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Serie zur Geschichte Bangkoks

Erstellt von waanjai, 01.10.2004, 14:42 Uhr · 29 Antworten · 4.684 Aufrufe

  1. #11
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    4. Sanam Luang
    Oct 05, 2004

    A flying crew pull their kite against an opposing team during a kite competition in the old days at Sanam Luang.Sanam Luang

    The vast public park called Sanam Luang Bangkok's wide open space of royal pageantry, religious piety and breezy days of kiteflying takes its name from the Thai words meaning "grand ground", or "the ground that belongs to the King".

    To the Siamese of the early Rattanakosin period, the field was "Thoong Phra Meru" (literally, "the royal cremation ground"), since this open space to the north of the Royal Grand Palace was where the remains of monarchs and other highranking royalty were cremated.

    In the reign of King Rama III, Sanam Luang was a demonstration rice field that underscored Siam's prosperity to foreign envoys. The king also ordered a royal pavilion built there for the annual royal ploughing and rainmaking ceremonies.

    He had a crematorium built at nearby Wat Saket and tried to convince members of royalty to hold their cremation ceremonies there alongside those of ordinary people, but his pleas went unheeded.

    When Rama IV came to the throne, he decided that Thoong Phra Meru was an inauspicious name and changed it to Sanam Luang. Certainly the grounds became more popular with the public in his time, for Sanam Luang was soon hosting entertainment, including theatrical performances, martialarts demonstrations and, yes, kiteflying.

    Sanam Luang originally covered only a small portion of its present southern half. The rest was occupied mostly by the Palace of the Second King, the balance by mere floodplain.

    Following his first visit to Europe in 1897, King Rama V wanted to transform Sanam Luang so that it resembled the lovely parks he'd seen in front of the grand buildings of European capitals. Having abolished the position of the second king, he ordered the demolition of the walls and forts of the palace to the east so that Sanam Luang could be extended.

    In 1902, when he had hoo kwang and mahogany trees planted along Rajdamnoen Nok and Rajdamnoen Nai avenues, he also ordered 365 tamarind trees planted to provide shade around Sanam Luang.

    About the same time, the cremation ceremonies of highranking royalty were moved to the official royal crematorium at Wat Thepsirin (in the presentday Pomprab district).

    The only time Sanam Luang served as a cremation place for ordinary people was in 1973, after the popular uprising for democracy on October 14. Victims of the violence were cremated in the north of the grounds, separated from area used for the royal ceremonies to the south.

    Sanam Luang has been a multipurpose area ever since Bangkok was founded, far beyond its grander uses as the venue for royal and official ceremonies in every reign.

    When Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram was prime minister, it witnessed horseracing, beauty competitions and antigovernment protests. It hosted the city's biggest weekend market until Chatuchak opened in 1982.

    Today, yearround, there are trade fairs and casual entertainment and leisurely family strolls, although it is still used for such large celebrations as New Year's Eve gatherings, Songkran in April and the Royal Ploughing Ceremony in May.

    And few Thais will forget the importance of Sanam Luang in the country's proud march toward democracy. Proposals persist for an annual commemoration to be held there of the 1973, 1976 and 1992 political clashes that took place in and around the grounds. The blood spilled there on those grim days could only further sanctify such a historic place.

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  3. #12
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    6. The Chinese immigrants
    Oct 07, 2004

    Chinese immigrants have played a huge role over the centuries in helping build Bangkok into one of the most prosperous cities in Southeast Asia. Researchers believe the Chinese originally found new homes in Siam 1,000 years ago,

    settling first in great numbers in what became the south of Thailand, and then, from the 14th to mid 18th centuries, in Ayutthaya.

    The Siamese court recognised their talents as business agents, traders and seafarers, and employed many to mediate pacts with foreign countries, rewarding them in turn with the freedom to conduct their own business and domestic affairs.

    Between 1782 and 1851, the first three kings of the Chakri dynasty supported Chinese immigration as an aid to trade. Historians say that in the reign of Rama III, fully half of Bangkok’s 400,000 citizens were Chinese. American academic William Skinner conjectures that by 1850, that number had increased to at least 300,000, and 95,000 more arrived each year over the next century. The influx dropped only with the birth of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

    In a 1986 report, academics at Yunnan’s Southeast Asia Study Institute cited four main reasons behind the massive Chinese migration to Thailand. Exports of rice blossomed in Rama IV’s reign, and during that of his successor, from 1905 to 1909, Siam shipped out 885,000 tonnes – 40 per cent of its overall output.

    Second, mainland China simply lacked enough arable land to sustain its farmers. A third factor was the new steamboat lines launched by British companies, which brought people from Hong Kong and Shantou (Swatao). The final impetus for immigration came from natural disaster and war.

    Most – 95 per cent – came from Guangdong, Fujian (Hokkian) and Zhejiang provinces, with many more arriving from Yunnan province. Most were Taechew, Hainanese and Hakkan (Kae).

    The Taechew worked as retailers, construction workers and rice millers, or on sugarcane, pepper and tobacco plantations.

    Most Hainanese worked in the sawmills and ports and on rubber plantations, or became gardeners or pig farmers.

    The Hakkan were craftsmen, peddlers, rickshaw drivers and housekeepers.

    People from the south of Fujian preferred working in the mines of southern Thailand, or on barges. Those from Guangdong went into construction.

    Collectively, their economic contribution was immense. Until 1855 they ran all the rice mills in Bangkok, and even then the number of Chinese immigrants accelerated with the signing of the Bowring Treaty with Britain.

    From 1870, they were building more rice mills and using steam engines to help process up to 200 tonnes a day. In 1912 there were 50 mills in the capital that belonged to Chinese, and more in the provinces.

    The merchants who bought the unhusked rice from Siamese farmers were Chinese, as were the traders who shipped the rice abroad, including to China. The only role in the chain they shunned was the actual growing.

    It was an auspicious beginning, and things only got better. The immigrants gradually adapted to Thai ways and via a mutual cultural osmosis countless business-minded descendants become leaders of Thai society.

    Nithinand Yorsaengrat

  4. #13
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    10. Dept store, steamboat introduced
    Oct 11, 2004

    In 1824, Scottish merchant Robert Hunter became the first Western trader to settle in Bangkok. Shuttling between Thailand, Singapore and London, he was the man who five years later set the conjoined brothers Chang and Eng on their road to worldwide fame as “the Siamese twins”.

    Hunter rented a tall building in front of present-day Wat Prayoon in Thon Buri from Chaopraya Borommahaprayoonwong, where he lived and where, in 1826, he opened Morgan & Hunter, the Kingdom’s first department store. Here he sold imported products, including fabrics from India and textiles and medicines from the West, quinine among them.

    Hunter was much concerned about profit. A chronicle by Kromluang Wongsathiratsanit asserts that he even sold opium from China, a drug that Siam had clearly asserted was unwelcome.

    It was Hunter too who, in 1844, brought the first steamboat into the Chao Phya River. When King Rama III declined to buy the old vessel because the price was too expensive, Hunter threatened to ask the British government to send warships to Siam. The furious monarch abruptly sent him into exile, from which Hunter was unable to return until Rama IV was on the throne.

    In any event, within a few years the Chao Phya was full of steamboats carrying goods imported from the West. They came to symbolise the New World, but importantly, their arrival prompted Prince Chudamanee – Rama IV’s brother, who would become the Second King later in the Fourth Reign – to develop his own trading vessels.

    In 1833, the Prince and his aide, Jamuen Waiworanat (Chuang Bunnag), with help from an American missionary and the engineer John H Chandler, built a junk. Then, on July 4, 1848, they launched a 20-foot, Western-style steamboat based on the British model.

    Chandler also helped the Prince establish a machine tool plant, and later became an agent in the machine trade between Siam and Great Britain.

    Nithinand Yorsaengrat

  5. #14
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    Re: Serie zur Geschichte Bangkoks

    @ Jinjok: Vielen Dank für das Auffinden der Beiträge, die nicht unter dem Rubrum 100 Firsts erschienen sind!

    "100 FIRTH : Vaccinations
    Published on October 14, 2004

    As well as introducing the delicate science of medical surgery to old Siam, the American physician and missionary Dr Dan Beach Bradley brought the Kingdom its first protective vaccinations.

    The first to be innoculated against common diseases were Prince Chudamani’s daughters, but as smallpox continued its murderous spread, killing hundreds of people – with 1839 the worst year on record – King Rama III let Bradley vaccinate the ladies in his court, followed by all of his subjects.

    According to Bradley’s book, “Siam Then”, the monarch paid him Bt20 (at that time worth approximately US$12, or Bt497 today) to purchase the vaccine for the poor.

    Bradley’s 1840 “Tamra Plook Phee Kho” (Treatise on Vaccination), written as a guide for Siamese doctors, was much appreciated by the King, who paid him Bt240.

    Bradley gradually revised the book and published 300 copies for sale to the public in 1844. Vaccine, however, was not always readily available in sufficient quantities – Bradley’s own eight-month-old daughter died from smallpox a year later. But the good doctor from the US had again proven his value to the people of Siam.

    In “Siam Then”, Bradley wrote that, at first, he’d used an old method of inoculation, injecting people with a mild form of smallpox, but met with little success. He preferred proper vaccine, but didn’t have a chance to try it here until a friend in Washington, Dr SVC Smith, sent him some on January 22, 1840. Among his first patients were the children of such high personages as Chao Phraya Phra Klang and Prince Chudamani, as well as Prince Mongkut’s officials.

    Vaccination using cowpox to build immunity against the deadly scourge of smallpox was discovered in theory by British army surgeon Edward Jenner in 1798.

    Siam ordered vaccine from abroad until 1901, when King Rama V authorised the Ministry of Public Instruction to establish a Pasteur Institute here, in order to produce vaccine locally for the first time.

    Nithinand Yorsaengrat"

  6. #15
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    100 FIRST: ‘Treatise on Midwifery’
    Published on October 15, 2004

    Dr Dan Beach Bradley wrote his helpful Treatise on Vaccination in 1840 (although it was not published for another four years), yet he regarded the care of pregnant women and midwifery a subject of even greater concern.

    Alarmed at some of the practices he witnessed in early 19th-century Siam, the American physician and missionary believed that modern methods of childbearing would greatly aid local mothers and their offspring.

    Thus he spent the Bt240 he was paid by King Rama III for his work protecting the Siamese from smallpox on a book on pregnancy and midwifery. “Kampee Kantharaksa” (Treatise on Midwifery) was published in 1842, offering 200 pages of advice and some 50 photos and illustrations by local artists.

    It was the country’s first Thai textbook on modern obstetrics.

    In the old days, it was customary for a woman who had just given birth to lie by a fire for a month. The practice, called yu fai, was believed to allow the womb to heal properly while curbing her 5exual appetite.

    Bradley was appalled that the practice continued even though many mothers suffered from the heat and actually became ill. At the same time, many babies were stillborn or unhealthy as a result of faulty theories about birthing and childcare.

    The doctor wrote that many Siamese women insisted their bodies were structured differently from those of Western women, so they believed his methods were unsuitable for them. Bradley decided to write a book to try and correct such misconceptions and further improve the Siamese quality of life.

    Agreeing that Siamese mothers must abandon yu fai, Prince Mongkut and Prince Chudamani enthusiastically approved of Bradley’s plan. Although initially there were few followers, Bradley’s observations – and his books – were the first steps towards changing harmful attitudes that had been retained from generation to generation.

    “Kampee Kantharaksa” was also the first Siamese medical textbook to be made available to the general public, another extraordinary innovation among the citizens of the day.

    Nithinand Yorsaengrat

  7. #16
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    100 FIRSTS: First Printing
    Published on October 16, 2004

    The Siamese had been familiar with the printing press since the reign of King Narai in the Ayutthaya period, when a French Catholic missionary named Laneau established a printing house in 1662.

    French chronicles of the day claim he mass-produced Christian sermons, but all hard evidence was lost with the collapse of the old capital in 1767.

    In the period that followed, a Catholic priest founded a printing house at Santa Cruz Church in Thon Buri and published the book “Kham Son Christang”, using Roman script. The Thai alphabet had yet to be cut into printing blocks.

    That changed some time after 1819, when another missionary, American Ann Yudson, and a Burmese printer created the first complete set of Siamese font. Two books were published using Siamese text: a group of Baptists released “Christian Preaching” in Burma, and James Low issued “Tamra Waiyakorn Thai” (“Thai Grammar”) in Calcutta.

    Before he moved to Siam, American physician and missionary Beach Bradley was offered Yudson’s printing press and Thai font while in Singapore.

    He launched his own printing business in 1836 in Thon Buri’s Santa Cruz district before moving to what is now Captain Bush Lane off New Road and later to a house near Wat Prayoon.

    The first book Bradley printed was “The Ten Commandments”, the first Thai-language book published in Siam.

    In 1839 the government hired Bradley to print an announcement outlawing opium smoking. This is regarded as the country’s first official published announcement.

    Bradley two years later, with the skills of a Singaporean printer, developed a far more beautiful Thai font.

    In 1861 he published “Niras Muang London” (“A Voyage to London”) by Mom Rachothai, Siam’s first copyrighted book.

    Bradley continued tinkering with Thai fonts. By the end of King Rama IV’s reign there were four known fonts. The font he devised became the basis for the printed Thai still used today.

    Nithinand Yorsaengrat

  8. #17
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    100 FIRSTS: The First Newspaper

    Published on Oct 17, 2004

    The consensus among scholars is that American missionaries deserve the credit for introducing the first newspapers to Asian society. A Dr Gutzlaff published a very early newspaper in China, while in Siam it was the inimitable Dr Dan Beach Bradley who pioneered the concept of news reportage and in doing so encouraged a positive regard for the critical evaluation of current events.

    In 1844, nine years after he arrived in Bangkok, the American physician and missionary received King Rama III's permission to publish a local newspaper. The Thai-language Nangsue Jodmai Het, The Bangkok Recorder debuted on July 4, America’s Independence Day. Bradley served as editor while the manager was a Dr Caswell, who later became Prince Mongkut’s English tutor.

    The Recorder was a single, 23-by-27-centimetre sheet with just 35 subscribers, all but two of whom were of very high standing in society. Initially a monthly publication, it came out on the first Thursday of every month. The price of the paper started out at Bt1 per year, subsequently fell to 25 satang and finally, to drum up interest, was offered free to all government officers and head priests.

    The newspaper included features on foreign and trade news, articles about the sciences and medicine and question-and-answer exchanges between the readers and the editor. Local news and stories about Christianity were rare.

    Bradley deserves further credit for using some of the earliest transliterations, which served in part to give the Thai language new life. He employed terms like chao phaendin for kings and presidents and helped to bridge many of the gaps between the English and Thai languages. Bradley also created other terms, like look rua for “crew”, rua doen talay for “seagoing steamer” and rua gol fai for “steamship” or “steamboat”, and many other words which are still in use today.

    The original Nangsue Jodmai Het, The Bangkok Recorder, the name itself including a translation, lasted only a year, ending abruptly when Bradley’s wife Emilie died in 1845. The doctor then took his three children and his wife’s body back to the United States.

    Dr Bradley returned to Bangkok with his new wife Sarah in 1850, resuming his missionary work and relaunching his printing house. He published many local novels in Siamese, including the famous “Niras London” by Mom Rachothai and “Sam Kok” (“The Romance of the Three Kingdoms”) by Chaophraya Phrakhlang. Each had around 200 to 300 copies printed, priced at Bt4 or Bt5.

    Bradley had a rival in the publishing business, a fellow American missionary named Dr Smith, who published a set of poetic stories by Siamese writers that sold for just 25 satang. In 1859, Dr Bradley decided to publish an annual English-language newspaper called the Bangkok Calendar, which adopted the name of a defunct daily that had been run by a Dr Chandler from 1847 to 1850. For his part, Chandler re-entered local journalism in 1864 with the Siam Times, the country's first English-language daily newspaper.

    Nithinand Yorsaengrat

  9. #18
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    100 FIRSTS THAT SHAPED BANGKOK: The First Dictionary
    Published on October 18, 2004

    To effectively spread their faith in Asia, America's Baptist missionaries realised they had to study the native languages. Dr Karl Gutzlaff led the way in the 19th century, becoming fluent in Chinese. John Taylor Jones followed his example when, in 1833, he became the first of the US missionaries to arrive in Siam.

    During his first years here, Jones devoted much of his time compiling the first Siamese-English dictionary. Two of his colleagues, JH Chandler - who moved to Bangkok from Mawlamyine, Burma, in 1840 - and Jesse Caswell, developed it further.

    The two missionaries translated Jones' dictionary, transforming it by 1846 into what is regarded as the first fully Siamese dictionary.

    Anake Nawingamune, acclaimed for his writings on traditional Thai arts and culture, suggests that an all-Siamese dictionary could have been written earlier by a French Catholic missionary named Laneau during the reign of King Narai of Ayutthaya, but no one has actually seen a copy.

    In 1854, the French Catholic missionary Jean Baptiste Pallegoix published a dictionary titled "Sappajana Pasa Thai" that encompassed Siamese, Latin, French and English.

    A few years later, Samuel Gamble McFarland began work on a new English- Siamese dictionary. It was later improved by his sons, George and Edwin, who in 1865 also manufactured the first typewriter to use Thai fonts.

    According to Anake, around 11 Siamese-Siamese and Siamese-English dictionaries were created by American missionaries between 1865 and 1872. In 1873, five years after King Rama IV passed away, the prolific American preacher and physician Dr Dan Beach Bradley, by then 69 years old, started working on a long-envisioned project: the "Akraphithansap" (Dictionary of the Siamese Language).

    He undertook the treatise with the help of one Ajarn Tat, but after Bradley died on June 23, 1873, his son Dan F Bradley saw it through to completion, in that same year. It comprised 828 pages and 40,000 words.

    Modern academics agree that it was the best all-Thai dictionary of that era, the first to compend almost every word used by ordinary Siamese, including slang. It also strove to standardise the language by placing characters and sounds in the order used in Thai grammar of the time.

    The first all-Siamese dictionary compiled by a Thai - a masterful work by Phraya Pariyatthamthada - appeared in 1891, during the Fifth Reign.


  10. #19
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    100 FIRSTS THAT SHAPED BANGKOK: Light of the Modern Era
    Published on October 19, 2004

    Though on the throne for only 17 years, King Rama IV oversaw the astonishing period when the nation actually migrated into the modern era, being transformed from “Old Siam” into “New Siam”, and ultimately evading the creeping colonialist shadow cast by the West.

    Westerners, and particularly the often intrusive American missionaries like Dan Beach Bradley, were enormously appreciative of the new monarch, since Rama III, who died on April 3, 1851, had been no admirer of occidental ways, and repeatedly shunned foreigners’ appeals for broader relationships and more trade.

    In his book “Siam Then”, Dr Bradley wrote that Prince Mongkut – in his last days clad in monk’s robes before entering the palace as the new king – called upon a group of American Protestant missionaries. The prince asked for their help in opening a school where young Siamese men could study English and the sciences, a school like those in the West. He also said he intended to try constitutional monarchy, as practised in Great Britain – if not in whole, then at least in part.

    Mongkut agreed that it was unfair for the Siamese to be governed by only one man. Moreover, he said, traditional pride in the “Greatest Siam” was no longer sufficient under threat of Western domination.

    From his first year on the throne as Rama IV, King Mongkut broke many traditions. He ordered royal officials to wear a garment covering their torso when in his presence, but was the first Siamese monarch to let ordinary people see him when he left the palace and, scoffing at the superstition that the camera stole one’s soul, was the first to allow his photograph to be taken.

    In 1855, Hong Kong Governor Sir John Bowring, envoy of Britain’s Queen Victoria, fulfilled Mongkut’s prophecy by offering a treaty of friendship and commerce. Though fully aware that his country would be adversely affected, the king was obliged to acquiesce, lest Siam face the same social and fiscal disasters that had befallen Burma and China.

    By this treaty, British subjects enjoyed wide freedom to trade with the Siamese, with import tariffs limited to just 3 per cent.

    The following year, similar treaties were signed with American envoy Townsend Harris and France’s M de Montigny. In 1858, trade opened with Denmark and Portugal, in 1860 with the Netherlands and in 1862 with the States of the German Customs Union and the Grand Duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz. There were pacts authorised with Sweden, Norway, Belgium and Italy in 1868 and Japan in 1898, and many more followed, each in turn bringing more and more foreigners to settle in Bangkok.

    Rama IV had opened the Kingdom to a rapid influx of foreign commerce – and at the same time opened his people’s minds to modern currents of fashion and philosophy. He maintained the country’s “reasonable traditions”, while remaining open to new concepts.

    Among the King’s most internationally celebrated nods to Westernisation was his hiring of Anna Leonowens, a widow from Singapore, to teach his children English. But more importantly, this was a ruler willing to affirm the right to freedom of religion, who encouraged the Christian missionaries in their educational and medical work.

    Rama IV reformed the Hinayana Buddhism most widespread in Siam at the time, making it more practical and creditable. He suggested to his still-superstitious people that the Earth was round and revolved around the sun, and that eclipses were purely natural phenomena.

    He set up the first Siamese printing house, built roads, and issued the first modern currency to meet the requirements of expanded trade. He reformed the government, installing foreign advisers, and called in European officers to improve the army and organise a police force.

    King Rama IV died on October 1, 1868, at the age 64, and remains among the Siamese monarchs most recognised abroad.

    Nithinand Yorsaengrat

  11. #20
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    Re: Serie zur Geschichte Bangkoks

    100 FIRSTs THAT SHAPED BANGKOK : 19 - Buddhist Reformation

    Published on Oct 20, 2004

    The most important Buddhist reformation ever attempted in Siam began during the reign of King Rama III under Prince Mongkut, the monarch’s son who was then a monk, and continued when he ascended the throne as King Rama IV.

    Although he had genuine enthusiasm for the new knowledge and technology of the West, King Rama IV advocated caution when it came to Siamese acceptance of all things occidental. He realised Buddhism's importance to his countrymen and made sure it was maintained at the core of the nation’s spirit.

    In the earlier Rattanakosin period, accepted theories about the Earth and the universe derived from the book “Tribhum Phra Ruang”, which was believed to have been written by King Mahathammaracha Lithai of Sukhothai sometime in the 14th century. Its concepts were drawn from Buddhist and Brahmin belief, and in itself the old tome was claimed to be part of Buddhist teaching.

    “Tribhum Phra Ruang” addressed the universe in terms of four “bhumi” (states) of the spirit: the enlightened, the state without form, the state with form, and the state with sensuousness. The Earth was the land separated into four regions: Utrakuru, Chombhudaveep, Burapavitheha and Amarakoyan. Siam and the other countries of the Earth existed in Chombhudaveep. Beneath the earth, the book claimed, was a large fish whose movements caused earthquakes. Rain, thunder, lightning and the like were caused by angels at work in the universe.

    It was American missionary John Taylor Jones who first introduced Siamese people to the modern world map, but naturally it took many years to change local minds about the grand picture of the universe, and for the citizenry at large to accept that the tenets of “Tribhum Phra Ruang” were untrue. King Rama IV took it upon himself to explain to his people – and to foreigners – that the old treatise was in fact not Buddhist text derived from the revered Tripitaka (“the Three Baskets”).

    Having created the new sect of Buddhism while he was still a prince, he stressed that essential Buddhism focused on truth, cause and outcome. The Dhammayutikanikaya monks devoted themselves to Lord Buddha’s teachings and spurned traditional animism as a wayward path.

    Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that King Rama IV did not strongly support his sect when he was on the throne. He said he did not want all monks in the Kingdom moving to Dhammayutikanikaya; he wanted them to continue in their customary activities. For the Dhammayutikanikaya sect he founded, it seems, he wanted only men from the families of high personages.

    Academics have conjectured that King Rama IV, realising the difficulty of changing people’s minds overnight, was merely seeking to avoid social conflict. At the same time, though, it became essential for Siamese leaders to understand the scientific aspects of Buddhism so they could use it as a tool to protect the country from the worst of Western influence.

    The monks of the Dhammayutikanikaya sect would play a crucial role in educational reform during the reign of King Rama V, opening temples schools where children could study modern subjects, including arithmetic and science.


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