Kingdom of Thailand is also recognized as “Land of the Free” being the only country in the Southeast Asia that was not colonized by any Western nation. It has a land area of 513,998 sq km and is divided into five main regions (North, Northeast, Central Plains, South and the Bangkok Peninsular Region). This country serves as a home for approximately 65 million Thais.
Thailand is famous not only for its stunning beaches but also for its rich culture honed by time that has been well-preserved up to the present.
Religion played a big role in the development of the cultural heritage of the kingdom. Up to date Buddhism is the religion of the biggest chunk of population. About 94 percent of Thais remains as Buddhist devotees. The form of Buddhism practiced in Thailand is Theravada or Hinayana Buddhism. Despite minority, the Kingdom does not in any way discriminate other religions from freely practicing their own beliefs. This is in consonance with the Thai constitution that says “The King is a Buddhist and upholder of religions”.
Marriage traditions and rituals clearly reflect the beauty and depth of Thai culture. Though the modern rules are more relaxed than before, ancient customs relating to marriage are still being practiced.
Presently, Thai couples planning to get married announce their engagement in a ceremony known as “Thong Mun”. Relatives and friends are requested to witness the giving of gold, usually in the form of gold, to the fiancée.
Furthermore, to make sure that the suitor is will be an adequate husband, dowry or “sinsod” has to be given to the parents of the bride. The value of the dowry basically depends on the education, social status and other circumstances of the bride.
The wedding ceremony is considered as a mixture of Buddhist and non-Buddhist customs. The Buddhist part involves recitation of prayers and chants as well as offerings for the monk and Buddha. Observance of these rituals is commonly believed to assure lifetime of love in marriage. Meanwhile, the non-Buddhist customs relates to the rituals where the parents give their blessings to the couple.