Monday, October 19, 2009

Thaification of district and subdistrict names

The two premierships of Field Marshall Phibun Songkhram 1938 to 1944 and again 1948 to 1957 were marked with a strong nationalistic politics, like forcing to use the central Thai language instead of the regional dialects (or even the Yawi used in the deep south provinces), the banning of several occupations for the Chinese immigrants and so on. I first became aware of this policy with respect to the administrative subdivision via the Wikipedia article on Non Thai district in Nakhon Ratchasima province, which was renamed from Non Lao to Non Thai in 1941.

While this was the only district which got its non-Thai roots removed from the name, there were quite a lot of subdistrict which were equally renamed in the 1939 announcement.
  • Lao (ลาว): Non Lao to Non Thai (Nakhon Ratchasima), Phueng Lao to Phueng Ruang, Ban Lao to Thap Kwang, Salari Lao to Mueang Kao, Muang Lao to Muang Ngam (Saraburi). In Saraburi it had a lot of Vientiane Lao forcibly resettled there in 1779.
  • Chin(ese) (จีน): Ban Chin to Chalong (Satun), Nong Chin to Khok Sai (Phatthalung), Wat Sam Chin to Sam Yaek (Phra Nakhon, i.e. Bangkok), Bang Nang Chin to Thai Hat (Samut Songkhram)
  • Mon (มอญ): Ban Mon to Sam Suan (Chaiyaphum), Ban Mon to Ban Kao (Chonburi), Ku Mon to Hua Sai (Chachoengsao), Tha Mon to Khun Kaeo (Nakhon Pathom) Na Mon Nuea to Ban Na and Na Mon Tai to Khlong Cham Long (Sukhothai), Bang Mon to Ton Pho (Singburi)
  • Khmer (เขมร): Wang Khmer to Tha Dong Rang (Kanchanaburi)
And the above linked announcement isn't the only one, there was another in 1940 containing more subdistricts with Chin and Mon in their names removed.

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