Hunting back on Thai history, we see clearly the close relationship amongst Buddhism and the Thai nation. The history of the Thai nation is also the history of Buddhism. The Thai nation originated over two,000 years ago. Also in that same period Buddhism came and has played an important portion in the Thai history ever since. The Thai nation settled firmly in present-day Thailand 700 years ago. Also seven centuries ago it adopted the present kind of Buddhism.
Buddhism is nonetheless the state religion of Thailand. Under the Constitution, the King, as a symbol of the nation, though protector of all religions, have to be a Buddhist. According to the most current census, the total population of Thailand is 48 million. Out of this number, 93.4 % are Buddhists. Buddhism has had a deep influence in the Thai arts, traditions, studying and the character of the individuals. It has modelled their manner of considering and acting. In brief, it has grow to be an integral element of Thai life. The charm that has brought on Thailand to be called the Land of Smiles undoubtedly comes from the influence of Buddhism over her people. Realizing these details, the Thai rulers have taken the responsibility for the protection and promotion of Buddhism.
The rulers of Thailand have encouraged and supported Buddhism by creating and maintaining monasteries, by providing the monks with material necessities and facilities for performing religious duties, by patronizing their educational activities such as the Buddhist Councils for revising the Tripitaka and having the scriptures translated into Thai, and by reforming the Sangha and appointing in a position Supreme Patriarchs to govern the Order. Considering that B.E. 2446 (1903 C.E.) the State has even enacted the laws forming the Constitution beneath which the Sangha governs itself.
The Department of Religious Affairs has been established in the Ministry of Education to achieve close cooperation between the Order and the Government and to give a channel through which the Sangha can communicate with government authorities and via, which the State can market the effectively-being of the Sangha.
Four Buddhist holy days are recognized by the Government as nationalholidays, namely, the Magha Puja Day, the Visakha Puja Day, the Asalha Puja Day and the Khao Pansa Day. Almost all state and public ceremonies are blessed by the participation and chanting of senior members of the Order. The men and women also invite monks to chant the Sutras and protective formulas for their blessing and protection in all household rites such as housewarmings, birthday celebrations and weddings, and especially to conduct funeral rites and memorial solutions for the benefit of the deceased. Even lustral or consecrated water is utilized at most of the auspicious ceremonies. Other types of animistic and Brahmanic beliefs can also be observed mingled with these common Buddhist practices.
In Bangkok, the skyline is pierced by the spires of pagodas and stupas, particularly these of Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn) and the Golden Mount. “In the rice lands a traveler is seldom out of the sight of a phra chedi (Cetiya) or stupa towering above the village trees. In the less populous sections of the countries are sacred caves, ‘footprints’ of Buddha, and on numerous a steep and isolated hill a greying cetiya visible for miles about.”1 Bronze and stone pictures of the Buddha are continually found in unexpected areas while digging the land for irrigation, road-construction and other purposes. Buddhism has thus turn out to be rooted in the soil of Thailand each actually and metaphorically.
Homeless Westerners on the Rise in Thailand
The number of homeless westerners living on the streets of Thailand is escalating with numerous selecting to keep in the nation in spite of their scenario, a Thai charity says.
The quantity of homeless westerners in Thailand grew in 2013, a Thai non-profit organization stated, placing the current figure at about 200.
The Issarachon Foundation was founded in 1996 and specializes in improving the good quality of life of homeless residents in Thailand like supplying educational solutions and healthcare wants.
It reported earlier in September that numerous homeless westerners separated from their Thai wives and were kicked out of their personal homes.
Considering that their property was purchased in their Thai wives’ names, they cannot legally fight to remain.
In other situations, homeless foreigners endure from mental illnesses or from drug or alcohol abuse, stated the foundation.
Shelter volunteers from Baan Mitmaithree of Pattaya, positioned in the common beach town known for its sex business, walked the streets on Tuesday hunting for anyone needing help.
[Stephen Francis Quinn, 59-Year Old Citizen from the United Kingdom]:
“I need to go residence for health, I know that. I need to go house for well being. I like it right here because I’ve got numerous close friends who assist me now. Numerous buddies. I’m not positive what I want any longer.”
Quinn has been living on the streets of Pattaya for more than two years.
The fee for a foreigner overstaying their visa in Thailand is 16 dollars a day with a maximum penalty of 630 dollars.
Shelter volunteers say a lot of cannot afford to spend.
The law states that shelters can not help homeless men and women living in Thailand illegally unless it is an emergency, beneath those situations they can be housed for 15 days.
[Rungnapha Noirakthong, Volunteer, Baan Mitmaithree Shelter, Pattaya]:
“Most of the homeless foreigners overstay their visa, so they are right here illegally. And given that they’re illegal and if we aid them, that implies we’re breaking the law as well. But for humanitarian motives, we take care of them as necessary.”
Numerous of the homeless survive by begging or asking close friends for income.
A single North Carolina native, who has a brother living in New York City, says his wife threw him out of home and he has no plans to return.
[Sylvester Ancram, Homeless]:
“It really is a lot less pressure right here, you know, and I’m much more comfy right here than I am at residence. I don’t have to worry about gunshots and all these crazy stuff like this and I am just comfy right here.”
43-year old Theunis Jalte de Yong from the Netherlands, who also sleeps on the streets, has a similar story.
De Yong says he cannot go back to his native Holland since his Thai wife and kids are in Thailand.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports says more than 22-million vacationers visited Thailand in 2012, setting a new record.
Thailand has a continuous increase of western retirees settling permanently in the country simply because of its hot climate and low living charges.
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