Introduction / History
Centuries ago the Central Thai people lived north of Yangtzekiang in China. Relentless pressure by the Chinese gradually forced them southward. They conquered many peoples and cultures as they sought a new homeland, and by the 10th century they had settled in what is now central Thailand. A bloodless revolution in 1932, led by Westernized intellectuals, instituted a democratic constitutional monarchy. However, the country has suffered numerous governmental upheavals since then. Today, Buddhism is the central and unifying force in Thai society and even maintains social control. The Central Thai speak Thai, the official language of Thailand.
The Central Thai are unusually polite, respectful, and hospitable people. Age is highly respected in Central Thai society. Type of occupation, wealth, and place and type of residence follow age in terms of respect and rank. The Central Thai are distinguished by a near absence of labor division by gender, which helps them fit in when living in places like Switzerland where there is much gender equality.
Where are they located?
Most Central Thai people in Switzerland live in urban centers and near university campuses.
What are their lives like?
Many of the Central Thai people in Switzerland are college students. Once there, they seldom have much social contact with the larger society. Others are women who marry Swiss men, and they often work in professional jobs or live as stay at home wives. Typically, Thai people in Switzerland are young women. They like the opportunities they find in the West, but there are cultural adjustments like the food and the cold weather.
What are their beliefs?
Theravada Buddhism was introduced in Thailand in 329 B.C. Almost all of the Thai are devout followers of Gautama Buddha and seek to eliminate suffering and improve their future by gaining merit in pursuit of perfect peace, or nirvana. They believe that merit can be acquired through feeding monks, donating to temples, and attending worship services.
What are their needs?
Believers can reach out to students from Thailand by opening their homes to them and giving them a "home away from home." In this informal, relaxed atmosphere, they can share the deeds of Jesus Christ with Thai Buddhists.
Pray for a "Book of Acts" type of movement to Christ among the Central Thai people in Europe.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Central Thai people in Switzerland teachable and understanding hearts.
Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Central Thai families into a rich experience of God's blessing.
Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Central Thai family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.
ReferencesView Thai in all countries.