Mixed Culture of Traditional Chinese and Thai in the Ritual of Ancestral Worship of Thai-Chinese Community: A Case Study of the Xu Clan Association of Thailand

35 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2022

Date Written: February 24, 2022

Abstract

The paper aimed to study, in contemporary Thai society, the annual ritual of the ancestral worship in the Thai-Chinese community. Its main participants have gone from Chinese immigrants at the time of creation of the community to the current third and fourth generation of Thai-Chinese. These have not only retained the traditional Chinese culture, but also increasingly incorporated local Thai cultures to form a mixed culture. The Xu Clan Association of Thailand (XCAT), selected as the case study is a kinship Thai-Chinese community that bonds their members, those with the same Chinese Surname Xu (徐), together in Thailand, and was registered in 1964 in Samut Prakan Province. Its ancestral hall, located in Samut Prakan Province, was completed in 1970 to hold the ritual of ancestral worship. The findings revealed a mixed culture of traditional Chinese and Thai in the ritual of ancestral worship of the XCAT is manifested in three aspects: 1) XCAT was registered and its ancestral hall was completed as a Thai contemporary society under Thai law, respecting faith, capitalist economy, and Thai Buddhism; 2) identification of both Thai and Xu's descendants for the third and fourth generation of the Xu clan who were born in Thailand; 3) elements of Thai Buddhist, Brahmanistic, and Animistic beliefs, Thai Monarchy culture, and other Thai cultures are mixed in the architecture of the ancestral hall and the ritual of ancestral worship. The main feature of this research is it is based on an abundance of first-hand data. It includes field work in Thai-Chinese communities and reviewing their journals, as well as interviews of XCAT’s leaders, young generation, and participants.

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Ying, Mixed Culture of Traditional Chinese and Thai in the Ritual of Ancestral Worship of Thai-Chinese Community: A Case Study of the Xu Clan Association of Thailand (February 24, 2022). Rian Thai International Journal of Thai Studies, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4042418 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4042418

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