The Creation of “Thainess” through “Dhamma” and “Preaching” of Thai-Siamese People in Semerak, Kelantan State, Malaysia
Keywords:Identity Creation, Thainess, Dhamma, Preaching.
AbstractThe creation of “Thainess” of Thai-Siamese people in Semerak community, Kelantan, Malaysia gives precedence to “building people” through “Dhamma” and “Preaching” which are religious or Buddhism mechanism to nurture mind and cultivate identity for people in the community. This is to ensure that their own identity will not be integrated with other group belonged to religious and cultural differences in the multicultural society and, definitely, to instruct people in the community to live their life according to the words of the Buddha. The study found that the “Thainess” of Thai-Siamese people in Semerak community, Kelantan has been created by “Dhamma” with the activity called preaching Dhamma delivery and the “Preaching” under the activity called Mahajati Preaching according to 3 reasons as follows. Firstly, currently, it was found that people visited a temple seldomly and had less faith in Buddhism. Secondly, the community had been surrounded by Malay people and there was concern about religious and cultural identity hybridization which could lead to the hybridity. Thirdly, the community made an attempt to create “Thainess” identity and differentiate their community’s identity clearly from other Thai-Siamese communities giving precedence to the creation of “Thainess” identity through material or building rather than “building people”.
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