Ayutthaya

Lifestyle of Ayutthaya

   

The lifestyle of Ayutthaya originally centred on water and large fields. Growing rice was one of the main professions of villagers; as such, homes of the time were commonly found along the rivers and canals. They were often built facing the water with rice fields in the back, and elevated from the ground to deal with the seasonal flooding. Deposits would collect during the water season, rendering the soil fertile and ideal for growing rice. Other villagers plied their trade as fishermen on the many rivers and canals; others still worked as craftsmen.

As time progressed, new developments had an impact upon the Ayutthayan lifestyle. Things like new roads, railways, large agricultural dams and governmental policies have moved Ayutthaya towards an industrial district. Rice fields have been transformed into hundreds of factories and many of the younger generation have left the fields to become factory workers.

Descendants of Ayutthaya

In the past, Ayutthaya was a capital city and a port of international trade. Next to the Ayutthaya natives, there were scores of other nationalities that came to trade or settle in the area. Throughout the generations, they have become part of Ayutthaya’s people, yet many have still kept traits or traditions unique to their respective communities.

Muslim Community

Many Muslims, often referred to as “Khaek”, came to live in Ayutthaya during a time when it was still a capital city. They were commonly divided into two groups that denoted where they came from. “Khaek Tani” was the people that emigrated from Pattani and built their homes tightly around Khlong Takhian, south of Ko Mueang. The second group was “Khaek Thet”; it was comprised of Persians or Iranians, Arabs and Indians, most of whom lived at Thung Lumphli, Thung Phukhao Thong and Thung Hua Laem. The latter had a great deal of influence during the Ayutthaya period, shaping some aspects of economics, trade and administration. Sheikh Ahmad, the first Sheikhul Islam in Thailand who was appointed in the Ayutthaya period, and progenitor of the Bunnag family, was Persian.

Vietnamese Community

The Vietnamese community is located in Samphao Lom sub-district and also called Ban Yuan. It is a large Roman Catholic community having the Saint Joseph Catholic Church as its centre. The Vietnamese emigrated in the late-Ayutthaya period.

Laotian Community

The Laotian community can be found along the Pa Sak River in Nakhon Luang district, an area that is comprised of Ban Sam Thai, Ban Ton Pho and Ban Phai Nong. The community members are descendants of Laotian craftsmen, blacksmiths and goldsmiths that escaped a terrible drought in Vientiane to settle here during the time of King Rama II. Their craftsmanship has been passed down over generations to today. Ban Ton Pho and Ban Phai Nong are famed for producing quality knives which are sold in Northern Ban Aranyik. Knives from here are commonly called “Aranyik Knives”.

Additionally, there is a Chinese community around the Hua Ro and Chao Phrom Markets, the Pom Phet area and Wat Phananchoeng. A Mon community canalso be found at Ban Sao Kradong in Bang Pa-in district.