Chinese Clan and Dialect Associations

For the last hundred years, Thai governments have consistently stressed the homogeneity of the people of Thailand. The predominant government policy towards cultural diversity has been one of assimilation and yet, Thailand has always been an ethnically diverse place.

Though Chinese in Thailand has been assimilated very well in the host society, some of them still try to maintain their own culture and identity. One of the ways is through the setting up of clan and dialect or district associations. One of the main purposes of setting up the association is to pass on the legacy of the traditions and culture to the future generations. The association also serves as a meeting place and to create unity for members.

Each association has a certain committee to organize and manage the association activities which includes performing of ceremonies and rituals, celebrating of festivals, conducting of community services and so on. However, as the young Chinese generation has been assimilated very well and many of them are not conversant in their own dialect anymore, one of the biggest problem being the lack of successors.

In Betong, the scene is unique where many clan and dialect associations in such a small town, have their own building, which normally has a big meeting hall. Among the various Chinese associations are Teo Chew, Hakka, Kwang Xi, Fujian, Lee Clan, Leong Clan etc. Nowadays, the association has become a very popular place for karaoke practice, wedding dinner, and …gossip too :)!

The various association buildings

Fujian and Lee Clan Association

A wedding dinner in “Ba Gui Tang”

Teo Chew and Kwang Xiu Association

Hakka and Kwang Si Association

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