We note a range of children's activities in Thailand. As in most countries, schools are the most important activity for children. Education has been significantly expanded in recent years. Thai children wear school uniforms. Religion is an importabt part of Thai culture. The country is a largely Buddhist country, but there is a restive Muslim minority in the south. The Muslims are largely ethnic Malays. Thailand has an important youth movemnent and participation is part of the school program. We do not yet have much information about holiday celebrations in Thailand. Children's play is another interesting topic. Unfortunateky we do not yet know very much about the games children play in Thailand. Sports are played and traditional Thai martial arts like muay (kick bioxing) are the most popular. Colley ball is also popular. Soccer or football does not domninate sports as it dies in many countries, but is growing in popularity. The popularity of sports has tended to change as Thailand becomes more prosperous. Soccer (football) is the most popular sport. We are not sure just why that is. We do not know much about the arts in Thailand. There is a interesting traditional dance. Until fairly recently, most Thai children, as was common in the develping countries worked. This was especially true in rural areas. This is still a problem in Thailand, but increasing oprosperity has mean that more more younger children children are attending school rather than working. Hopefully Thai readers will provide more information about children's activities in their country.
We do not yet have much information about holiday celebrations in Thailand.
Children's play is another interesting topic. Unfortunateky we do not yet know very much about the games children play in Thailand.
Religion is an importabt part of Thai culture. The country is a largely Buddhist country, but there is a restive Muslim minority in the south. The Muslims are largely ethnic Malays.
As in most countries, schools are the most important activity for children. Education has been significantly expanded in recent years. All Thai students wear school uniforms. The uniform is very basic and very similar across the country. There are some differences in colors from school to school. Most schools have uniforms consisting of white shirts and colored, usually khaki, short pants. Kindergarden boys oftem wear destinctive red shorts. Scouting is a required part of the school curriculum.
Sports are played in Thailand and there are a range of traditional sports, varuous martial arts disciplines. Western sports have also in recent years begun to become popular. The growth of sports in Thailand appears associated with economic growth and incrweasing prosperity. Thailand is one of the few countries where soccer (football) is not the most popular sport. It is difficult to be sure. but muay or Thai kick boxing appears to be the most popular Thail spectator sport. It is one of the many Asian martial arts that have become popular in the West. There are Muay stadiums all over Thailand. A dramatic part of the event is rather wild musical accompaniment which is a part of the the ceremonial beginning to the matches.
Kraabi Krabong is another of tghe Thai martial arts. It is related to muay, but with the added complication of hand-held weapons. It is not as wide spread as muay, but there are often demonstrations at festivals or at important tourist locations. A rare team sport emerging from the developing world is Sepak Takraw. It is a kind of volleyball played with feat and a light-weight rattan ball. Whilethis is the basic game, not one has ever developed consistent rules. Thus there are several different version in which varying rules are observed, primarily on a regional basis. In thesouth, for example, the he head can often be used as well as the feet.
Standard volley ball is also popular in Thailand. Beach volleyball has also become popular in many tourist areas. Soccer or football does not dominate tghe sports picture in Thailand as it does in many countries, but it is ddefinitely growing in popularity, especially among young people. And this is not only in the cities or towns, but there are also reports of boys and teenagers playing soocer in villages throughout the country.
We do not know much about the arts in Thailand. There is a interesting traditional dance.
Until fairly recently, most Thai children. This was the general state of affairs throughout the world until the Industrial Revolution. As Europen countries industrialized, they generated the weath needed to end child labor. This did not occur in the traditinal, largely agricutural countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. ince ancent days it was quite common for peasant families to sell off some of their children in difficult times or to pay off debts. This system was prevalent throughout Asia. European colonil regimes attempted to end this practice. Thailand as never colonized. King Rama V abolished slavery in 1905.
He did not, however, change the economic conditions tht led to this practice. After World War II, most developing countries entered th modern age with children still largely involvd in labor. This was especially true in rural areas. This is still a problem in Thailand, but increasing oprosperity has mean that more more younger children children are attending school rather than working and many countries are moving to end child labor with legal protections. This has varied from country to country. As part of globlization process after the War, nany freign manufacturrs have transferred manufacturing to lo-income cuntrue, including Southeast Areas. Thailand was ne of these countries and many teenagers were employed in these factories. They hekped to augment family incomes and have played a role in the develoing Thai economy.
We have little information on Thai youth groups before World War II. The Boy Scouts were organized and received government sponsorship. It had a non-miltary oriented program similar to other Scout programjs around the wiorld. The Japanese negotiated with the Thai Government, the only indepedent country in Southeast Asia, before launching the Pacific War. The Thais without the military capability to resist the Japanese and with a Fascist oriented government, joined the Axis. Thus the Japanese did not invade Thailand when they launched their Burma campaign from Indochina (January 1942). Rather the Thais allowed the Japanese to pass through their territory. They this did not interfere with the three youth groups operating in the country (Boy Scouts, the Yuachon, and the Military Cadet Corps) or sposor a new pro-Japanese group. Pro-Japanese Premier Pibul did significantly change Thai Government policy toward youth groups. The Pibul Government did not ban, but reduced government support for the Scouts. The Military Cadet Corps junior officer training corps was an army youth program and not a real youth group. The Yuachon youth group was Fascist youth movement modeled on the NAZI Hitter Jugen and strongly promoted by the Pibul Government. The group was actually founded by Pibul5 when he was Minister of Defense (1935). The purpose was to promote physical culture, general discipline, and "organized cooperation". After Pibul became premier, the Pibul program began to change (1938). The program was expanded to include military courses. And the ethos of the group shifted to a kkind of blind obedience to Premier Pibul. It was not a mass movement. Membership was voluntary. There were several enducements appealing to some boys, including smart uniforms, raining with weapons and other military equipment, partial exemption from conscription, and the possibility of becoming an Army officer. Membership was about 6,000 boys (1941) and 25,000 (1944), about 90 percent in the younger age group. The Yuachon was jointly operated by the Ministries of Education and Defense, but at the end of the War became a "department" of the Thai Army. It was renamed the Department of Preparatory Military Affairs.
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