Modern central Thai has become more dominant due to official government policy, which was designed to assimilate and unify the disparate Thai in spite of ethnolinguistic and cultural ties between the non-Standard-Thai-speaking people and their communities. With the political and cultural pressures[ which? Culture and society[ edit ] Main article:
The Tais who came to the area of present-day Thailand were engulfed into the Theravada Buddhism of the Mon and the Hindu-Khmer culture and statecraft. Thailand is also the only country in Southeast Asia that was not colonized by European powers in modern history. During this period, the Ayutthayans developed a feudal system as various vassal states paid homage to the Ayutthayans kings. Chinese, Malay, and British influences helped to further shape the Thai people who often assimilated foreign ideas, but managed to preserve much of their culture and resisted the European colonization that engulfed their neighbors. The Thai learned from European traders and diplomats, while maintaining an independent course. The Lavo Kingdom , which was the center of Khmer culture in Chao Phraya valley, was also the rallying point for the Thais. A new city-state known as Ayutthaya , named after the Indian city of Ayodhya ,  was founded by Ramathibodi and emerged as the center of the growing Thai empire starting in Linguistic studies suggested  that the origin of the Tai people lies around the Chinese Province of Guangxi , where the Zhuang people are still a majority. Even as Thai power expanded at the expense of the Mon and Khmer, the Thai Ayutthayans faced setbacks at the hands of the Malays at Malacca and were checked by the Toungoo of Burma. Authors of this period re-wrote Thai history from an ethno-nationalist viewpoint, disregarding the fact that the concept of ethnicity had not played an important role in Southeast Asia until the 19th century. The vast majority of the Thai people live in Thailand, although some Thais can also be found in other parts of Southeast Asia. Minorities were forced to assimilate and regional peculiarities of northern, northeastern and southern Thailand were repressed in favour of one homogenous "Thai" culture. Tai peoples and Peopling of Thailand There have been many theories proposing the origin of the Tai peoples — of which the Thai are a subgroup — including an association of the Tai people with the Kingdom of Nanzhao that has been proven to be invalid. Other peoples living under Thai rule, mainly Mon, Khmer, and Lao, as well as Chinese, Indian or Muslim immigrants continued to be assimilated by Thais, but at the same time they influenced Thai culture, philosophy, economy and politics. With the political and cultural pressures[ which? Before this era, Thai did not even have a word for 'nation'. The ancient Tai people are theorized to have founded the kingdom of Nanyue [ according to whom? The Qin dynasty founded Guangdong in BC, initiating the successive waves of Chinese migrations from the north for hundreds of years to come. Culture of Thailand The Thais can be broken down into various regional groups with their own regional varieties of Thai. Modern central Thai has become more dominant due to official government policy, which was designed to assimilate and unify the disparate Thai in spite of ethnolinguistic and cultural ties between the non-Standard-Thai-speaking people and their communities. Culture and society[ edit ] Main article: He also imposed the idea of "Thai-ness" khwam-pen-thai on his subjects and strictly defined what was "Thai" and "un-Thai". According to linguistic and other historical evidence, the southwestward migration of Tai-speaking tribes from Guangxi took place sometime between the 8thth centuries. Inspired by the then Hindu-based Khmer Empire Cambodia , the Ayutthayan empire's continued conquests led to more Thai settlements as the Khmer empire weakened after their defeat at Angkor in
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