วารสาร Journal of People and Society in Local Culture ISSN:2228-8899

Establishing Community and Retaining Identity of Tai Ethnic Group in the Brahmaputra River Basin

Assist. Prof. Chalong Suktong
Management Science Faculty,
Surindra Rajabhat University.
Thailand

keywords : Identity, Establishing Community, Tai Ethnic group, Brahmaputra River

Abstract
This study intends to investigate the establishing community and retaining identity of Tai ethnic group in the Brahmaputra River basin. The results show that the Brahmaputra River originates at the southwest of Tibet highland, in the Republic of China, then flows parallel accompany mountain Himalayas range, from the west to the east at the Tibet highland and veers changing direction, flows down to the south through the Arunachal Pradesh State and Assam State of India before flowing to congregate with the Gang River in Bangladesh at last flow into the Bay of Bengal in Indian Ocean.

Many vital reasons that human used to select place for settle and build house such as fleeing from a war zone to the calm territory, fleeing from natural disaster, emigration as the belief and the holy thing, and selecting the richness location for living and agriculture. Fertility of Brahmaputra River is the important factor for several ethnic groups to select this river for settle and live together long times ago since the ancient time.

Tai ethnic group is the tribe that wide spread living start at the southern part of China, northern part of south-east Asia and in Assam State of India. History and archaeology searching in agree with the etymology searching found people in south-east Asia calls Tai as Shan, relate to Burmese that calls Tai : Chinese Shan and Mao Shan. Further, Chinese calls Tai as Shan which mean lower river and ethnic group who like to settle hometown at the river basin and have occupation as agriculture. Besides, there are many names to call Tai people such as San, Sam, Siyam and Siam. The important characters of Tai ethnic group is they always live together as colonies alongside rivers and they are expert in planting rice especially in the plain area thus Chinese people call Tai people as San : means lower river, the word stand for the ethnic group that like to settle down in lower river and have occupation as farmers.

Introduction
Several history books point out that Tai tribe has their own long history and settling the community in the extensive area from the southern part of China northern part of southeast Asia until arrive at Assam State of India. Tai culture has dominant specific identity of themselves which it is different from China and India, event they are provoked from both gigantic cultural countries. Further, they are governed by a King or prince and have customs, tradition and way of life that influenced by Buddhism.When the time passes by those Tai tribe outside county become the minority of several countries such as China, Myanmar Vietnam and India. They are manipulated by social system and main culture of those countries including culture of the other ethnic groups, but Tai community still robustly retain their culture both bodily and spiritually. Studying the background of establishing the community and history of Tai ethnic group outside the country help us to understand both living and changing the identity of Tai ethnic group, also it makes us notice the moving and changing of social in Thailand

Conclusion
Cultural adapting of an ethnic tribe begin from changing boundary of culture of own-self as a person might be a member of many social systems or being a member of many ethnic groups at the same time thus ethnic identity might be historical consciousness more than is the lineage by birth. When the social, the cultural and the economical changing are happening qualities will become important element in the way of living, building identity and figure of Tai tribe. They have to establish basis down into community, social or politics division and have to being a member of Tai tribe can be identified themselves apart from other ethnic group.

References
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-Chuatip Nathsupa. (2005). From Village History to Two System Theory (2 th ed.).Surin : Surindra Rajabhat University.
-Kruajit Sribunnak. (2007). Developing Performing Arts from the Ceremonial eat heet of Original Tribe Species Mon-Cambodian in Small Province low-lying MekongRiver. Ph.D. Dissertation. Graduate School, Surindra Rajabhat University.
-Khagen Ch. Phukan. (2009). They Came They Mingled They Unified. Guwahati :Bhabani Offset & Imaging Systems.
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Assoc. Prof. Dr.Wasana Kaewla.
Editorial Manager, Journal of People and Society in local culture

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