Thai-Cambodian Culture Relationship

Thailand and Cambodia are very close neighbours with common borders and cultural relations. We, as Thai people, received and adopted some arts and culture from ancient Cambodia. The pre-Thai scripts and spoken words were adopted from Khmer native language which we are using now. The area of south-East Asia covers broadly the whole of the Indo-Chinese peninsula and East Indies, popularly called Suvarna-bhumi which, to be more precise, comprised the territories now know as Myanmar, Siam (Thailand), the Malay Peninsula, Cambodia (Kambujadesa), Laos, Vietnam on the main land and the Island of Sumatra, Java, Madura, Bali and Borneo.

The Brahmanical religion that flourished in South- East Asia was not the Vedic religion of old. It evolved and developed in India almost at the same time when Buddhism and Jainism flourished. The essential character of this new religion was sectarian which recognised Brahma [the Creator], Visnu [the Nourisher], and Siva [the Destroyer], the three great gods of Brahmanical trinity. As we know, it is the names of these three gods that later have birth to the three renowned Brahmanical sects as Brahmanism, Vaisnavism and Saivism which dominated as the most popular religious force, evident from the hundreds of inscriptions found in different parts of South-East Asia.
The arrival of the Hindu and Buddhist religions as part of the process of Indianisation had profound consequences for the development of Imperial Khmer art. By the time it is first noted in Cambodia during the first centuries of our era, Hinduism had become a devotional religious centre of a pantheon of gods (such as Shiva, Vishnu and Krishna) and goddesses (such as Uma, Parvati and Lakshmi) who were all recognised as manifestations of the same formless universal essence. Of special importance to Khmer kings were Shiva and Vishnu who, along with the god Brahma, form a trinity encompassing the cyclical cosmic functions of creation, preservation and destruction. Harihara, a combined form of Shiva and Vishnu, was also especially popular. Hinduism was the state religion of the kings of Angkor. Until the thirteenth century when it was permanently eclipsed by Buddhism, which had played a lesser role in Cambodia since the pre-Angkorian period.

The Khmer people today are primarily found in the country of Cambodia (formerly Kambuja) but the original heartland of the Khmer was associated with an area of the middle Mekhong river in Laos and the southern part of Northeast Thailand. Thus the remains of Khmer temples at Angkor are justly famous and rulers from at least the 9 th to 14 th centuries concentrated their temples within the urban area of Angkor, throughout this period, if not far before, the Khmer also inhabited parts of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia……..CLICK RED LINK >>> to read the complete Thesis on “Thai – Cambodian Culture Relationship through Arts” by Mrs Charuwan Phungtian

[This is not a Christian project or paper, but the research was done by a Thai [most properly a Buddhist] – But we belief it’s a well done thesis and will gives the reader a GOOD historical background of the beginnings of Thai-Art.]

This page’ ‘THUMBNAIL’ picture is from this excellent blog at The Christian Story | MOBiA | Museum of Biblical Art

Posted by on Mar 22 2012. Filed under Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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