cambodia, was preserved without any noteworthy Western influence. The most important ensembles, which are available in small (indicated here), medium and large ensembles, are: 1) Pi Phat, v. a. to accompany the dance dramas Khon and Lakhon with oboe pi, after which the orchestra is named, barrel drum taphon, gong circle Khong Wong Yai, xylophone Ranat Ek, barrel drum pair Klong That and cymbal pair Ching; 2) Khruang Sai, with bowed sounds Saw U and Saw Duang, flute Khlui, tubular zither Chakhe, drums and cymbals; 3) Mahori, with a combination of the instruments of the two previous ensembles; 4) Pi Phat Mon, for death ceremonies, with seven tuned drums, which play melodies, and gong playing curved upwards in a U shape as the main differences to the normal pi-phat ensemble. – The main characteristics of court music, in which Chinese, Indian and Indonesian elements merge, are the tone system with the division of the octave into seven equal steps (isotony) and the playing around the main melody so that different variants of the same motif can be heard at the same time. Metrically, groups of four predominate. so that different variants of the same motif can be heard at the same time. Metrically, groups of four predominate. so that different variants of the same motif can be heard at the same time. Metrically, groups of four predominate.