Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Dai ethnic group - are they similar to Thai?


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 General_Zhaoyun

General_Zhaoyun

    Grand Valiant General of Imperial Han Army

  • Owner
  • 12,281 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore (Taiwanese/Singapore Permanent Resident)
  • Interests:Chinese History, Chinese Philosophy and Religion, Chinese languages, Minnan/Taiwanese language, Classical Chinese, General Chinese Culture
  • Languages spoken:Mandarin, Taiwanese (Hokkien), English, German, Singlish
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:Han Chinese (Taiwanese Hoklo)
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    General Chinese Culture
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Chinese Language, History and Culture

Posted 09 June 2008 - 01:56 AM

The Dai (傣) ethnic nationals in Southern China seems to be quite similar to the Thai (in Thailand) in terms of culture and customs.

Are they similar to Thai in terms of ethnicity? Do they originate from the same ancestry? Any info on Dai would be appreciated
Posted ImagePosted Image

"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#2 Chanpuru

Chanpuru

    Grand Guardian (Taibao 太保)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 275 posts
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Okinawa

Posted 09 June 2008 - 02:26 AM

The Dai (傣) ethnic nationals in Southern China seems to be quite similar to the Thai (in Thailand) in terms of culture and customs.

Are they similar to Thai in terms of ethnicity? Do they originate from the same ancestry? Any info on Dai would be appreciated


My Thai friends say its the same exact language, just a different dialect, and this dialect is similar to one of the northern Thai dialects.
I met one Dai student, they're very fair skinned.

Were the original Thais/Dais the same, and then absorbed Malay people when they settled in modern day Thailand?

#3 xng

xng

    Emperor (Huangdi 皇帝)

  • CHF Han Lin Scholar
  • 3,899 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Languages spoken:English, Cantonese, Minnan, Mandarin, Singlish, Thai
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:Han Chinese
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Language
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Chinese Linguistics, Buddhism, East Asian anthropology

Posted 09 June 2008 - 08:44 AM

Were the original Thais/Dais the same, and then absorbed Malay people when they settled in modern day Thailand?


The thais in thailand came from southern china many hundred years ago which is their homeland.

They are fairer skin in color.

Thailand is not their homeland but the homeland of the khmers which are darker skin in color.

When the han chinese moved south, the dais also moved south to modern day thailand.

They have the same ancestors , just different dialects.

#4 ~Hsin_Hpyu_Shin~

~Hsin_Hpyu_Shin~

    Commissioner (Shi Chijie 使持节)

  • CHF Rookie Member
  • 62 posts
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History

Posted 13 June 2008 - 02:46 AM

Dai is simply an alternative romanisation of Tai . All Tai groups have relatively mutually intelligible dialects ( more so than Chinese dialects ) although a western comparison would be like the intelligibility between Spanish , Catalan and Italian rather than between standard American English and BBC English .

The "original" Tais are fair skinned and still inhabit parts of Yunnan , north west Laos , north east India and parts of Vietnam . In Burma where they form the majority in the Shan states they are called "Shan" by the Burmese . This term refers to all Tai within Burma's previous spheres of influence except the central Thais of Ayutthaya and subsequently Bangkok ie Shan refers to inhabitants of Shan states , Dai in Yunnan , Lao in North west Laos , Tai in Lanna ( northern Thai around Chiang Mai ) , Tai in Assam and also the Sukhotai kingdom.

The differentiation between "Tai" speaking Ayutthaya and the rest was presumbably made by perceived differences in phenotype of the lighter skin Shan and the darker skin central Thais ( who are an amalgam of Tai , Mon Khmer and Malay heritage ) who were in the past seen as darker than the Burmese ( not the case now due to Bangkokians now being mainly SinoThai ).

Culturally the Dai of Dehong are very close to the Shan within Burma while the Dai of Sipsongpanna are very similar to the Northern Lao and the Tai in Chiang Mai.

This is the modern Dehong script which is derived from Mon.

Posted Image

#5 One time poster

One time poster

    Grand Mentor (Taishi 太师)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 430 posts

Posted 13 June 2008 - 03:21 AM

I've always thought that the People's Republic of China's insistence on using the term Dai instead of Tai is just a pre-empt on any "Tai nationalism" that it could foster between those people and their ethnic cousins across the border. They wouldn't want these guys to feel too much of a bond.

It depends on the language. Many of the Tai languages are relatively easy to understand between different groups depending on your experience. Some terms will be used slightly differently, and some groups will use some words more often than others.

It is always amusing to see people try to make a claim towards "original Tai" based on qualifications like skin tone whenever anyone speaks of Thai people. Based on this precedence it makes you wonder why "original Chinese" or even "original French" is not constantly mentioned. Growing up I just know that Tai of different areas are different and speak differently. No original, no new Tai. There are different stereotypes about different regions just like any other place. Modern Thai nationalism started a bit over a hundred years ago. To be Thai you need 3 things. You need the language, religion and the monarchy. In a way it is a very inclusive form of nation building.

It is rediculous to see people bring out maps of DNA or whatever else to scientifically prove different peoples. It makes no sense. Different countries and different groups of people define themselves differently. Don't try to impose your own standards on other people who see the world differently.

#6 ~Hsin_Hpyu_Shin~

~Hsin_Hpyu_Shin~

    Commissioner (Shi Chijie 使持节)

  • CHF Rookie Member
  • 62 posts
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History

Posted 13 June 2008 - 05:39 AM

The irony is that it is Thai nationalism that tries to identify itself as Tai while denying much of it's other heritage : namely Mon and especially Khmer . I have noticed many Thais from Thailand dreaming of a greater Tai-land which is amusing . It's much like the all the mediterranean romance speakers claiming to be the same ( yes they are but also no they're not ) or the scandinavian countries wanting to unite .

I guess the problem stems from the fact that Thailand is the richest and most powerful Tai speaking nation and it somehow feels aggrieved that it's cousins in both Myanmar and China are non-governing minorities .


With regards to "original" Tai : the term is meaningless and irrelevant these days . My observations are in the Burmese historical context .

However I do have Shan ( Tai ) family who regard people from Yunnan and Chiang Mai as their kindred but not those from Bangkok , Issan or Pattani . In their eyes there is enough of a cultural , language and phenotypical difference to justify this .

#7 xng

xng

    Emperor (Huangdi 皇帝)

  • CHF Han Lin Scholar
  • 3,899 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Languages spoken:English, Cantonese, Minnan, Mandarin, Singlish, Thai
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:Han Chinese
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Language
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Chinese Linguistics, Buddhism, East Asian anthropology

Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:55 AM

With regards to "original" Tai : the term is meaningless and irrelevant these days . My observations are in the Burmese historical context .

However I do have Shan ( Tai ) family who regard people from Yunnan and Chiang Mai as their kindred but not those from Bangkok , Issan or Pattani . In their eyes there is enough of a cultural , language and phenotypical difference to justify this .


Its not meaningless if you trace their origins. Can we say that Singaporeans are of the same race and of the same origins ?

Basically, the thais have 3 different origins (or 4 if you count the chinese), they are

1. The original ethnic Dai which moved south from southern china (yunnan, gwangxi) during the Yuan Mongol invasion at around the 13th century and formed modern Thailand. These are of fairer skin in color.

2. The mon-khmer people who formed the khmer empire in most parts of mainland south east asia before the ethnic Dai took over the land at around 13th century. These people are of darker skin in color and ethnically similar to the cambodians in modern day cambodia.

3. The malays living in southern thailand (patani etc) who has its origin from the indonesian islands. These people are of darker skin in color, muslims and speak the malay-related language.

http://en.wikipedia....ory_of_Thailand

http://www.chinahist...amp;pid=4893566

Edited by xng, 13 June 2008 - 10:07 AM.


#8 MC420

MC420

    Chief State Secretary (Shangshu Ling 尚书令)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 988 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rain City
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Vietnamese history
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Vietnamese History and Culture

Posted 13 June 2008 - 10:27 AM

Its not meaningless if you trace their origins. Can we say that Singaporeans are of the same race and of the same origins ?

Basically, the thais have 3 different origins (or 4 if you count the chinese), they are

1. The original ethnic Dai which moved south from southern china (yunnan, gwangxi) during the Yuan Mongol invasion at around the 13th century and formed modern Thailand. These are of fairer skin in color.

2. The mon-khmer people who formed the khmer empire in most parts of mainland south east asia before the ethnic Dai took over the land at around 13th century. These people are of darker skin in color and ethnically similar to the cambodians in modern day cambodia.

3. The malays living in southern thailand (patani etc) who has its origin from the indonesian islands. These people are of darker skin in color, muslims and speak the malay-related language.

http://en.wikipedia....ory_of_Thailand

http://www.chinahist...amp;pid=4893566


XNG:

The above description is reference to the modern Thai people of Thailand; however, the origin Thai/Dai/Tay would still be around Yunnan's region though!

#9 One time poster

One time poster

    Grand Mentor (Taishi 太师)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 430 posts

Posted 13 June 2008 - 03:30 PM

Its not meaningless if you trace their origins. Can we say that Singaporeans are of the same race and of the same origins ?

Basically, the thais have 3 different origins (or 4 if you count the chinese), they are

1. The original ethnic Dai which moved south from southern china (yunnan, gwangxi) during the Yuan Mongol invasion at around the 13th century and formed modern Thailand. These are of fairer skin in color.

2. The mon-khmer people who formed the khmer empire in most parts of mainland south east asia before the ethnic Dai took over the land at around 13th century. These people are of darker skin in color and ethnically similar to the cambodians in modern day cambodia.

3. The malays living in southern thailand (patani etc) who has its origin from the indonesian islands. These people are of darker skin in color, muslims and speak the malay-related language.

http://en.wikipedia....ory_of_Thailand

http://www.chinahist...amp;pid=4893566


It is meaningless. Can we say that Chinese is same race and origin? It depends on what your definitions are. Singapore is Singapore. Thailand is Thailand. Do not confuse the two. Thai nationalism is inclusive to a certain extant. Language, religion and monarchy. Those 3 things and nothing else. Not looks, not blood, not hair color, not skin color, not eye color and not what kind of money you make. This is Thailand, not Nazi Germany.

Thai nationalism and the country of Thailand was created from Bangkok. From central Thailand. We could thus say that they are the "original Thai". The "Thai language" was the court language in Bangkok. This language is what people in other countries study when they study "Thai". It is also the language people in Thailand must learn. It is like many other countries including the People's Republic of China in this respect.

Central and Southern Thai people speak more differently from North and Northeastern Thai people. I personally like the way Southern Thai people speak. Harder for me to understand because they seem to speak faster, but it sounds neat to me. North Thai speak similar to North Lao and Northeast Thai speaks similar to Southern Lao people, but the difference between northern and southern Lao is very little in comparison to the difference between Central Thai and North/Northeast Thai. When Lao people ask each other where they are from they will often ask "What kind of Tai are you?" rather than "Where are you from?" The other person would answer them "Tai Savan" to indicate they are from Savannakhet, "Tai Vieng" to indicate they are from the capital or perhaps "Tai Muang Luang" to indicate they are from the ancient capital area of Luang Prabang.

#10 sg_han

sg_han

    Prime Minister (Situ/Chengxiang 司徒/丞相)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 1,642 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:none
  • Interests:none
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese History
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    none

Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:16 PM

I personally like the way Southern Thai people speak. Harder for me to understand because they seem to speak faster, but it sounds neat to me.


Yup, my auntie, who is Thai, has told me that Southerners tend to speak fast and keep their sentence contracted and short.
大韓民國의國歌-愛國歌

#11 One time poster

One time poster

    Grand Mentor (Taishi 太师)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 430 posts

Posted 13 August 2009 - 12:30 AM

Through further digging I've come to learn a bit more about the Tai of Sipsongpanna. They are known as the Tai Lue. The city transliterated by Chinese officials as "Jinghong" is known in the various Tai dialects as Chiang Rung, Siang Hung and other variations of the same words. The people are most similar to the Tai of northern Thailand, particuarly those near Chiang Mai.

In the old days the kings of Chiang Mai used to raid Chiang Rung (Jinghong to Chinese) in order to capture people to forcibly move them to populate the areas of Chiang Mai. Man power in the region was an importance resource because of the feudal nature of the society at the time. After the Burmese conquered Chiang Mai and the surrounding area, major cities like Chiang Mai were left depopulated. In the late 1700s when the rulers of the area switched allegiance to Siam they began a quest to repopulate the major cities of the area. Their favorite place to capture people to forcibly move to Chiang Mai were those living near Chiang Rung (today's Jinghong of China) and Chiang Tung (today's Kengtung of Burma). It was a slow process that took many decades.

Around the turn of the century the area where the borders of French Indochina, China, British Burma and Siam met were very fuzzy and very hotly contested. When the British were keeping the Burmese busy during the 3 Burmese wars, there were certain factions in Siam who advocated an invasion of Chiang Tung (Kengtung to Burmese), which would allow Siam to possibly have a claim on Chiang Rung (Jinghong). However, some other factions considered it risky because it could cause conflict with the British, French Indochina or China. A few years after having defeated the last Burmese King and forcing him into exile, the British began trying to gather the allegiance of the local lords of the many tiny Shan states. Their activities in the Shan state caused them to run directly into a French Indochinese party attempting to do the same thing coming from the other direction. They almost came to blows over an area that was not considered strategic enough to risk war with one another for. Thereafter the British did all they could to keep themselves from running into a possible showdown with any of the other major powers in the region where the borders of Siam, China, British Burma and French Indochina met. The British then devised the splitting of the region between all major competing powers in a manner that they thought would not offend any of the others too much. That is more or less how the Tai states became divided between Burma, China, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

Keep in mind that there was never a true uniting force between any of these statelets.

About all I know at this moment of Dehong's history is that it was once part of a Shan Empire centered in Mong Mao according to Sai Aung Tun, the Burmese-Shan historian.

Edited by One time poster, 13 August 2009 - 12:30 AM.


#12 bloodmerchant

bloodmerchant

    State Undersecretary (Shangshu Lang 尚书郎)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 611 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Chinese History, Wu Chinese language, Chinese culture, Chinese linguistics, Wu Chinese culture, Southern Chinese languages
  • Languages spoken:English (American), Wu Chinese (Shanghainese)
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:American-born Han Chinese (Shanghainese/Jiangnanese)
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Language
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Biology, Linguistics, Medieval History

Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:22 PM

I've read about the Dai people and they're closer to the Tai Yuan of Chiang Mai and the Shan of Burma and have been influenced by Laos that they use sticky rice quite a bit, with their closest relatives being the Shan. And Dai people look like any other Southern Han Chinese.

 

 

 

The Shans in Shan State and Dehong speak the same language but different dialect. As well as Tai Khun (Kengtung), Tai Lue (12 Banna) and Tai Lanna (Northern Thailand) are the same language but different dialect. So they can understand each other.

 


Edited by bloodmerchant, 10 February 2013 - 12:27 PM.

吳王夫差將伐齊,子胥曰:不可。夫齊之與吳也,習俗不同,言語不通,我得其地不能處,得其民不得使。夫吳之與越也,接土鄰境,壤交通屬,習俗同,言語通,我得其地能處之,得其民能使之。
─伍子胥 《知化》,《呂氏春秋》

#13 Korin

Korin

    Grand Marshal (Da Sima/Taiwei 大司马/太尉)

  • Master Scholar (Juren)
  • 1,285 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Earth
  • Interests:Ancient history, Astronomy, Political philosophy/politics.
    Science
    Philosophy
  • Languages spoken:English
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:Caucasian
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Chinese Philosophy
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    none

Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:08 AM

So Dai is a ethnic group for people in China, Laos, and Thailand.

 

Does this support the claim that Thai and Laotian people are Chinese ?

 

Chinese after all is more than just Han.


Nicholas II of Russia,


#14 changjiang

changjiang

    Provincial Governor (Cishi 刺史)

  • CHF Junior Member
  • 33 posts
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    Other Interests
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    Miao History

Posted 25 June 2013 - 01:21 PM

You're confused.

 

Real Thai are Siamese (Mon-Khmer speakers). Tai Isan are Tai descendants. Southern Thai are Khmer descendants.

Lao are Tai. Tai-Isan of Northern Thailand are basically Lao people.

 

Thai and Lao people adopted Khmer culture.

 

Dai people of Yunnan are ancestors of Lao and Tai Isan including Shan people of Myanmar.

Dai people are Chinese citizens, but are not ethnic Han nor related to ethnic Han.


Edited by changjiang, 25 June 2013 - 02:37 PM.


#15 NickWCH

NickWCH

    Citizen (Shumin 庶民)

  • CHF Rookie Member
  • 2 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, OR
  • Interests:Chinese martial arts, early Chinese history (pre-Qin), Chinese magic and mythology, and Chinese languages
  • Languages spoken:Chinese Mandarin, Thai, Korean, Spanish, all at an intermediate level, not fluently.
  • Ethnic Groups or Race:European-American
  • Main Interest in CHF:
    General Chinese Culture
  • Specialisation / Expertise:
    None

Posted 14 July 2013 - 10:30 PM

Very nicely and concisely put, changjiang. Additionally, Korin, there are indeed Thais who are ethnically Chinese, though at this point many of them are now intermixed with the ethnically Tai citizens of Thailand. There is a huge stratum of southern Chinese influence in Thai culture, particularly in the Bangok area. The Thai Chinese are mostly of Teochow descent, if I'm not mistaken.


Edited by NickWCH, 14 July 2013 - 10:30 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users