Bill,

If one looks at the family tree of population groups based on genetic
distance (in the first chart in http://www.friesian.com/trees.htm
<http://www.friesian.com/trees.htm> ), one notices that: S. Chinese, Mon
Khmer, Thai, Indonesian, Malayians, Filipinos are closely related,
belonging to the family: 'Mainland SE Asian'.

On the other hand The 'Indian qualities' of the Thai probably orginate
from:

"The culture of Thailand incorporates cultural beliefs and
characteristics indiginenous to the area known as modern day Thailand
coupled with much influence from ancient India, China, Cambodia, along
with the the neighbouring pre-historic cultures of Southeast Asia. It is
influenced primarily by Animism, Hinduism, Buddhism, as well as by later
migrations from China, and southern India.

Thailand is nearly 95% Theravada Buddhist, with minorities of Muslims
(4.6%), Christians (0.7%), Mahayana Buddhists, and other religions. Thai
Theravada Buddhism is supported and overseen by the government, with
monks receiving a number of government benefits, such as free use of the
public transportation infrastructure.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand>

--ED



--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, <billsm...@...> wrote:
>
> Anthony,
>
> Issan is indeed a Thai dialect. It's kind of a blend of Thai and Lao.
>
> It's obvious that Chinese is the major contributor to the Thai ethnic
mix. Their culture, written language, traditional dress, etc..., seems
to also have a lot of Indian qualities.

> And physically I think the people that look the closest to Thais are
Filipinos. In fact several times my wife was approached by Filipinos
while we were waiting for a flight who thought she was Filipino also.
>
> ...Bill!



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