The Social Sciences

Year: 2016
Volume: 11
Issue: 23
Page No. 5719 - 5725

Sinxay: The Application of Cultural Capital for Community Development of Thai and Lao in Globalization

Authors : Songwit Pimpakun, Niyom Wongphong Kham and Souneth Photisane

Abstract: This thesis examines Mekong literary classic Sinxay shistorical origins, its value, its qualities as cultural capital and its applications for community development on Thai and Laotian sides of the Mekong in the age of globalization. It chooses two sites for study; namely, Vientiane, PDR Laos and KhonKaen, Thailand. Methods employed for data collection include questionnaires, observations, interviews, focus groups and workshops. I use the concepts of cultural capital, community development and folktale diffusion theory as frameworks for analysis. The study finds that Sinxay is a literary heritage shared by many peoples in Southeast Asia. Its origin is possibly in the ancient Mon Kingdom and then spreads to Ayudhya, Lanna, LanXang and Khmer Kingdoms in tandem with the spread of Buddhism via Mon language and literature. The LanXang version is written by an anonymous court poet,possibly a little before the Golden Age during the reign of SoulinyaVongsa King. It is speculated that the content of the LanXang version of Sinxaycomes from multiple sources including: the Buddhist tale of paññasajataka;historicalevents at the time of writing; local social, cultural and environmental contexts; pre-existing folktales; and other versions of Sinxay. All these sources were borrowed from and adapted to a particular local context. In terms of value, the study finds that the high value of Sinxayconsists of the value of Buddhist instruction (buddhadhammain Pali), the value of the truth of life (saccadhamma) and the value of aesthetic enjoyment (sundaradhamma). In terms of cultural capital, the study finds in both KhonKaen and Vientiane that Sinxayis embodied in persons, objects and institutions and is thereby harnessed as cultural capital for human development and community development by the state, the private sector and the community in Vientiane and KhonKaen. On one level, applications of Sinxayhaveresulted in human development in behavioral, mental and intellectual aspects; on another, they have resulted in community development in economic, social, political and environmental aspects. Creativity, modern technology and mass media are the tools by which the applications have revitalized Sinxayas well as concretely contributed to human development and community development in the age of globalization.

How to cite this article:

Songwit Pimpakun, Niyom Wongphong Kham and Souneth Photisane, 2016. Sinxay: The Application of Cultural Capital for Community Development of Thai and Lao in Globalization. The Social Sciences, 11: 5719-5725.

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