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Transcript of THAILAND LITERATURE
into four different periods background Thailand (Siam)
It is presumed that Thais originated in China and migrated down to Thailand along the southern part of China.
They split into two main groups.
One settled down in the North and became the kingdom of "Lanna" and the other one is in further south, which afterward was defeated by the Khmers and became the kingdom of "Sukhothai".
It now appears that the Thais might have originated here in Thailand and later scattered to various parts of Asia, including China. 2. Ayutthaya Period (1350-1767)
The period produced a variety of forms on diverse subjects. New poetic forms were created, with different rhyme schemes and metres.
It is common to find a combination of different poetic forms in one poetic work, resulting in lilit (a combination of rai and khlong), kap ho khlong, kap he ruea (a combination ofkap and khlong), klonkonlabot andphlengyao. Thai Literature 1. Sukhothai Period (circa 1238-1377)
The literary works in this period were designed to reaffirm national cultural identity, political stability and spiritual values, with the monarchs taking the lead in the promotion of arts, religion and public administration. 3. Thon Buri Period (1767-1782)
Despite its short period of 15 years, Thon Buri produced Ramakian, a verse drama to which King Thaksin the Great contributed his poetic talent.
The revival of literature at this time is remarkable since the country had not quite recovered from the aftermath of war. Some poets who later became a major force in the early Rattanakosin Period had already begun writing at this time. 4. Rattanakosin Period (1782-present)
It is only natural that many of the early Rattanakosin works should deal with war and military strategy.
When peace finally came, order was restored.
Laws of the country were revised and historical events were once again systematically recorded.
During this period there sprang a great wealth of Buddhist literature.
There were a great number of emotive literary works in the early Rattanakosin period, some modeled on Ayutthaya and Thon Buri traditions, others being new creations.
Literature has been closely associated with Thai life. In the earlier times, it was often recited at ceremonies and on other traditional occasions.
What is striking about the literature of the Rattanokosin Period is that all the kings have played an important part in promoting and creating literary works. Their contributions and dedications to the literary cause have led to the proliferation of high-quality literary outputs whether they were original works or translations. Early Thai literature was primarily concerned with religion and until the mid-19th century was in verse form.
Thai verse was written exclusively by the aristocracy or royalty, the only educated classes able to do so.
The tradition of authorship by kings can be seen in all periods of the country's history, from Sukhothai up to Bangkok.
Two Chakri monarchs, King Rama II (1809-1824) and King Rama VI (1910-1925), were distinguished poets and stalwart patrons of Thai arts. One of the most important Thai literary works is the Ramakian, a uniquely Thai version of the Indian epic, the Ramayana. Early Thai version of the Ramakian were lost in the destruction of Ayutthaya. The longest of the three present versions was written in 1798 by the first Chakri King, Rama I, and a group of intimates, who incorporated Thai and Buddhist elements into it to preserve oral knowledge of Ayutthaya state rites and traditions. Indeed, King Rama I's Ramakian is the major historical source of medieval Thai courtly traditions. Another major Thai literary figure was SunthonPhu (1786-1855), a poetic genius and well-beloved commoner. SunthonPhu's enduring achievement (apart from his legendary personal adventures) was to write superbly well in common language about common feelings and the common folk. Easily understood by all classes, his work became widely accepted. His major works were PhraAphai Mani, a romantic adventure, and nine Nirats mostly written during a pilgrimage, associating romantic memoried with the places he visited in central and eastern Thailand. Both King Rama V and Rama VI were also distinguished writers whose creativity contained the rich intellectual heritage in several prose and verse forms. Among outstanding literary works of King Rama V were Ngo Pa and the well-known collection of Klai Ban or Far Away from Home, on his journey to Europe in 1906-7. Those well-known works of King Rama VI were MatthanaPhatha, Phra non Kham Luang , and several patriotic articles entitled, Muang Thai Chong TunThoet or Wake up-all Thais, etc. THE RAMAKIAN
The Ramakian, the epic tale of Prince Rama and his wife Sita, of struggles between good and evil, pervades all forms of Thai artistic expression.
the local version of the Indian Ramayana epic, and its roll call of gods and demons belongs essentially to the Hindu world of the subcontinent rather than to the Theravada Buddhist land of the Thais.
Most cultures of Southeast Asia are rooted in Indian influences which filtered through the region
Religious, mythological, linguistic and other elements of Indian culture were absorbed rather than imposed by conquest and colonization, and thus became especially persuasive. Various local populations adapted and moulded Indian influences to their own ways, gradually evolving cultures that were distinct yet with common roots. The story of Ramakian:
Rama, the heir to the throne of Ayodhya, was sent into exile for 14 years by his stepmother. His wife, Sita and brother Lakshman went with him into the deep forest. Tosakan, the demon king of Longka (Sri Lanka), abducted Sita and carries her off to his island kingdom hoping to marry her. The brothers pursued him. Hanuman, the white monkey god, volunteers his service, together they won the alliance of two monkey kings, Sukrip and Chompupan, each with a powerful army. They march south to the coast opposite Longka. The monkey armies build a road of stone through the sea and lay siege to Longka. Many victorious battles are waged against Tosakan’s demon armies. Finally, Rama defeated Tosakan and killed him. Rama then crowns his ally, Piphek (Tosakan’s banished brother) as King of Longka and returns with Sita to resume his rign in Ayodha.
The Ramakienmurals at WatPhraKaeo or “The Emerald Buddha” is beautifully depicted through a series of 178 colorful murals, dating from the late 18th century. Thai Modern Lit
A leading literary figure is former Prime Minister M.R. Kukrit Pramoj,
. They appeared in various forms including short stories, articles, columns and critiques.
He is generally regarded as the best Thai short story author.
His collection of short stories, the so-called Lai Chiwit, is considered an exemplary work embodying the finest Thai prose, an appreciation of which is essential for the appraisal of Thai contemporary literature.
His most outstanding novel, Si Phandin , or Four Reigns, revolves around the court life from the reign of King Rama V to Rama VIII offering a vivid portrait of Thai society in those long years of the four interesting reigns. MODERN THAI LIT