What is it about?
Thailand and Laos have similar cultures and are both Theravada Buddhist states. However, they struggled and negotiated for political control. This article intends to demonstrate how they contended for political ideology and Buddhist culture. What is the impact on ethnic groups?
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Why is it important?
This article explores political and socio-cultural strategies for the adaptation of ethnic groups in Southern Laos (Champasak) from the traditional state to the modern era. This will have implications for understanding the relationship between the state, Buddhism, and ethnicity in Thailand and Laos.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: The Dynamics of Kha Phra Kaeo Identity in the Context of Thai-Lao History and Politics, Manusya Journal of Humanities, December 2022, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/26659077-25010020.
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The legend of “Phrakaewpluekmok”: The comparison of meaning in the context of Siam, Bru and Lao culture
the legend of “Phrakaewpluekmok" (Phra Phuttha Butsayarat Chakkraphat Phimonmanimai) which has dynamic meaning in the context of Siam and Lao culture. When bringing Phrakaewpluekmok from Champasak, dominated by Siam, Siamese leaders used a belief of charisma and claimed that Phrakaewpluekmok was proper for a charismatic king only. Previously Phrakaewpluekmok had never been placed in Siam before, and when enshrined at Thai state, Phrakaewpluekmok has sacred force to bring prosperity to the kingdom. Meanwhile, the Bru ethnic group (Champasak, Lao PDR), Kha who discover Phrakaewpluekmok, defined that Phrakaewpluekmok was a sacred thing and was why they became “Khaphrakaew” who received an exceptional status under rule. At present, they integrated into Lao culture and local people have meanfully carried on and reproduced Phrakaewpluekmok’s tale. They pray to Phrakaewpluekmok every day and worship every year.
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