The Thai View

About 95 percent of Thais follow the Theravada of Buddhism (an early form of Buddhism). About 4 percent of the population is Muslims, with the remaining split between other religions (including Christianity). Adherents to the Theravada school consider themselves followers of the form closest to Buddhism as it wa originally practiced. The spiritual liberation of the individual is a main focus of the Theravada school. Each individual is considered responsible for his or her own actions and destiny. Each person in Thai society has a specific place. It is every person’s job to fulfill his or her role with a minimum of fuss. Failure to do so involve a loss of personal dignity (called a loss of face). The Thai phrase “mai pen rai” (meaning “never mind” or “no worries”) is frequently invoked as a reminder not to risk opposing the unopposable.


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