Who Are The Thai-Chinese And What Is Their Contribution to Thailand?

Visitors at Wat Mangkon Kamalawat Chinese Buddhist Temple in Bangkok

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Who Are The Thai-Chinese?

Most first time western tourists in Thailand think that all Thais are the same. After all, don't most of these people have the same skin color and facial features? Nothing can be farther from the truth. The Thai people are just as diverse as Americans. They include hill tribe people in the north, Muslims in the south, farmers in the northeast, and Thai-Chinese in the cities.

Unless you have lived here for a while, it is hard to grasp the nature and power of the Thai-Chinese who comprise 12 percent of Thailand's population. This significant minority has played a major role in the development of Thailand during the past few centuries. This article first defines Thai-Chinese, and then examines their origins, emigration to Thailand, characteristics, and contribution to society and the nation.

Origins of Thai-Chinese

Thai-Chinese are Thai citizens of Chinese ethnicity. According to Wikipedia, over half of ethnic Thai today are descendants of people who migrated from southern China about 1,000 years ago. They are closely associated with the modern day Dai people who now live in the Xishuangbanna area of Yunnan Province in China.

Chinese Immigration to Thailand

Today, the people in Thailand who are called Thai-Chinese are descendants of Chinese traders from Fujian and Guangdong Provinces who began arriving at present day Ayutthaya just north of Bangkok by at least the 13th century.

They are also the descendants of General Taksin, a son of a Chinese immigrant, who first beat back attacking Burmese soldiers, and then founded a settlement at Thonburi across the Chao Phraya River from Bangkok in the late 1700s. Taksin encouraged Chinese immigration and trade, and settlers from Chaozhou in eastern Guangdong came in large numbers.

Thai-Chinese in northern Thailand are the Muslim descendants of the Hui minority in Yunnan Province. They are also the descendants of General Tuan's KMT troops who withdrew from Yunnan into the mountains of northern Thailand after the Chinese Communist civil war victory in 1949. These Thai-Chinese today are called Chin-Ho. Haw is the name of the Yunnan dialect of Chinese which these people speak.

Thai-Chinese in southern Thailand are the descendants of Chinese from northern Malaysia who immigrated to Thailand years ago.

Former Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra

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Thai Chinese Cultural Show Circus Thailand

Thai-Chinese Today

1. Settlements

The more than eight million Thai-Chinese in Thailand today are situated in the coastal areas and cities around the country. You will find a sizable concentration in the greater Bangkok metropolitan area and also in cities such as Chonburi, Rayong, Suphanburi, Nakhon Sawan, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Song Kla, and Hat Yai. The Chin-Ho Thai-Chinese are found in the mountains of northern Thailand in Chiang Rai Province bordering Myanmar.

2. Identity and Language

The Thai-Chinese are the most integrated overseas Chinese community in the world. If you ask them whether they are Chinese, they will readily respond that they are Thai, and play down any reference you make to them having Chinese ethnicity. It's easy to understand why. They were required to adopt Thai surnames to become Thai citizens in the early 20th century by King Rama VI. Up until the 1950s or 1960s they were discriminated against by non-ethnic Chinese, and could not learn Chinese in schools.

All Thai-Chinese speak standard Central Thai, because everyone must learn that in the schools. In the homes 56 percent of the Thai-Chinese speak Teochiu which is a Minnan subdialect. You can hear this speech in Bangkok's Chinatown and also in many shops and businesses in Bangkok. It is usually spoken by older people. Sixteen percent of the Thai-Chinese speak the Hakka dialect which is spoken by elders in the northern Thailand cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Other dialects spoken are Cantonese and Hokkien (Southern Min), and the Hainanese subdialect of Minnan. Most young Thai-Chinese can't speak dialects of Chinese; however, many of them are learning Mandarin in Chinese schools and in Thai private and government schools.

3. Family Life and Characteristics

Many Thai-Chinese operate their own business and live either on the floors above their shop, or, in the case of big business owners, in villas in the suburbs. If you go to a restaurant or shop and see a shrine on the floor with Chinese characters and red lanterns hanging outside, you will know the business is operated by a Thai-Chinese. Three or four generations will live in one family. Shop and restaurant entrepreneurs will work 12-14 hour days, and their children will usually attend the better more expensive private schools. Families will celebrate major Chinese festivals like New Years or the Spring Festival, Ching Ming (Tomb Sweeping Festival), and the Mid-Autumn Festival. Some words of usually Teochiu such as diah for father, moei (younger sister), and jei (older sister) will be thrown in along with Thai when families speak.

4. Occupations

Many of the Thai-Chinese today are active in the real estate, hotel, banking, finance, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail trading businesses. Others are engaged in professional fields such as medicine, law, and engineering.

5. Religions

The Thai-Chinese practice a smorgasbord of religions which include Thai Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism. Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, and Christianity.

6. Names

Almost all Thai-Chinese have Thai surnames, because King Rama VI decreed all Chinese must have one if they wanted to become Thai citizens. Thai-Chinese surnames are usually longer than those for the general population, and they retain their Chinese surname in translation or transliteration. For example, Archapongwattana, Limcharoen, Ongsiriwattana, Vongsriprasert, Paiboonyanupap, and Jongboonyaupap are all Thai-Chinese surnames. In the name Archapongwattana, Archa is the Thai translation of the Chinese surname Ma. In the name Limcharoen, Lim is the Southern Min pronunciation of the Chinese surname Lin.


Former Thai-Chinese Prime Minister Thaksin

Source

Thai-Chinese Contributions to Society

Thai-Chinese businessmen similarly to Jewish-American businessmen in the United States control 81 percent of the Thai economy. Major department stores such as Central World, and banks such as Kasikorn are owned by Thai-Chinese.

In Thailand's history, there have also been numerous prime ministers of Chinese descent including former leader Thaksin Shinawatra and his younger sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, the former Prime Minister.

As long as the family remains strong, Thai-Chinese will continue to play a significant role in shaping Thailand and Thai society. The Chinese Communists will also continue to be active in trying to expand their influence over the Thai-Chinese at the expense of Taiwan and the United States.

Economic facts about the Thai-Chinese are taken from Wikipedia,

© 2012 Paul Richard Kuehn

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Comments 64 comments

Wesley Meacham profile image

Wesley Meacham 4 years ago from Wuhan, China

I've not yet been to Thailand but it is on my list of places I want to visit before going home. Though going home is something I'm really I'm in no hurry to do. People in Wuhan talk a lot about the KMT but so far all I've been told is that the party fled to Taiwan. I've never thought about it before but it makes sense that smaller groups would have fled to other nearby countries as well.


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Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Wesley, I really hope you have the time to visit Thailand, especially Northern thailand, before you go home. The mountains of Northern Thailand where the KMT troops settled are very beautiful. It's another world there compared to the cities. Would you consider teaching EFL in Thailand for a while? There is definitely a demand for western foreign teachers here both in private and government schools.


Wesley Meacham profile image

Wesley Meacham 4 years ago from Wuhan, China

I would consider it. My current contract expires in about ten weeks. I've already been asked to return to the school that I'm currently at but I haven't decided yet that I will. I've been in China for almost two years and in many ways I feel like I haven't really seen the country. I have some money saved up and my plans are to spend at least the summer traveling around China and visiting all the cities that others have been telling me about. I've also been toying with the idea of visiting Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. A few of my friends have visited these countries during past Spring Festivals and all have said that the countries are well worth the trip.


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chasmac 4 years ago from UK

Interesting and very well written.


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Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

I hope you enjoy your summer travel around China. If you are interested in teaching here in Thailand, I would suggest getting to Bangkok around the first week in October. You would then have three weeks to line up a job before the second term begins around November 1. Good luck during the rest of your class.


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Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thanks for stopping by to read and the favorable comment.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Very interesting and informative read. I had no idea about Thai-Chinese and their contribution to Thailand.

Voted up and interesting and shared.


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Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

rajan,

Politically and economically the Thai-Chinese have quite a bit of say in Thailand. Almost all of the banks and big businesses are run by Thai-Chinese. For a long time, all of the Prime Ministers have been Thai-Chinese. The only place where the Thai-Chinese don't have power is in the military. Thanks for reading and commenting on this hub. I really appreciate you sharing it.


Taohu 20 months ago

This is a very accurate article except that I've no idea about we controlling 81% of Thai economy. where did you get this figure from? 3rd gen Chinese Thai myself.


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Paul Kuehn 20 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

&Taohu My statement that the Thai-Chinese control 81 percent of the economy is taken from Wikipedia. I appreciate you reading and commenting on this article.


tuk 19 months ago

What is said in this article is a wrong belief about the light skinned thai race. My friends and I have no chinese blood, but we are light skinned girls and our white ancestry is a mixed race of the white mon-khmer and the white Dai race (some of us have with some black ancestry) and we are the smallest in number. Our some black ancestry is a remote blood. white milk with some dark chocolate juice remains white. My skin is lighter than some chinese women born in Thailand. The number 1 students are from this white ancestry and have no chinese blood, and we are the thai queen, female doctors, engineers and military leaders.

Chinese blood is not the significant whitening genetics of thais. Thailand is a black majority and a white race minority. Our thai kings have light skin, and their significant whitening genetics are the white Dai race of Altai mountains above china and near Russia and the white mon-khmer from high lands in the north of today's china. Thai kings do not marry any chinese blood people for 250 years, We had only one thai king with half chinese blood, and in order to purify our thai blood, this king and his family was killed by the majority of the white ruling class who were descendants of the white mon-khmer and the white Dai Race. Chinese blood was disconnected. People with chinese blood are not allowed to be our Thai queens.

Thai chinese are generally dark and supershort because chinese immigrants who are generally short and supershort hardly got light skinned thai girls whose ancestry is white Dai race of Altai Mountains and white mon-khmer but married dark women of high black race blood.

A lot of my friends who have chinese blood and have chinese names are very dark like charchoal, because they have just one side chinese blood and the rest of their ancestry is black race.

Brown people and dark blown people in thailand have white genetics from the white mon khmer and the white Dai race and their black ancestry is the negro race with very think black skin.

A lot of chinese immigrants fail to win seats for the number 1 Thai unversity. A lot of them do not have prestigious jobs but just small merchants. Most of the super high IQ students are the light skinned race without darker chinese blood, and they are descendants of the white mon-khmer and the white Dai race.

The closest white blood of the prime ministers Taksin and Yingluck are the white Dai race for 50%, the white mon-khmer for 30, the black blood for 10% and the chinese blood for just 5%. This is because their mother is the daughter of the Dai Race people, and their later ancestors did not marry any chinese blood people. Their chinese blood is remote and insignificant. Light skinned Thais with chinese blood is low, while dark people with chinese blood is vast, and light skinned thais with white mon-khmer blood and white Dai race are the highest.

Chinese immigrants are thaitified and were forced by our thai army to speak Thai instead of their chinese language and they are generally short. I do not hate chinese people, and chinese people are really short in general. Many chinese women who are generally short in Thailand even like to marry western men while the light skinned Thai girls with white blood of the mon-khmer and the Dai race who are generally tall almost never date any western men. Most of Thai girls dating western men are generally dark skinned and very ugly.

Thai chinese is a wrong conception.


czz 19 months ago

do the younger generation of thai chinese consider themslef as chinese?


Tai 19 months ago

Tuk, you've got to be joking! Where in the world did you get such muddy

genetic make up of the Thai people?

The Thai Royal Family are full of mixture of Mon, Khmer, Sunni Iranian, Chinese, and who knows what else. All of the immigrants to Thailand who were priviledged to have connection with the Royalties sent their daughters to become The King's concubines, in hope that she might one day becomes Queen.

Please find a true history book about Thai People to read again.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 18 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thank you very much for your opinions and comments on the Thai-Chinese. I am no expert on this, but am open to all ideas. You can't deny, however, that the Thai-Chinese regardless of skin color, control the Thai economy.


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Paul Kuehn 18 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Based on my interactions with Thai-Chinese students and teachers while I was teaching in Bangkok, Most Thai-Chinese openly will consider themselves more Thai than Chinese. For some reason, they were afraid to show that they are Thai-Chinese. Maybe this is because a lot of non Thai-Chinese have prejudice against the Thai-Chinese.


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Paul Kuehn 18 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thank you very much for your opinions on the Thai-Chinese. I think research on the origin of the Thai people is needed.


just dream of chinese 18 months ago

Our white god blood of thailand in fact the white mon khmer and the white dai race, not chinese, this white blood is thailand's royal class, soldiers and policemen and academics.

our thai kings DO NOT have any chinese blood. the white people in Ayudthaya are descendants of mixed white Dai race of altai moutains and the white mon-khmer (paya Kosan Pan). For example just 1 out of 10 of these white people married out to a chinese immigrant. so you can see that chinese was not an ancestor of the white majority from the ruling class in Ayudthaya. that half thai Taksin and his royal family was killed by the majority of white people who were descendants of white mon-khmer and white dai race. No later thai king was a descendant of that half thai haft chinese king. Our later thai kings have no chinese blood automatically, and our royal thai court do not marry any chinese people for 250 years. but our Thai kings are white and lighter than chinese because they are the descendants of the white mon-khmer and the white dai race who ruled blacks in today's thailand. Chinese people NEVER rule any blacks but the white mon-khmer and the white dai race defeated black kings and colonized blacks.

Our nothern thai girls are lighter than chinese and even have milky skin that is almost white like paper and they are descendants of the white Dai Race and never marry any chinese men. As such, you can see that a lot of white people in thailand do not have any chinese blood. a lot of my friends at the number one high school (Triam Udom Seuksa Payatai) and the number one university (Chula) are lighter than chinese immigrants, in fact they are descendants of white mon-khmer and the white dai race, and their skin, when explosed to strong sunshines, turn pink or a little red. they are the super high IQ of thailand, but they are just the minority group. Many chinese immigrants fail to pass our national examination but have to study at open universities and private universitiies.


dream of chinese 18 months ago

since when our Thai royal families are Sunni Iranian or chinese? that's just a false claim who people who dream of being great. chinese immigrants are in fact thaitified and can longer speak their chinese language.

Our thai kings practice Dai Race cultures and some mon-khmer cultures. our thai kings speak tai ka dai, the language of Dai Race of Altai Mountains. the holy dress is a winter long robe with a high hat that is similar to northern east asian culture. they practice also head shaving culture that is similarr to that of manchoo people who ruled China.

Thailand is in fact khmer and mon empires sacked down and colonized by the white Dai Race of Altai Mountains. the term "thai" is a cultural term linked to the white Dai Race who rule various races in today's thailand. Thailand is a land thaitified by the white thai race minority, not at all the land of people of white thai blood. The army of Siam or the dai race led kingdom conquerred the northeast part (larger than england from loas). So the black people there are not at all thai blood but thaitified. And the army o Siam defeated the black king of Sri Vichai Kingdom (the south) and northern part of Malaysia so the black people there are not at all thai blood but thaitified. The white thai race is a descendant of the white dai race mixed with the white mon-khmer (Paya Kosa Pan of Ayudthay). The blood of the majority of thailand is black aborigines once ruled by white Khmer, white Mon and the latest by the white Dai Race. there has been some interracial marriage between the white rulers (white mon-khmer and white dai race) with the black aborigines, the negro race aborigines have become whitened by the white mon-khmer and the white dai race long before chinese immigrants came. there were then red dark people, red blown people, dark blown, and medium brown people, and these people are just minority. our thai kings are very light skinned people, lighter than chinese because of their white ancestry that is very high. chinese blood is just a recent blood. Our today's thai kings DO NOT have any chinese blood.

the white people in Ayudthaya are descendants of mixed white Dai race of altai moutains and the white mon-khmer (paya Kosan Pan). For example just 1 out of 10 of these white people married out to a chinese immigrant. so you can see that chinese was not an ancestor of the white majority from the ruling class in Ayudthaya. that half thai Taksin and his royal family was killed by the majority of white people who were descendants of white mon-khmer and white dai race. No later thai king was a descendant of that half thai haft chinese king. Our later thai kings have no chinese blood automatically, and our royal thai court do not marry any chinese people for 250 years. but our Thai kings are white and lighter than chinese because they are the descendants of the white mon-khmer and the white dai race who ruled blacks in today's thailand. Chinese people NEVER rule any blacks but the white mon-khmer and the white dai race defeated black kings and colonized blacks.

Our nothern thai girls are lighter than chinese and even have milky skin that is almost white like paper and they are descendants of the white Dai Race and never marry any chinese men. As such, you can see that a lot of white people in thailand do not have any chinese blood. a lot of my friends at the number one high school (Triam Udom Seuksa Payatai) and the number one university (Chula) are lighter than chinese immigrants, in fact they are descendants of white mon-khmer and the white dai race, and their skin, when explosed to strong sunshines, turn pink or a little red. they are the super high IQ of thailand, but they are just the minority group. Many chinese immigrants fail to pass our national examination but have to study at open universities and private universitiies.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 18 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

I never intended for this hub to be a debate about genetics and blood lines of Thai people. Just the same, I appreciate your comments and find them interesting.


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Paul Kuehn 18 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thank you for your comments on this hub. You have definitely stimulated my interest in exploring Thai history.


chinese blood is sth fake story 18 months ago

thanks for your feedback and may i add more? I studied at the number 1 high school of thailand(Triam Udom Sueksa School) and at the number 1 university of thailand (Chulalongkorn University), so i really had a chance to meet a certain high IQ white minority who are not chinese blood. Only the most important and famous academic place (not number 2) can draw all the races of the country, because all the families of the country want to win seats to study there. At only such most important place, there emerge super hight IQ white people who are not chinese blood and who are are lighter than chinese, and their skin, when exposed to strong sunshines, turns pink or a little reddish. At my number 1 university, I really met a friend whose skin is thick milky or super white like paper or snow, and this friend is not chinese but a northern girl who, I am very certain for 100%, is the rare Dai Race ancestry, Her face is totally different from the rest of the country and looks like a mix of northern east asian races. She is the only one super miky white person whom I met in my whole life. My close friend is very lighter than a chinese immigrant and her mother is a light skinned thai without chinese ancestry and her father is a white burmese, and she is a high IQ girl and works as a translator. These white people without chinese ancestry are just a high IQ minority of the country rarely seen in thai streets and whom even the majority of the thai people (thaitified blacks and chinese immigrants) and the world outside hardly meet. Only a thai who successfully won a seat to study at the number 1 university like me can have a chance to see this white minority whose ancestry is not chinese. Such white minority are in fact descendants of the white Dai Race mixed with white mon-khmer. the white Dai Race and the white Mon-khmer are the white races from the north who defeated blacks in the south of the world (today thailand) and colonized the blacks.

People in thailand have 3 cultures (mon, khmer and Dai) as Thailand is a land under the rule of 3 ancient empires:

1. the white mon race-led empire, with the white mon was the earlieast colonizer of black aborigines.

2. the white khmer race- led empire

3. the white Dai race-led empire, and the latest colonizer was the Dai Race of Altai mountains.

Thai people of all skins sometimes act as mons, sometimes act as khmers and sometimes act as Dai race, mixed. they wear mon dresses, khmer dresses and dai race dresses, mixed. Dai race dresses are similar to those of a certain minority group of people in china. The "Mor Hom" dress in the northern part is very similar to the qipao dress of china. Dai noodle is similar to northern east asian noodles (chinese, korean and japanese). Our thai angel dress style is under the Dai Race culture and is a winter long robe of white colour despite hot whether in thailand. The white Dai Race once lived in east asia.

And the white mon, the white kmer and the white dai race are the true whitening genetics of thai people, especially thai people in the central part of thailand (provinces near to Bangkok). The reddish dark people and dark brown people in the central part of the country (provinces near capital city) have these white genetics not chinese blood. So it is a wrong belief that chinese is the most white.

our today thai king and his royal family memberrs do not have any chinse blood but their skin is super light because our thai kings have married light skinned girls who are descendants of white mon-khmer mixed with white dai race in the central part of thailand for 250 years.

For the prime minister Thaksin and Yingluck, i think that their chinese blood is remote and insignificant. their skin is white not because of their one sided chinese ancestry that is remote. It is incorrect to count only one sided ancestry. Why their skin is white? Please re- consider their closest blood. On their motherhood ancestry side, their mother is a daugther of a person of the rare white dai race ancestry whose skin is super light like milk. So Thaksin and Yingluck are the descendants of the rare Dai Race for 50%. On their fatherhood side, their chinese ancestry is evidently remote because their later generations on their fatherhood side did not marry any chinese. It is believed that their later generations married other light skinned people who were likely to be of the white mon khmer ancestry with some black ancestry. So on their fatherhood side, Thaksin and Yingluck are likely to have white blood from the white mon -khmer for 25 %, the black race for 15 % and the chinese blood for 10%. The reasson why their chinese blood is very small because their later fatherhood generations did not marry any chinese. Thakkin and Yingluck have super lihgt skin because their white ancestry is significantly highter than their black ancestry (white mik with some dark chocolate remains white) and their white ancestry is significantly the rare white Dai Race for 50%, the white mon khmer rather than the chinese. But their surname is chinese because of their remote chinese blood is their fatherhood side, nothing else.

Many of my friends with chinese ancestry are dark like charchoal because their chinese ancestor married black women without any hidden white race. Thai chinese, if monitored closely, are generally dark because chinese men generally married black women without any white ancestry and they lack other whitening genetics from the whtie dai race and the white mon-khmer.


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Paul Kuehn 18 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thank you for your comments about the origin of the Thai race.


czar 18 months ago

I'v seen couple comment on youtube from native thai disliking the fact thai chinese control the economy in thailand.


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Paul Kuehn 18 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

I think it is a fact that the Thai-Chinese control most of the Thai economy. If you look at banks, hotels, and other big businesses, most of the CEOs are Thai-Chinese.


tuk 18 months ago

Thai-chinese are generally dark, not light skinned. they do not control the Thai economy if you explore more the ancestry of the rich businessmen.

native thais are light skinned minority, not dark skinned and they are all queens and kings, and soldiers. chinese are nothing but thaitified. a lot of real chinese of pure blood fail to win seats to study at the number 1 thai university, and they are short and supershort guys. Thailand is a land thaitified by the white thai race minority. The real thai race is in fact one of the white races from the north of the world.

Counting all sides of one's ancestry is important. How can you consider the prime ministers Thaksin and Yingluck as essentially chinese-related? their chinese blood is in fact just 5% while their rare real Thai blood is 50%, and their mon-khmer 35% and their black blood is higher than their chinese blood.


tuk 18 months ago

as far as i can remember, chinese immigrants of pure blood were defeated by the thai army and a lot of them ran away from thailand to malaysia, and the rest was forced by the thai government to stop using their chinese language. they never marry any girls of the white thai race minority but have in fact married thaitified women and thai chinese are generally dark. a thai chinese living opposite my house is darker than me and does not have an excellent job. but a thai family of the rare light skin nearby is successful in running his small business.


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Paul Kuehn 18 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

I find your comments very interesting, and believe that further study must done to determine the genetic makeup of Thai-Chinese.


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Paul Kuehn 18 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Again, I find your comments very interesting and must study this topic more.


Tk 17 months ago

According to Forbes's Thailand's 50 Richest, most of the people in the list are Thai Chinese. it's an undeniable fact.


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Paul Kuehn 17 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Yes, just like the Jews in the United States, Thai-Chinese are among the richest in Thailand.


Narong 17 months ago

I'm pretty sure tuk is in fact overseas Laotian or Lao Nok. she's very delusional about the Thai Chinese and Thai history


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Paul Kuehn 17 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thank you for your observations. What is Lao Nok?


Chu li lee 15 months ago

Yes, indeed were are among the fortunate bc we believe in sacrificing for our kids generation and in return the benefit of comfort life. :)


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Paul Kuehn 15 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

&Chu li lee Thank you very much for your comments.


MK 12 months ago

for the past decades, after generations the old chinese culture has been integrated with Thai, like they said "Thaitification".

I dont know much about my thai-chinese,Some of my family members don't even know their chinese surename.

but I think I'd be great to know about the root

if we know the past, we can learn the future


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Paul Kuehn 12 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thank you very much for your interesting comment.


tuk 10 months ago

Mr. Narong is someone who loves to be blinded because of being brainwashed by long-time misinformation. He even dared to accuse me of being sth loatian, not thai. In fact, i am thai.

I am in fact thai born out of Siam proper. (ancient Kingdom of Siam). My thai family on my grand parent ancestry is light skinned but is not at all chinese blood. But because light skinned people having high white thai blood ancestry is small, the world outside misunderstands that thais are dark. I am born thai siam culturally beccause I am native of Kanchanaburi province, 200 kilometersto the west from the capital city, within Siam proper. I am writing from thailand.

I received my education in linguistic field from the most famous Thai unversity, Chulalongkorn Unversity, and a lot of my friends there are light skinned without any chinese ancestry, and are lighter than chinese of full blood, and they are in fact descendants of white dai/tai/ thai race. But their number is small. . This is while a female friend of mine whose skin is dark almost like charchoal has a chinese ancestry and has a chjnese name "Ar Muay" because her chinese father married a thaitified dark aborigine girl, not a light skinned girl. You are all foreigners and never really live among the true top people of the thai society.

A lot of trash information in English about other countries. Thai chinese is in fact not existant. This is because most of chinese men generally married thaitified black-skinned aborigine girls, and their children skin is generally dark. Their population of partial chinese ancestry is large, not small, but they tend to fail in every thing. A signficant number of notorious criminals in thailand are dark skinned thaitified chinese blood. For example, the south of thailand is in fact the former land of Malaysia conquerred by thai siam army 200 years ago, and a large number of chinese immigrants married women there who are not at all thai blood, but thaitified blood.

Light skinned people are thai/tai/dai blood, not chinese blood, but they are very few in number. Dark skinned people are thaitified or colonized by white thai/tai/dai to become people of thainess. for 700 years until present. The white thai race from the north conquerred Khmer Empire, Mon Empire and colonized black people there to speak tai ka dai.

"Siam" does not mean dark, but is a rather wrong pronunciation of the thai term "Siem" by indianized black people majority in the former mon empire and khmer empire sacked by the white thai race 700 ago. Original Thai Siam are white skinned people and colonized indianized black people there to become people of siam or siemness or thainess. Indian people today cannot speak english like english native speakers of england do. same same as people in former mon empire and khmer empire (today Thailand) cannot pronounce correctly the term " siem" (siam), which is another white thai tribe.


tuk 10 months ago

The thai slang "Thaitified Lek Jek Dam" means DARK CHINESE who is short. why? because most of short chinese men married short dark skinned thaitified women, and their mixed blood children tend to have dark skin and to be short. Notorious chinese blood criminals are deceased Tee Yai , Si Uyi who ate the livers of young children and their skin were dark. Light skinned women of the thai race ancestry did not want to marry chinese men. So thai chinese is not existant.

I am pretty sure Narong is a thaitified chinese from overseas. This is because he does not know the names of Chulalongkorn Unversity and Triam Udom Sueksa High School I earler mentioned as my study places in thailand. so he dared to accuse me of being loatian, not thai. A lof of full blood chinese have failed to win seats at the thai number 1 unversity, and they seldomly meet other light skinned minority races (who is fewer).

Original thai race is light skinned minority, not dark. Colonized or thaitified people are dark majority.


tuk 10 months ago

Paul Kuehn, you cannot speak thai and you never know there is a Thai slang "Jek Dam" which means Dark Chinese. So how can you conclude your fair skinned students have chinese ancestry? you never know that in daily life, we use the term "krung teb" or "Krung tep", not "Bangkok", to call our captial city. The term "Bangkok" is used only when we speak english to contact foreigners.

You cannot discuss within the thai social academic network group regarding the ancestry of people of all skin colors in thailand because you cannot speak thai. Light skinned people have northern tai ka dai speaking ancestors, and they are a minority group. Dark skinned people have mon-khmer plus malay speaking ancestors native of southeast asia, and they are the majority.

I am light skinned and a lot of my friends are light skinned and we are not chinese blood. but a friend of mine is dark almost like charchoal and her name is chinese Muay because her chinese father married a superdark skinned thaitified aborigine girll. Thaksin. Ying Luck Prime Ministers' closest blood is white thai (50%) while their chinese ancestry is just 5% diluted, remote blood.

The mixed blood of chinese ancestry and thaitified dark people is the largest in number, and their children tend to be dark. most of the prostitutes in pattaya have chinese ancestry and dark brown.

The majority of Thai race is today a light skinned minority group in today's china (Sib Song Ban Na up to Yunnan) and they speak tai ka dai, while chinese people speak han language.


tuk 10 months ago

sth "Sunni Iranian" or "khmer" that someone here (who is in fact a foreigner) said to have some connection with the Royal Thai family is a trash idea. From where this false thing comes? I am thai and know best about my ccountry. none of girls in the Thai Royal Familty is sth Sunni Iranian or khmer. I am still feel OK if a foreigner said the thai royal family has some connection with chinese, but any thai royal family member who married a foreigner is dethroned automatically.

Today's thai royal family mainly comes from the thaitified Mon community in Siam proper, a white thai race-led kingdom. Why not white thai race or original white thai siamese itself? Because the original white thai siamese population is today a zero number. Why? there is a lot of reasons. Firstly, this is because the number of the original white thai race who sacked down Khmer Empire was the top of the pyramid (very few) and fewer than the dark people under their rule and then married a certain amount of thaitified mon people or even chinese, so the original white thai blood was absorbed by the thaitified black majority under the white thai race's rule. Importantly, during their 500-year colonizaton of the khmer people and dark mon people, the original white siamese did not thing but had to wage a lot of wars with early thaitified khmer people who rebelled against them and wanted to claim back their land. This is why the original white thai siamese population reduced considerably even though they were able to colonize khmer people for a futher many hundred years. However, the original white thai siamese is today whitening genetics, and any person born light skinned is believed to have ancestry of the original white siamese.

Why never khmer in the Thai Royal Court? because original white thai race sacked down khmer empire , established Siam in the land of the sacked down khmer and colonized khmer people to become people of thainess. they never allowed any khmer person to become big in their army, in order that their Siam Kingdom has remained. And today the term "thai" is civilization.

White thai race has many tribes. Any most of other white thai races today live back north in china, being the minority group of china.

The thai slang "Thai Lek Jek Dam" means dark chinese who is short. This indicates well that chinese marry thaitified dark skinned women, not light skinned girls who are descendants of white thai race. so thai chinese is non existant.


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Paul Kuehn 10 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thank you very much for your discussion and opinions.


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Paul Kuehn 10 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thank you for your comments.


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Paul Kuehn 10 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

I concluded that my students and also many teachers were of Chinese ancestry by looking at their names. Very long names that end in "sakul" or that start with a Chinese surname like Hong and are followed by Thai words is a give away that these people have Chinese ancestry. Many of these students and teachers also told me that they were mixed Thai-Chinese in origin.


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Paul Kuehn 10 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thank you for your ideas and explanations.


tuk 10 months ago

Khun Tai, please do not say "Sunni Iranian" to me and other people from thailand, otherwise we will get confused. You should have said" persian ancestry" instead. and people of persian ancestry who have become big guys in the thai government are buddhist, not sth sunni.

Khun Paul Keuhn, I understand you, but you should know a lot of us do not have chinese ancestry and have light skin, too. but we are fewer in number.

Many people in thailand also argue and say "real thais are not dark. There is also "tai" whose skin is light as chinese and "tai" is the real thai."

The term "thai" (tai/dai) is today a civilization, not ethnicity. Because in absence of today's original white thai race(tai/dai) who sacked down Khmer Empire and established "Siam Kingdom" 700 years ago, even today's kings of thailand who are mainly of the Mon ancestry declare to people all over the world that they are thai.


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Paul Kuehn 10 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thank you for your comments. You have suggested a new area of study for me.


Pantip Detective 9 months ago

Many chinese immigrants fail to pass our national examination but have to study at open universities and private universities.

such as yourself? ramkhamhaeng? Sorawan?


Aroi 9 months ago

from my first hand experience most prostitutes in pattaya are thai of Tai and Lao descent from the north and northeast they are cheap and plenty. Chinese are those in the richest list and comprise of high-middle class.


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Paul Kuehn 9 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

I have never applied to study at open and private universities in Thailand. This hub is not about Chinese immigrants, but discusses the ethnic background of Thai-Chinese in Thailand. Thank you for your comment.


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Paul Kuehn 9 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thank you for your comments. I wouldn't expect well-to-do "hiso" Thai-Chinese be working as prostitutes in Pattaya.


intrigued and flabbergasted 9 months ago

Paul, found your page while googling regional thai personality/characteristics stereotypes (pure curiosity, random reading interest).

Tuk - your repeated reiteration of 'number one university' and the word 'white' just speaks a lot on the neediness and desire for the race/nationality to identify as much as possible with the Caucasian race. Nothing too wrong with that, but best to proud of who you are and your definite Asian ancestry.

You are Thai - that's Asian. why so much insistence on 'white dai' and 'white mon khmer' ancestry, and 'milky skin' heralded over and over again?

Also, being ethnically Chinese myself, the constant emphasis on Chinese men (and/or women) being short is simply dumb. Please step out into the world to meet the many Chinese who are above average height, taller than Thais, taller than other Asians, taller than Caucasians, taller than whoever you may name. I'm not denying there are short Chinese around, but Tuk seems to think to be Chinese is to be short and that's ridiculous.


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Paul Kuehn 9 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

intrigued and flabbergasted, Thank you very much for your comments. I especially appreciate them coming from an ethnic Chinese like yourself.


lakers415213 8 months ago

Most of the wealthy people in southeast asia are ethnic chinese.

Look up ''bamboo network'' on wiki.


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Paul Kuehn 8 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

It doesn't surprise me that most of the wealth in Southeast Asia is with ethnic Chinese. They are, after all, the Jews of the Orient. I will look up "bamboo network" on wiki.


IVY 8 months ago

My gosh, people! Why are you guys arguing about ethnicity and skin colour? You know, you can have dark skin simply by sunbathing and acquire fair skin colour by injecting glutathione or take God-knows-what supplement. See, skin colours might have history with social classes but hello, it's 2016 now. Who cares? Just because one's white doesn't mean he/she is wealthy or poor. I am a light Thai-Chinese trying my hardest to tan myself (in Canada), lol. I don't see any good in arguing about skin colour, it's a controversial topic...Being a pure Thai does not lift you above others and having Chinese blood does not make you rich. Thailand is just like other countries, we have a mixture of poor native, rich natives, poor foreigners, and rich foreigners. I think people should put aside their ego and have opened-minds here. As I've mentioned before, I am a Thai-Chinese. I live in Bangkok, I go to a private school in Victoria, Canada, my family owns a lot of businesses in Thailand, I am naturally light but I wanna be dark, I cannot speak Chinese, and I consider myself Thai (though if someone asks me, I'd tell the truth, 100% Chinese blood runs in my veins lol). What else? Oh, I am taller than most girls I see in Thailand, and I don't mean to offend anyone by saying that. Height does not matter. Japan is probably the most developed country in Asia, and most Japanese are short. What's wrong with that?

Again, I am a Thai-Chinese. I cannot speak Chinese and I don't feel like it's a big deal at all, I speak other languages other than Thai and English. There are many languages used around the world and it's not something to worry about if one could not speak Chinese. I want to be dark, it's gorgeous. I go to school abroad, 'cause I can, it's my money and I could do what I want with it. Don't need people to criticize my expense. My family owns many businesses, c'mon everybody could start a business and make it big if they put effort into it.

My great grandparents moved to Thailand during the revolution in China. The revolutionaries killed and tortured the upper class there, so my great grandparents fled to Thailand, some relatives went to other countries. I don't blame China for that, it's just how things work here on Earth. Changes happen all the time. I embrace my Chinese background but Thailand and Thais have welcomed us warmly and I am thankful for that. I consider myself a Thai because I was born in Thailand and I speak the language, plus, I pay taxes here. Hahaha.

One thing though, that I think we should be ashamed of is the fact that we are arguing about this, especially in public. Mr. Kuehn is a foreigner and he is witnessing all of this nonsense, aren't you guys ashamed of yourselves? We are Thai people in the eyes of foreigners and we represent Thailand, it doesn't matter if you have mixed blood or not.

All of this is based on my opinion with a little common sense and some facts. After all, I am just a high school student and there's still a whole lot of stuff for me to learn.

I hope you guys find peace within reading this. Lol

STOP THE HATE AND LOVE EACH OTHER.


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Paul Kuehn 8 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Ivy, thank you very much for sharing some great comments in response to readers' previous comments about ethnicity and skin color. When I wrote and published this hub, I never thought it would generate so much dialog about ethnicity and skin color.


Mat 5 months ago

Paul, your information about Thai chinese may be exaggerated in some respects. I am a sino-thai myself and I don't think even 10% of thai-chinese now speak any chinese dialect at home. My mother was a thai-born chinese and her mother spoke Teochu well. I remembered hearing her speak to other Chinese persons in the neighborhood. But she never taught me or my mother any Chinese. The Chinese in Thailand don't guard their ethnic identity and the process of total assimilation may happen with Chinese immigrants from the second generation onwards. If the parents don't speak Thai good enough, they will speak some chinese to the children who picked the language up that way. Most sino-thais don't bother learning chinese, even though the grammars are very close. They think it's unfashionable.

Also the fact that Chinese langauge was forbidden in Thailand was a totally false and misleading information. Chinese were free to teach and learn language in Chinese schools but these schools were not approved by the Ministry of Education - meaning that you couldn't progress to higher education within chinese education. So chinese sent their children to Thai schools. But many, including some of my great grand-uncles, were sent to school in China or Hong Kong. Chinese don't lose their language simply because it wasn't taught in schools. Otherwise how could Chinese in America or the UK remain Chinese for long? The Sino-Thais themselves willingly lose their language by not transmitting it to the next generation. This is the same thing that happen to minority groups in France. But it goes to show that Thai culture is powerful enough to cause Chinese to voluntarily give up their culture.


Mat 5 months ago

I also just want to add that Chinese was a very widely used business language in Thailand for a long time. So there was a clear benefit of learning them. Moreover, there is no way Thailand could have become home to the largest number of Chinese immigrants in the world if the Chinese feel that the Thai state was systematically suppressing their culture. The government's nationalism campaigns certainly had negative impacts on the cultures of minorities. But I believe those legal measures were taken in response to the threats posed by western colonial powers (including Japan) rather than because of the fear of Chinese.

I have read quite a few books on the subject of Thailand's assimilation of Chinese ethnics. I still think Skinner's classic work, in contrast to what other academics say, is still the most correct. Skinner's theory is simple: the secret of Thailand's assimilation of the Chinese minority was because the full privilege of being Thai had been extended to them for at least 2 centuries. It is this same factor that explains why some people in America identify themselves fully as American while others continue to modify their American-ness with being black, asian, native or hispanic. Mr. Thaksin, the exiled PM, is a very hated figure in Thailand. He has been compared to everything evil under the sun. But the only criterion that I did not hear his distractor raise is the fact that he is a son of Chinese immigrants. It doesn't even compute in Thais' mind that being someone of a foreign origin is anything negative. It is not limited to Chinese though. I have Thai friends who are half or quarter Japanese and all of them identify themselves as Thai first.


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Paul Kuehn 5 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Mat, Thank you very much for your enlightening comments. I really appreciate them and they add clarification to my hub.


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Paul Kuehn 5 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Mat,Thank you once again for your very interesting comments. I haven't read Skinner's classic work, but I intend to find it and read it.


tuk 4 weeks ago

praising chinese blood is sth too much among chinese community in thailand until it is boring. i think because chinese immigrant lose their identity and were forced to speak thai and then find a way to feel better. But none of us can deny Thai royal family in the ancient time was closely linked to chinese blood. One of our great thai king (Taksin the Great who defeated burmese army 200 years ago) had a chinese father who was a chinese immigrant. This led to today's general conception that even today's thai royal family is sth linked to chinese people even though today's thai royal famility is almost nothing related to chinese. When asked which foreigner is linked to thai royal famility, we generally think of chinese people because Taksin the Great had a chinese father.


tuk 4 weeks ago

100% chinese immigrants have reduced in large number because they have married out. In my life, I have met just 2-3 chinese immigrants of full chinese ancestry . In my office, I work with 5 persons of 100% chinese ancestry in thailand. I personally know a person of 100% chinese ancestry who is found to be a business family. All of these chinese of 100% chinese ancestry cannot speak chinese but Thai and still pratice chinese tradition at their home, and identify themselves as thai citizens, not chinese even though they are real chinese and are very few in number today. Some of them love to go back to their china for tourism.


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Paul Kuehn 4 weeks ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

Thank you very much once again for your comments on this hub.


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Paul Kuehn 4 weeks ago from Udorn City, Thailand Author

your comments are appreciated.

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