Rasathesis2012

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Rasathesis2012

  1. 1. ― ― 10TM1170 Salakij Rasa
  2. 2. Index  0 Introduction  ...............................................................................................................................................................  4  0.1 Background  ............................................................................................................................................................  5  0.2 Research Objectives  ............................................................................................................................................  6  0.3 Previous studies  ..........................................................................................................................................  7  0.4 Thai brief history and evidence about the usage of flower  ....................................................  9  0.5 Thai Social Background  ..........................................................................................................  12    Unit1: Literature review of myth and evidence about flower in Thai history  .....................................................................................................................  14  1.2 Mural painting   .....................................................................................................................................................  17  1.3 Traditional Song and Thai dance  .......................................................................................................................  18  1.4 Literature  ..............................................................................................................................................................  19  1.5 Textile  .........................................................................................................................................................................  20  1.6 Thai pattern of flower in Thai art  ............................................................................................................................  22    Unit2: literature review and field survey on the flower culture in daily life  ..................................................................................................  24  2.1 Flower used as a gift  ....................................................................................................................................................  25  2.2 Flower types and how to pick  ...................................................................................................................................  26  2.3 The floral arts (process and how to use)  ...............................................................................................................  34  2.3.1 A bouquet of flower, incense stick and candle   ................................................................................................  35  2.3.2 Malai (Floral garland)  ..............................................................................................................................................  37  2.4 leftovers of flowers after the arrangement   ............................................................................................................  42  2.4.1 Small flower work or toy for children   ................................................................................................................  43  2.4.2 Used to decorate food or drink  .............................................................................................................................  43  2.4.3 Making flower sachet  ..............................................................................................................................................  43  2.4.4 Dried up flower that was used to worship divinity  ........................................................................................  44  2.5 Flower medication  ........................................................................................................................................................  44  2.6 Flower in food  ................................................................................................................................................................  44  2.7 Thai traditional Fragrance from flower  .................................................................................................................  45  2.7.1 Liquid perfume  ..........................................................................................................................................................  45  2.7.2 Solid perfume  .............................................................................................................................................................  46  2.8 The meanings of using flower in Thai daily life  ................................................................................................  46  2.8.1 Flower and family  .....................................................................................................................................................  46  2.8.1.1  Family  activities  ...................................................................................................................................................  46  2.8.1.2  Flexible  way  of  life  due  to  flower  availability  .........................................................................................  47  2.8.1.3  Transmission  of  knowledge  in  a  family  .....................................................................................................  47  2.8.1.4  Specific  scent  reflects  good  quality  of  life  .................................................................................................  47  2.8.1.5  Teaching  each  family  member’s  responsibility  for  their  role  ..........................................................  48  2.8.2  Flower  and  community  ........................................................................................................................................  48  2.8.2.1  Encouragement  of  networking  in  a  community  ....................................................................................  48  2.8.2.2  Flowers  as  an  emotional  symbol  ..................................................................................................................  48  2.8.3  Flower  and  nature  ..................................................................................................................................................  48  2.8.3.1  Natural  resource  utilization   ............................................................................................................................  48  2.8.4 Flower and religious belief (divinity)  .................................................................................................................  50  2.9 Conclusions   .....................................................................................................................................................................  51  2.9.1 Thai people use floral arts for religion purposes  ............................................................................................  51  2.9.2 Materials of floral arts depend on availability of natural resources  .........................................................  51  2.9.3 Thais utilize plants to their full potential  ..........................................................................................................  51    Unit3: literature review and field survey on the flower culture in special occasion  ..............................................................................  52  3.1 Flower used as a gift  ....................................................................................................................................................  53  3.2 Flower type  .....................................................................................................................................................................  53  2
  3. 3. 3.3 The floral arts (process and how to use)  ...............................................................................................................  55  3.3.1 Yearly events  ..............................................................................................................................................................  55  3.3.1.1 malai (floral Malai)  ...............................................................................................................................................  55  3.3.1.2 Floating flowers over water  ...............................................................................................................................  57  3.3.1.3 Phanphum (Floral arts on pedestal tray)  ........................................................................................................  58  3.3.1.4 A bouquet of flower, incense sticks and candle  ..........................................................................................  60  3.3.1.5 Krathong (Floating flower raft)  ........................................................................................................................  61  3.3.2 Event through life span  ...........................................................................................................................................  64  3.3.2.1 malai (Floral garland)   ...........................................................................................................................................  64  3.3.2.1.1Marriage malai  .....................................................................................................................................................  64  3.3.2.2 Phan dokmai/ phan phum (floral arts or pedestral tray)  ...........................................................................  65  3.3.2.3 Baisri (Offering to divinity)  ...............................................................................................................................  66  3.3.2.3.1 Usage of Baisri in a birth celebration ceremony  .....................................................................................  68  3.3.2.3.2 Usage of Baisri in a new resident celebration ceremony  ......................................................................  69  3.3.2.3.3 Usage of Baisri in other Brahman rituals   ...................................................................................................  70  3.3.2.4 A bouquet of flower, incense stick and candle  ............................................................................................  70  3.3.2.5 Flower cone  .............................................................................................................................................................  70  3.3.2.6 Flower arranged to decorate coffin  ..................................................................................................................  71  3.3.2.7 Dok Mai chan (Chan flower)  .............................................................................................................................  71  3.4 The leftover flower  .......................................................................................................................................................  72  3.4.1 Leftover flower will be dried and used as an element to make sacred talisman  ..................................  72  3.5Flower in food  .................................................................................................................................................................  72  3.6 The meaning  ...................................................................................................................................................................  73  3.6.1 Flower and religious  .................................................................................................................................................  73  3.6.1.1 Blessing and purification of mind, and body  ...............................................................................................  74  3.6.2 Flower and community  ...........................................................................................................................................  74  3.6.2.1 Yearly event  ............................................................................................................................................................  74  3.6.2.2 Events through life span  ......................................................................................................................................  74  3.6.3 Flower and nature  .....................................................................................................................................................  75  3.6.4 Flower scent as a cultural symbol   ........................................................................................................................  75  3.7 Conclusion  ......................................................................................................................................................................  75  3.7.1 Brahmanism and Buddhism influence ceremony in people life and people value.  ............................  75  3.7.2 People use flower as a communication tool  .....................................................................................................  76    Unit4: Characteristic of flower culture in Thailand   ..............  77  4.1 Thai people utilize flower for both physical and mental aims.  .....................................................................  78  4.2 Scent and form of flowers can influence situational atmosphere  .................................................................  79  4.3 Floral arts activity strengthens the community bond and encouraging communication  .......................  79  4.4 Separation of roles in family  .....................................................................................................................................  79    Unit5: Analyses of Questionnaire from the Young and a Proposal of Design a Living Concept in Bangkok  ....................................................................................  81  5.1 Analyses of questionnaire  ..........................................................................................................................................  82  5.2 Proposal for design a living in Bangkok  ...............................................................................................................  99    Conclusion  ............................................................................................................................................  103    Appendix A  .........................................................................................................................................................................  106  Reference  .............................................................................................................................................................................  106  Photography and Illustration  ..............................................................................................................................  109  Appendix B  .........................................................................................................................................................................  114  Interview Script  ..............................................................................................................................  114  Questionnaire  .............................................................................................................................  127   3
  4. 4. Introduction4
  5. 5. 0.1 BackgroundIn Thailand, there are varieties of flowers growing all year round due to tropical climate andhumidity (Natejinda, 2009). Accordingly, Thais’ way of life is intermingle with flowers.Specifically, flowers are extensively employed in the form of floral arts among others, such asmedicine and cuisine. The benefits of floral arts to Thais are immensely as it gives rise to therelationship between people and people as well as people and nature.Floral arts bind Thai people with other people because every household practices and sharesthe same value of floral arts. Thai people use products of floral arts at many occasionstogether, starting from at a party for welcoming newborns to at a funeral. This collectivevalue contributes to the feel of belongingness to a family and a community.Equally important, floral arts also bind Thais with nature. In the past, because flowers wereused in floral arts in everyday life, people grow their own garden or field. As a result, theyhave acquired skills and knowledge about agriculture and have gradually passed them onfrom generation to generation. This way folk knowledge about floral arts have transmittedand preserved as an integral custom in Thai society.Perhaps due to globalization and capitalization, floral arts have been declined quickly inmodern Thai society, especially in urban areas in the central part of Thailand. The fact thatpeople in this area live in a nuclear family, have small household area, emphasis on formaleducation at school and are less involved with religion might be among a myriad of possiblefactors contributing to the decline. Although many forms of flowers are still available throughmerchandizes, it became less significant of a role in Thai urban areas. People not only use lessof traditional flowers, but they also have less chance to practice with floral arts themselves.Therefore, children nowadays would not have much chance to experience a community tiecreated by activities concerning flower and to learn the Thai wisdom of how to co-exist withnature and other human beings embedded in floral arts. 5
  6. 6. 0.2 Research ObjectivesFlower plays significant roles in creating bonds within one’s family and making Thai peoplerealize the interdependency among human, society and the environment.As a result, disappearing of this tradition could be one of most crucial social issues to Thaisociety. So the main objective of this research is (1) to reconfirm the functions of traditionalactivity concerning flower. This is for Thai people to recognize the traditional culture andreconsider further decision to co-exist with beautiful and abundant nature once again.(2) To investigate the characteristic of flower culture or/and culture about scent in Bangkok,Thailand. (3) To create a guideline of living with nature in contemporary Thai lifestyle. Thisguideline will suggest how we can transmit the meanings and beliefs underlying thetraditional customs about flowers to younger generations and how we can strengthen the bondamong community senior members and their children.Together, the over-arching goal of this study is to document the floral arts custom and itssignificance to Thai society. This is so that the wisdom of this tradition will not be lost, andhopefully, will be transmitted to people in the future generation.Research method1. Literature review:Existing document on traditional floral arts, especially on forms, purposes, and usages of eachtype of arrangement will be reviewed. 2. Field survey:The field survey will focus on gathering information as to the specific reasons whether andwhy the tradition has been disappearing, and as to the counter measurements against it.Specifically, traditional and current floral arts will be compared and contrasted in regard totheir forms, making methods, and purposes. Meaning and implicit values, such as forming thefamily bonds, will also be another focal point of the survey. The possible impact to societydue to the change in this tradition, if any, will be documented. This survey will be done by:2.1) Interviewing senior citizens in Thai Central region who used to make flower decorationsin some special occasions2.2) Interviewing specialists in Thai floral arts school, and commercial shop2.3) Conducting Questionnaire on the young about floral arts use in present daily life6
  7. 7. 0.3 Previous studiesIt has been consistently shown that flower plays significant roles in Thai culture. In a study byLa-ongsri (2008), for instance, the researcher demonstrated the wide usage of flower in dailylife by using a sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn) as an example. Commonly revered byThai people as a representative flower of Buddha, the sacred lotus is commonly use inreligion-related ceremonies even in nowadays. More surprisingly, sacred lotus was found tobe used as many other secular objects, ranging from food, desserts, medicines and foodwrapper. This research shows how involved Thai people are with the flower culture.The usage of flower is not restricted only in the central part of the country, where the capitalcities have been located for centuries and where culture seems to be most flourish. As anexample, Binson (2009) conducted an anthropological work studying traditional ceremoniesamong Lanna People, a group whose culture has spread throughout the Northern part ofThailand. She found that Lanna People use flower extensively in their rituals. Lanna People infact have complicated rules on the usage of flowers in each specific rituals. For instance,many specific types of flowers are strictly used in Wai Kru --a ritual of which Lanna peopleuse for paying respect to teachers. This ritual, indeed, has been adapted by Thai people inmost of the regions in the country and has continued to be practiced up until now.The wide usage of flower in Thai culture can not only be found in research papers, but also inother forms of writing evidence. This point is demonstrated in the novel Four Reigns (Sri PanDin), one of the most classic and popular Thai novels, written by previous Thai primeminister, Mom Rajawongse Kukrit Pramoj in 1954, and recognized by UNESCO as a historicpiece of evidence in Thai culture (Devakula, 2010). In this novel occurring between 1868 -1946, royal ladies spread the culture of flower usage to the public. They offered strict, time-consuming lessons of using flower to the young women in Bangkok, the capital city. At thattime, the skill of using flower was considered as highly desirable by the society. Therefore,Thai ladies were highly motivated to acquire such a skill. Moreover, flowers at that era hadbeen used in many social and religious activities. To illustrate, Thai people spent significantof time arranging traditional flower Malai for offering to Buddhist monks at the temple onBuddhist holy days, where they met with others in the community. In addition, floral Malaiwas offered to the divinity or guardian spirit at the house regularly as a family activity. Fromthis novel, we can see that, historically, flower has been used in Thai culture for a long periodof time, and it contributed to societal and family tie in Thai culture. 7
  8. 8. From aforementioned written literature, the culture of flower usage in Thailand has beenfound in many ceremonies and daily activities across regions in the country, and has beenhistorically important to the people. Nonetheless, studies on the traditional usage of flower inThailand are still limited. Only a few works have been done on many psychological roles thatflower may play in Thailand. Many important questions regarding the flower usage culture inThailand still remain. For instance, what are the meanings of using flowers? Why peoplespend significant amount of time on making floral arts, a behavior of which seems to beunproductive (as compared to food production)? What are the characteristics of flower culturein Thailand? What are the criteria of choosing flower type? This type of questions should beaddressed by using systematic research methodology in order for us to design a living forThai culture; especially after the tradition of flower usage has rapidly declined in the recentdecades.8
  9. 9. 0.4 Thai brief history and evidence about the usage of flowerFigure0.1 evidence of flower usage in historyIn the history of Thailand, Thais have long been involved with flowers. Flower usage isthought to be influenced by other ethnicities, such as Dvaravati and Mon (2nd-11th century)and Khmer (8th-13th centaury), who resided in the area of current Thailand even before Thaiethnic groups were formed (Pothinandha, 2000). More specifically, this influence is believedto be in a form of religious activities of Theravada Buddhism and Brahman, which wereoriginated from people from Sri Lanka and India, respectively (Meekotgong, 2008).Nonetheless, written evidence of specific usage of flower in these “classic” eras was scarce.The details on how people used flowers during those periods were speculative at best(Intakul, 2009).It was not until the period of Sukhothai Kingdom (13th centaury -16th centaury) when Thaiethnicity was firstly formed that the first concrete evidence about flower usage was found(Intakul, 2009 Specifically, it was found along with other information regarding way of livesin Sukhothai era in a chronicle, “NangNoppamas” (Punjawuthipatt. 2004). In this document(cited in Intakul, 2009), there is a story of Nang Noppamas (also known as Lady SriNoppamas or Lady Sri Chulalaksana). She made a floating lantern by sewing togethermulticolored fresh flower petals. This lantern, designed into a full-bloom lotus form, was usedfor the full moon ceremony, called Loy Kratong, on the full-moon night in the 12th month ofthe lunar calendar. Thanakit (2006) believed that the use of the lantern, called Kratong, hastwo original purposes. The first purpose was to offer as a gift to Mae Khongkha, the Goddessof Water. This purpose was based on the belief in Brahman Religion spread from India. Thesecond purpose was based on Buddhist belief. Kratong was supposed to be an offering to payhomage to the footprint of Buddha in Saraburi. Regardless of which of the two theories istrue, this early evidence of the use of flowers in Thailand shows the influence of religion(s)on this custom. 9
  10. 10. In 1350, another Thai kingdom, Ayutthaya, was formed. It was so powerful that Sukhothaibecame a vassal state of Ayutthaya in 1378, and became one of the most powerful kingdomsin the area (Provincial interior of Sukhothai province, 1998). As a result, culture during thisperiod was extremely flourished, and in fact most of traditional Thai cultural practices can betraced back to this era. However, written documents during this period were lost for the mostpart, mainly due to the wars with Burma--the last one in 1766 of which ended up in a burneddown city of Ayutthaya.Nonetheless, due to long peaceful periods of this Ayutthaya era (300-400 years) (Intakul,2009), it is not too risky to assume that floral art was extensively exercised during thisthriving period in the nation’s cultural and commercial development. One remaining piece ofevidence confirms this notion. On the wall at one of the last few remaining Buddhistmonasteries in Ayutthaya, Wat Rachaburana, there are some mural paintings made in theearly Ayutthaya. Flower Malais, or “malai” were found in these paintings. It is a commonpractice in Thailand art that artists painted life stories in monasteries and temples (Jaiser,2009). Hence, we might then be able to assume from these paintings that arranging malai, aswell as other forms of floral arts, were commonly practiced in Ayutthaya period especially forreligious purposes.After the war with Burma, the new dynasties were formed, and the capital city was movedfrom Ayutthaya to Thonburi and then to Bangkok (Wyatt, 1984). In this new capital city ofBangkok, Chakri dynasty has ruled the country since 1782 up until now in the period calledRatanakosin. It was this time where Thai culture was restored and flourished again (Intakul,2009). Unlike in the previous periods, abundant pieces of evidence on the use of flowers havebeen found here in many forms, e.g. mural paintings and literatures. Moreover, many scholarsagreed that during the reign of King Rama V (aka King Chulalongkorn the Great) was thegolden age of Thai-style floral art (Intakul, 2009).In the King Rama V era, the king showed great interest in floral art (Intakul, 2009). Royalladies were trained on this delicate craft of floral arts, and competed their skills with oneanother. Old flower arranging techniques were revised, while new techniques were developedfor greater variety and complexity of the arranged flowers. Moreover, the flourish of floral artwas not limited to noble people; civilians also employed the use of flowers in their daily life.For instance, Dokmai chan (Chan flower) a flower craft of which had only been used in royalfuneral was also found in civilians’. Despite of this popularity during Rama V reign, Thaifloral art has gradually declined afterward, perhaps due to bad economic crises and theWorlds Wars (Intakul, 2009).10
  11. 11. In sum, evidence shows that the history of floral art in Thailand can be dated back to morethan 700 years as early as Sukhothai period. Thai people have continued practicing itthroughout the kingdoms history from Sukhothai to Ayutthaya and Ratanakosin. Moreover,from historical evidence, its practice has been strongly influenced by religions and has usuallybeen found among Thai royal people. The floral art, nevertheless, is extended to otherdomains of lives, beside religion, and to civilians, not just people in the royal court, as will beseen in the next section. 11
  12. 12. 0.5 Thai Social BackgroundTo analyze any kind of customs in Thailand, it is hard to avoid discussing the role of twofactors: religion and gender role. There is no exception for such a custom as Thai floral art. Inthis section, these two factors will be discussed in details on their contribution to the currentuse of floral art.The first factor is the role of religion on maintaining and transmitting Thai traditional customs.This can obviously be seen in a form of a temple. In the past, a temple was the center of acommunity in Thailand (Thai Health Promotion Foundation, 2010). A temple was an integralpart of every day life for Thai people. Monks in a temple were responsible for teaching anduniting people in a community. Most importantly, monks provided education to the young.Based on Buddhist sermons, monks guide what consider good or bad behaviors. As such, thetemple played an important role in shaping Thai society and its values. In addition, when anew baby was born, it was taken to become one of the community members at a temple.Likewise, a funeral was held at a temple. Temples hold many activities and acted as a townhall assembles. As a result, people gathered at temples on every special occasion. All in all, atemple in the past history of Thailand is a place for the young to learn and to grow, for thecommunity to meet and to network, and hence for customs to be transmitted. Because of this,customs that are transmitted though a temple, including floral arts, seem to intermingle withpeople’s way of life. Figure 0.2 shows an illustration of students use flower to pay respect toBuddist altar at a temple.The role of a temple, nonetheless, has become less dominant in Thai society. This perhapsstarted with cultural reformation in late 1800s and early 1900s due to western colonizationthreats. For example, in the reign of King Rama VI (1910-1925), there were several attemptsto establish western-style formal education to replace temple-based education (Bibliographyof King RamaIV,2009). Hence, the role of a temple has become less influential to Thaigenerations after the reformation, especially to those who are accessible to formal educationsuch as citizens of Bangkok. These generations, then, have not had a chance to expose to Thaitraditional customs that are transmitted by means of a temple. Instead, they learn it through aclassroom, such as at a vocational school for women or as an elective class in a normal school(Sorot, 2005). This new learning method, however, separates customs like floral arts fromway of life. As such, people might only regard the skill of floral arts as “commercialized oreducational knowledge,” that has nothing to do with their life style. For instance, if people inthe current generation do not use floral arts skill for a living by making commercialized12
  13. 13. products, they might not have a chance to practice the arts in their daily life after school yearsas people in previous generations did at a temple.We consider gender role as another important factor that play a role on transmitting andkeeping Thai traditional customs. This is especially applicable for such a high gender-specificcustom as floral arts. In the past, there was a sharp distinction between male and female’sroles in Thai society. Women were mainly responsible for all housework and spent significanttime making crafts and artwork. However, in a modern day, gender role in Thailand has beenchanged, especially in the capital city of Bangkok. Although the current gender role is notperfectly equal, increasing number of women has entered workforce (National StatisticalOffice, 2005; 2011). This creates the change in people’s way of life with regard to floral artsin many ways. Firstly, women cannot afford time to make their own floral arts anymore.Instead of making floral arts themselves, as a routine of family in the past, they purchase thecommercialized products, if necessary. Moreover, this behavioral tendency also reinforcesanother change and vise versa. That is, making floral arts has become a job, and arrangedflowers become common goods. (see Figure 0.3 to see the picture of change in behavior) Thisalso has made materials for floral arts commercialized products in market, even though in thepast they are commonly found and grown everywhere. These changes might inhibit people toappreciate the underlying meanings of the custom. Figure 0.2 Praying at temple Figure 0.3 the lifestyle of making floral arts changed 13
  14. 14. Unit1: Literature review of myth and evidence aboutflower in Thai history 14
  15. 15. Unit1: Literature review of myth and evidence about flower in Thai history.Historical evidence from the previous unit has shown strong connection between flower andreligion. Now, in this unit, we will further analyze the use of floral arts in Thailand bydrawing from other types of evidences. Specifically, this unit will discuss the pervasivenessof flowers to Thai society in the following categories: vocabulary, myths, mural painting,traditional song and dance, literature, textile, and drawing pattern. Flower in Thai language (Vocabulary and idiom) Flower is called “ dok mai” in Thai language. dok means a part of plant, which later bears fruits. In other words, dok, short form of dok Mai, means flower in English. Mai means plant. However, dok mai is used in many contexts and has many meanings (The Royal Institute Thailand, 2011). First, pasa dok mai, or flower language, refers to speaking in polite way or using polite words in conversation. Furthermore, it is also refers to a polite language that a well-trianed lady use. Second, keb dok mai ruam ton can be translated into English as picking flower from the same plant. In Thai, this idiom means two people who know each other very well before, such as spouse in former life. Picking flower implies that they had offered floral arts to divinity before. Floral arts are crafts delicately made from flowers which people use for offering to divinity. Third, Dok Fah or flower in the sky refers to a woman with high social status. In fact, the meaning of flower in this context means a woman. Furthermore, sky refers to unreachable place. In other words, dok fah is a praising word for women and their family. Forth, dok mai rim tang, or flower on the sideway, refers to a woman who is easily flirted by any man. In this case, dok mai refers to a woman and sideway refers to anywhere with no owner. So at that kind of place, people can pick the flower without reconsideration. Moreover, that flower seems to have no protection and no value at all. This idiom is used to defy a bad behavior of a woman. In addition, women in the past often had flower name as their name. Therefore, vocabulary and idiom about flower can be referred to politeness, religious belief as well as obviously a sense of feminine. 15
  16. 16. Figure 1.1 Four types of lotus in the myth from Buddhist teaching- 1.1 MythRoots of customs are often found in Myths. Therefore by analyzing myths, we might find thereasons behind the custom of floral arts in Thailand. There are several Thai myths involvingflowers. Because most of Thai citizens are Buddhists (National Statistical Office, 2005), thereare several myths in Thailand concerning about Buddha. This section, hence, will review fourmyths--three of which are relevant to Buddhism.The first myth is about sacred lotus in Buddha’s life. Soon after his birth, the newbornBuddha was believed to walk seven steps (Jaiser, 2009). Upon this walk, there was a miracleof sacred lotus rising underneath to support his bare feet. Because sacred lotus is relevant toBuddha’s life, it is often revered as a precious flower, and is used extensively for religiouspurposes.The second myth is also related to Budda’s life. Upon each of the four steps of his progresstoward the discovery of the Four Noble Truths, there was an enormous lotus blossomingunderneath him (Jaiser, 2009). These Four Noble Truths, including the nature of suffering orDukkha, suffering’s origin or Dukkha Samudaya, Suffering’s cessation or Dukkha Nirodhaand the path leading to the cessation of suffering or Dukkha Nirodha Gamini Patipada Magga,represents laws of nature according to Buddhism’s belief. S Again, this may underlie the useof sacred lotus in floral arts for religious purposes.The third myth is relating to sacred lotus in one of the Buddhist’s teachings. In order tounderstand the Buddhist’s concept of enlightenment, the Lord Buddha used lotus as ananalogous to four states of enlightenment (Ounayakawit, Punyasingh, 1972). The lotus growsin muddy water, and yet the dirt and muddy water fall off its leaves and petals, keeping itclean and pure. A connection is made that (1) the seed of the lotus blossom represents aperson at an early stage of the karmic cycle. As the person continues to walk their path andrises higher in their spiritual evolution, they leave the murky water of samsara(pain/suffering/attachment) behind. This is when (2) the lotus bud leaves muddy water andlater (3) emerges from under the water and reaches a purer state of consciousness. Over time16
  17. 17. the bud blossoms as they move towards a state of nirvana. When a person has reached nirvana(enlightenment/freedom from worldly attachments) they are representative of (4) a perfectlotus bloom. The illustration describing this myth is shown in Figure1.1.From these three myths, sacred lotus is highly relevant to Buddha’s life and teaching. As aresult, in Thai culture, it symbolizes chastity or purity of the Buddhist virtue. Hence,religious-related floral arts in Thailand often involve this flower.The forth myths is about a folk story about beauty and flowers (Meekotgong, 2008). Flowersare thought to have relationship with beauty. To be more specific, Thai people believe thatwhen someone offer flowers to divinity, in return they will be beautiful in their next life. Thisis linked to the Buddhist’s concept of karma. Karma is used for the consequence of one’sactions in the current life to the next life, or in the previous life to the current life. Forexample, the social status in one’s current life is the consequence of his/her previous actionsin his/her past life. From this logic of Karma, lower status people should try to make goodactions in order to be returned with good consequences in the next life. Likewise, with astrong belief in karma in mind, a woman with an ugly husband might attribute the reason forthis by thinking that she offered withered flowers to Buddha in her previous life. Anotherexample from a folk story is that one of the Buddhist believers offered the Buddha a medicinemade from lotus and became very fortunate and healthy as a consequence. From recentsurvey, Thai people hold strong belief in karma (National Statistical Office, 2005). For them,Karma is used to explain many aspects of life (Jackson year, cited in Winter, 2006). Thesemight be another reason to reinforce the use of beautiful floral arts for religious purposes. - 1.2 Mural painting Figure 1.2 Thai mural painting with lotusThai mural painting is a religious art, and its aim is therefore didactic. The painting wassupposed to lead the laity in the temple to a better understanding of Buddhist stories and toput them into the right mood to better receive the Buddha’s preaching (Ringis, 1990). 17
  18. 18. Flowers are frequently found on mural paintings. They often depict an offering to the nature,the virtue of Buddha or the pleasant atmosphere in utopia.The vast majority of Thai murals concentrate on the life of Buddha life and his last tenincarnations, the so-called thosachat (Jaiser, 2009). Blossom lotus can easily been foundrelated to Buddha life story as it is always underneath him to support his virtue. So flower isworth offering to the Buddha and became one of the essential offerings to divinity.Flowers are also used to symbolize the pleasant atmosphere in nirvana (Jaiser, 2009). Besidethe Buddha life, mural paintings in a temple show the environment of heaven, earth, and hell.In heaven, flowers are often noticed as decorating patterns on background or as ornaments ofangels on foreground. See Figure 1.2 for an example of heaven in mural painting. We mightsee, from moral painting, that flowers have long been represented the holiness or pleasantatmosphere. Every time people visit a temple and see mural painting, they might associateholiness with flowers. - 1.3 Traditional Song and Thai danceThai traditional songs and dances are related to floral arts in many ways. They often reflectthe beautifulness of flowers in many domains. For instance, many songs aim to appreciate thenatural beauty of flowers. For example, in the song called “Rabam Dok Bua” or Lotus dance,lotus is used as a symbol of beauty to attract audiences (Thai Dances, 2011). This songdescribes the attractiveness of lotus when it blossoms.Classical songs sometimes are also used for describing good behaviors. In a classical songcalled “dokmai kong chart” or National flower, the word “flower” is used to represent women(Thai dances, 2011). More specifically, this song uses flowers as a symbol to indicate thatthere is a need for a nation to have women who have better manner and more patient thanmen in order to support and unite the nation.Similar to Thai traditional songs, flowers are extensively found in Thai traditional dance.Flowers are used, for instance, in one of the most popular classical dances, called Khon. Khonis the dance for Thai-version Ramayana, the classic India epic story. The story is about thegreat battle among evil giants, heaven angles and humans. In the dance of Khon, floral artsemphasizes how prominent the character is (Thai Dances, 2011). Specifically, audiences candistinguish main characters from others by merely looking at floral arts and floral tassels at18
  19. 19. the top part of an actor’s head ornament. See Figure 1.3 for Khon costume with flower arts onhead ornament. Khon also uses floral artss as a symbol to accent the great power the goddessand human have. This way the flower used in Khon implies how righteous floral arts is.In sum, flowers are extensively used in Thai traditional songs and dances. They oftensymbolize beauty and righteousness. This is in line with other forms of arts, such as muralpaintings and literature. Figure 1.3 flower used in Khon classical dance 1.4 LiteratureIt is commonly found flowers portraying in Thai literature. As mentioned before in theprevious unit, this can be dated back to Memoirs of Lady Sri Noppamas, the literature writtenin Sukhothai period, around 700 years ago, to many contemporary works.In many pieces of literature, flowers are included in various aspects of Thai people life. Forinstance, flowers are used as ingredient in many products ranging from food, cloths,cosmetics and medicine to precious floral arts (Thephahadhi, 1998). In addition, in religious-related scenes of these works, it is fairly common to find actors in the literature use flowers topray for sacred items (Thephahadhi, 1998). This indicates that Thai literature portrays the useof flowers not only for practical purposes but also for spiritual purposes.It is also commonly found the use of flowers to symbolize expression for love, flirting andheart-breaking scene (Thephahadhi, 1998). This indicates that Thai literature authors useflower as a symbol. The flowers that once show love in the full bloom period can also meanfailure when it withered. These aforementioned characteristics are found in one of the mostpopular contemporary Thai novels, Four Reigns (Pramoj, 1998). 19
  20. 20. Figure 1.4 Grandmother teach her granddaughter to make traditional liquid fragrance, scene fromThai series “ Four reigns”Four Reigns portrays the usages of flowers occurring between 1868-1946. Flowers at that erahad been used in many social and religious activities (See Figure 1.4 , for a scene from fourreigns series ) For example, Thai people spent significant of time arranging traditional flowerMalai for offering to Buddhist monks at the temple on Buddhist holy days, where they metwith others in the community. In addition, floral Malai was offered to the divinity or guardianspirit at the house regularly as a family activity. The flower left was also used as an ingredientfor making traditional liquid and solid fragrance. Additionally, royal ladies spread the skill ofusing flowers to the public. Even though the lesson is strict and time-consuming, it isregarded as a highly desirable by the society. Therefore, lots of Thai women citizen weremotivated to acquire this skill.From this novel, we can see that, historically, flowers have been intermingled with Thaipeople life, and they contribute to society and nature. - 1.5 Textile20
  21. 21. Figure 1.5 silk textile pattern, Bakul flowerMaking textile utilizes flowers in many ways, such as using flower as a fabric color dye andan inspiration to create textile patterns. Traditionally, flowers can be used to dye silk or otherfabrics, such as red color from Marigold, blue from butterfly pea and yellow from Safflower(Ketkhao, 1997). With community wisdom, people use many kinds of flowers to extract fordying variety colors clothes. Figure 1.6 pattern of systematically arranged flowerMoreover, traditional textile patterns are believed to develop from the value of flowers inThai community. Natural flowers portrayed the beauty of nature. The textile patterns got aninspiration from flowers , further binding it into organized pattern as in Figure 1.5. Thaihandicrafts are inspired by the flowers form and beauty (Ounayakawit, 1972). The textilemuseum of Naraysuen University describes the reasons Thai got an inspiration from naturalflower as followed. First, the pattern from systematically arranged flower symbolized theideal peaceful and disciplinary life. Secondly, using Thai traditional flowers, used to offer forsacred item and monks, symbolizes the tact of the citizen which holding the belief to theBuddhism. For example, Bakul, Kaew, and Baan yen flower. Thirdly, the flowers of water 21
  22. 22. plants symbolize people united and delicacy since it is a small flower that always grows fastas a group. Lastly, the Bakul flower shape of elaborated square also symbolizes the essentialfour natural elements: earth, water, wind, and fire. (Thai Textile Museum, 2008) This way,textile pattern (see Figure 1.6) use flowers to show the delicacies of crafts along with thecustoms and value of living in a group of Thai people. - 1.6 Thai pattern of flower in Thai artThai Art was enormously influenced by nature, and develop into systematic pattern as inFigure 1.7). The basic patterns are belief to get the inspiration from fire, water, flowers andideal creature. The patterns were widely used for gable decoration of Temple, or/andSanctuary. Somehow, they were also used for wooden sculpture or stucco artwork such as inFigure 1.8. Figure 1.9 Jasmine in paintingFlower pattern was claimed to have related to religious belief. Patterns with flower that usedto offer to sacred item represent the homage to superstitious belief. For example, (Figure 1)22
  23. 23. Lotus was used in many patterns of Thai ancient art. This is because Lotus is a main symbolof Buddhism in Thailand. (Figure 1.9) From the ancient architectural element, lotus patterncan obviously noticeable. The pattern is forced to connect in relatively geometric form.Therefore Thai ancient pattern are sharing the characteristic of symmetry and orderlyarranged.Apart from Lotus, There are some of the flower patterns existed such as Jasmine, Pudtarnflower (inspired by “Bai faithet”leaves), and Prajamyarm pattern. Although Prajamyarm isnot a real flower in nature, it is a basic pattern of Thai traditional art (see Figure 1.10). It iswidely used as a main decorative pattern has applied to the pillar, door, and window of theTemple or the Palace. The pattern is built in the square frame with a circle in the center anddivided the corner area into 4 parts like a petal flower. Figure 1.10 shows a characteristic ofsymmetric and perfectly arranged can referred to a flower bloom in heaven. Figure 1.10 prajamyarm, basic pattern resemble organized flowerIn conclusion, literature review of myth and evidence about flower in Thai history indicatehigh degree of engagement Thais have with flowers in various domains of arts. From this, wecan see 1) the influence of religion on floral arts, 2) the association between righteousness andflowers and 3) preference toward rules of order in floral arts. These values explain how floralarts are used. 23
  24. 24. Unit2: literature review and field survey on the flowerculture in daily life24
  25. 25. Unit2: literature review and field survey on the flower culture in daily lifeThis unit focuses on floral arts and its underlying meanings, drawing from literature and fieldsurvey in Bangkok, conducted from August to September, 2011. Varieties of purposes offloral arts are listed here. From here, we can see that there is a strong connection betweenflowers and Thai citizens. Flowers are used in daily life as they serve for religious purpose aswell as for other secular purposes, such as ingredients in food, medicine, or even fragrance.Figure 2.1 A specialist making malai (floral garland)- 2.1 Flower used as a giftFlowers in Thailand are often used as a gift as an expression of love, gratitude, appreciation,or even apology. Examples of such a usage are given here.For an expression for love, in the past, Thai men used to use a Crown flower (Calotropisgigantea R. Br.) to express their love to women. Because the Thai name of Crown flower ispronounced the same as the word “love” in Thai language, Crown flower is a symbol ofaffection. 25
  26. 26. Flowers are also used as a gift for giving respect and gratitude toward others. This is oftenseen in the context of religion. Flowers are often used to offer to divinity. Specifically, Thaipeople hold a strong belief in offering sacred items or Buddhist monks arranged flowers.These arranged flowers are among the most delicate and take very high effort.Lastly, according to Thai traditional life style, flowers can be used to show apology as well.People give arranged flowers to show their regret when they do something wrong to theperson they respects.- 2.2 Flower types and how to pickDue to tropical climate in Thailand, various flowers are very easy to find, either in cultivatedor naturally grown fields. Nonetheless, some flowers are closer related to people life thanothers. According to literature reviews and field survey, here are examples of 61 kinds ofcommonly used flowers; including sacred lotus, jasmine, damask rose, and many others arediscussed in this chapter. Flowers used in food and medicine purposes are from literaturereview such as Thaithong, O. (1999). Accordingly, flowers used for floral arts are reviewedfrom both literature reviews and field survey results. We focus on their names and themethods of picking of each flower. Details are given to more commonly used flowers than theless common ones. Figure 2.2 Lotus picking in Thailand, 1868. The British Library1.) Sacred Lotus (Bua Luang): Nelumbo nuciferBua means lotus, and Luang means royal in Thai language. Picking sacred lotus can be bothrecreation and obligation. From the interview, picking the lotus can be a chance to meet andcommunicate with other people in community. Since sacred lotus is grown in the mud underwater, picking the lotus requires riding a boat or walking in pool or swamp of public area.26
  27. 27. Figure 2.3 different stages of sacred lotus flowerFigure 2.4 Parts of sacred lotus (from left: stamen, rhizome, stolen, dried old seed, leaf)Sacred lotus has many usages in Thai culture. All parts of the plant can be used in ahousehold routine. There is no specific rule about picking sacred lotus. However, Thai peoplecut only the amount they are going to use. This is not only applied to sacred lotus but theentire flower cutting. The time for picking lotus is in the morning because the weather is nottoo hot.Sacred lotus can be picked in 3 periods. The first period is when the flower is budding. Topick the flower, the lotus flower should be cut above the mud level. The second period iswhen sacred lotus is blooming. In this period, the fully bloom lotus flower should be cut.Stamen of the bloom flower can be used as a food ingredient, and its petal is used as acigarette wrapper. The third period is after the flower withered. the pod and seed of sacredlotus became food. Moreover, other part of Lotus has many benefits. Rhizome and stolen areedible ingredients. The stalk of lotus flower can be used as a gas lamp mantle. Additionally,the leaf can be used to pack the cooked food or keep the flower fresh. Lower stalk Figure 2.5 Jasmine flower buds Figure 2.6 ready-to-use Jasmine flowers2.) Jasmine (Mali): Jasminum sambac Ait.In Thai language, Jasmine is called Mali. Jasmine flowers have white color and easy to findall over the years especially in the summer and rainy seasons. There are up to three Jasmineflowers in the same branch (see Figure 2.5 for an example of a Jasmine branch). Peopleusually pick jasmine in the morning for its flower buds and in the evening for its full-bloom 27
  28. 28. flowers. Jasmine is picked by hands as an individual flower with a connected short stalk.Lower stalk keeps the flower fresh. Later, the lower stalk will be taken off in the flowerpreparation period. Removing the lower stalk will make the flowers bloom faster. Full-bloomflowers are picked by hand in the same way. Figure 2.7 picking Jasmine part explanation3.) Damask rose (KularbMon): Rosa damascena Mill. In Thai language, “Kularb” means rose, and “Mon” is refer to an ancient ethnic group in Southeast Asia in 2-11th century. From its name, it can be infer that KularbMon is one kind of roses that is originally related from an ancient ethnic group of Mon in the past. Damask rose is valued by its scent and vivid color. Interestingly, picking the flowers of damask rose can help their productivity of the plant. Usually it is advisable to pick in the full-bloom period to get the best scent of damask rose. Damask rose grows as a shrub with a slim stalk. It has different shades, ranging from pink to red. The first step of picking damask rose is to cut the stalk off by scissors, about 2-3 inches from its flower. This is believed to provide a chance for the plant to grow its flower again in a faster manner. The second step is to pick only the flower part without a stalk by hand. The stalk is thrown away. Cutting and picking damask rose requires no time. However, damask rose has sharp thorns, so the picker must be very careful of them. Damask rose is usually prepared by splitting the petals of the flower apart and categorizing into different size. See Figure2.8 for the pictures of common flowers that are used in Thai traditional floral arts.28
  29. 29. Figure 2.8 (above row from left): Damask rose, Ylang Ylang, Ixora, Marigold(below row from left): Crown flower, Globe Amaranth, Bakul, Orchid4.) Ylang-Ylang (Kradangnga): Annonaceae Cananga odorata Kradannga is a Thai name for Ylan-ylang tree. Ylang-Ylang is a yellow color flower with world-renowned gentle and calming scent. Thai people use Ylang-ylang in many purposes including cooking dessert, and making floral arts. Ylang-Ylang Flower was plucked individually by hand without the stalk.5.) Ixora (Dok Khem): Ixora chinensis lamk. Dok means flower, and Khem means needle in Thai language. This indicates the physical characteristic of this type of flower. Specifically, the form of Ixora flower is like a needle. It symbolizes the sharpness or witty. To pick the flowers, one can do simply by picking as a whole bunch by hand.6.) Marigold (Dao rueng): Tagetes erecta L. Dao rueng in Thai language means growth and wealth. This flower can be plucked only one flower individually by hand. If the flower is withered without picking out, the branch will die and produce no more flowers.7.) Crown flower (Dok rak): Calotropis gigantea Dok means flower and Rak means love in Thai language. As a result, this flower is used in the many auspicious ceremonies. It is easy to pick the whole bunch of Crown flower by hand. However, one needs to be careful about the toxic liquid that might harm his/her hand. The next process is drying the flowers by laying them under sunlight. After the liquid is dried, the flower will be separated into two parts: inner part and outer part.8.) Globe amaranth (Ban Mairooroey): Gomphrena globosa L. In Thai language, Mairooroey means everlasting, and Ban means bloom. It is used in many auspicious events to value the meaning of forever exist of fortunate, love, or knowledge. To pick it up, Globe amaranth flower should be pluck by hand by keeping its short stem underneath the flower.9.) Bakul tree (Pikul): SAPOTACEAE Mimusops elengi Pikul in Thai language only refers to Bakul tree. 29
  30. 30. The flower of Bakul tree diffuses its smell strongly at night. Its smell lasts even long after the flower was picked or dried. This tree is commonly grown at a temple or public garden. Bakul trees are so tall that people can only pick fallen flowers on their trees. It is a belief that this flower is worth to be offered to divinity, mainly because it has very sweet and pleasant scent.10.) Tuberose (Sornklin): Polianthes tuberose Linn. Sorn means hidden, and Klin means smell. The smell of Sornklin flower is diffusing at night but no smell at all at noon. As a result, people named it Sornklin. To pick the flower, the first step is to cut the flower bunch at the soil level after dawn. This flower’s smell is diffusing, and the flower is usually used for a funeral. This way, tuberose is not usually grown in a household but rather at a temple or Public Park.11.) Orchid (Kluaymai): Orchidaceae Dendrobium hybrids Kluaymai refers to orchid. The first step to pick this flower is to cut the whole branch when the flower at the bottom of the branch blooms. The flower at the tip will bloom after a while even it is cut. Orchid stays fresh for longer period than other flowers.12.) Cape Gardenia (putt): Gardenia jasminoides Putt has the same pronunciation as Buddhism in Thai language. The flower buds can stay fresh longer than the full-bloom one. However, the full bloom flower smell is stronger than the flower bud. 1. Flower buds: Pluck by hand only the flower buds with small stem. 2. Full-bloom flower: Pluck by hand only the flower and connected small stem13.) Pandanus (Lumjiak): Pandanus odoratissimus To pick pandanus, one should take the whole branch of both flower and stalk.14.) Yellow berry nightshade (Makhuer): Solanum xanthocarpum Schrad. & Wendl. To pick pandanus, one should pick only its bloom flowers by hand, and avoid its thorns.15.) Little yellow star (kradoomthong): Camchaya spinulifera H.Koyama Kradoom means button and Thong means gold in Thai language Figure 2.9 (From left) White Champaka, Orange Champaka, Frngipani16.) White Champaka (Champi): MAGNOLIACEAE Michelia alba30
  31. 31. Cham means remembering, and pi literally means year. There are two methods to pick Champaka:1 picking only the medium bloom by hand and 2. picking the medium bloom with connected stalk and a leaf.17.) Orange Champaka: Michelia champaca Cham means remembering, and pa means throwing away. Some people found the word “throwing away” resembles throwing away of luck and happiness. They prefer to use the Champi better than Champa. There are two methods of picking the flowers: 1. picking only the medium bloom flowers by hand and 2. picking the medium bloom flowers with connected stalk and one leaf.18.) Frangipani (Lanthom): Plumeria acuminata Art. Lanthom pronunciation is somewhat resembling Rathom that means melancholy. Lanthom is not widely used because its inauspicious meaning. It was commonly grown near cemetery. When picking this flower, one should be careful about white toxic liquid.19.) Roselle (krachiap): MALVACEAE Hibiscus sabdariffa L. To pick roselle, it should be done when the flower is at the full boom. After the flower witheres, the left over is boiled and edible.20.) Cowslip Creeper (kajorn): Telosma minor Craib Kajorn means spreading in Thai language. It is also used to explain popularity as well. People found this plant name is supporting their reputation and popularity. Picking young buds in a whole branch by hand is a common method for picking this type of flower.21.) Siamese Senna Cassod Tree (keelek): Cassia siamea (Lamk.) For this type of flower, one should pick young buds by hand. Raw and fresh flower contains toxic. However, it is edible after boiled.22.) Vegetable Humming Bird (kae): Sesbania grandiflora L. For this type of flower, one should pick young buds by hand. The yellow stamen is reduced.23.) Malay Apple (chompuu): Eugenia javanica Lam. For this type of flower, one should pick only the stamen of the bloom flowers by hand.24.) Sesbania (sano): Sesbania aculeata For this type of flower, one should pick young buds in a whole branch by hand. People also use Sesbania when it is in the middle bloom period to make Thai sweets.25.) West Indian Jasmine (Soak): Polyalthia longifolia Soak literally means grieve. For this type of flower, one should pick the bloom flower by hand.26.) Bougainvillea (Fuangfa): NYCTAGINACEAE Bougainvillea hybrid Fuang means growth and Fa means sky. For this type of flower, one should cut the whole branch of bloom flowers by scissors. 31
  32. 32. 27.) Coral Vine (Puang cmompoo): Antigonon leptopus Hook Puang means a group of something and Chompoo means pink color. For this type of flower, one should pick bloom flowers in the whole branch.28.) Butterfly Pea (Anchan): PAPILIONOIDEAE Clitoria ternatea L. For this type of flower, one should pick only the bloom flower by hand.29.) Pumpkin (Fak thong): Cucurbita moschata Decne. For this type of flower, one should pick the tips together with the young buds by hand.30.) Tamarind (Ma Kham): Tamarindus indica L. For this type of flower, one should pick the young bud together with young leaf without the stalk.31.) Red silk cotton (ngue): Bombax ceiba L. For this type of flower, one should pick the full bloom flower by hand.32.) Water hyacinth (Paktopchawa) : Eichlornia crassipes Solms Pak means vegetable and top means a kind of vegetable grows in water. Chawa, or Java, means an area in Indonesia. For this type of flower, one should pick the full bloom flower.33.) Chinese chive (Kuichai): Allium tuberosum Rottl. ex Spreng For this type of flower, one should cut the buds with long stalk.34.) Chinese Cabbage (Kwang tung) : Brassica pekinensis For this type of flower, one should cut the whole branch of buds and medium bloom flower together with the leaf.35.) Shallot (Hom): Alliumcepa var. aggregatum Hom means smell.36.) Cauliflower (kalum): Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis L. For this type of flower, one should cut the whole young bud.37.) Corn (Khao pot): Zea mays Linn.38.) Mango (Mamuang): Mangifera indica Linn.39.) Water Lily ( Bua Puen) : Nymphaea stellata Wild. Bua means lotus and Puen is a type name. Water lilly is considered one kind of lotus in Thailand. However, the stalk is not strong like the sacred lotus. Therefore, it is not as popular to use as a decoration flower, but rather a food ingredient. There are many colors available, and it blooms during daytime. For this type of flower, one should pull the whole flowers by and to get the whole stalk, usually in the morning.40.) White Popinac (Kratin kao): leguminosae fabaceae For this type of flower, one should pick the full bloom branch of flowers.41.) White Meranti (Payom): Shorea roxburghii G.42.) Banana (Kluay): MUSACEAE Musa sapientum L.32
  33. 33. For this type of flower, one should cut the whole bloom flower after the separate branch of banana fruit is all taken and stop growing. (Linglaew): Asipidistra sutepensis43.) Glalangal (Khar): Alpinia nigra B.L.Burtt For this type of flower, one should cut the flower bud and the stalk together.44.) Hog Plum (Makok): Spondias pinnata Kurz.45.) Snow Creeper (Laddawan): Porana volubilis Burm. F.46.) flowers from vegetable grows in rice field For this type of flower, one should pick the tip of the vegetable together with the flower buds.47.) Smilax (Somsiew): Bauhinia malabarica Roxb.48.) Cosmos (Dao krajai): Cosmos sulphureus Cav. Dao means star and Krajai means scattering49.) Snowy Orchid Tree (Kalong): Bauhinia acuminata Linn.50.) Night Blooming Jasmine (kannika): NYCTANTHACEAE Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L.51.) Orange Jessamine (kaew): Murraya paniculata Kaew mean glass in Thai language. For this type of flower, one should either 1) picking by hand only the buds with small stem, or 2) picking by hand only the flower and connected small stem.52.) Eagle wood Agarwood flower (Kritsana): quilaria crassna Pierre.53.) Sarapee: Mammea siamensis For this type of flower, one should pick the full bloom by hand.54.) Chrysanthemum (Benjamart): Chromolaena odorataFor this type of flower, one should pick the full bloom by hand.55.) Chinese tinospora Scented star jasmine (wanchalee)56.) Andaman satin wood (ta-suar): Aphanamixis polystachyaTa means eye and suar means tiger.57.) Four o`clock flower (Baanyen): NYCTAGINACEAE Mirabilis jalapa L. Baan means bloom, and yen means evening. For this type of flower, one should pick the full bloom flower by hand.58.) Burma Conehead (Nang Yam): APOCYNACEAE Rauvolfia cambodianaNang means a word for calling a woman. And Yam means blossom.59.) Safflower (Khamfoi): COMPOSITAE (ASTERACEAE) Carthamus tinctoriusFor this type of flower, one should pick the full boom flower as a whole branch by hand60.) Siamese randia flower (katkao)For this type of flower, one should pick the full bloom flower by hand.61.) False Daisy (kameng) Eclipta prostrate Linn.There is no specific picking method for this type of flower. 33
  34. 34. We categorized each of the aforementioned 61 kinds of flowers to types according topurposes: floral arts, medicine and food (see Figure 2.10). Only Sacred Lotus, Jasmine,Damask Rose, Ylang-Ylang and Ixora have all of the three purposes. Interestingly, theseflowers are found to be relevant to various aspects of Thais’ way of life according to theliterature reviews in the previous units.Figure 2.10 Flower types category- 2.3 The floral arts (process and how to use)There are several methods of floral arts employed by Thais. Here we reviewed two of themost common ones: bouquet of flower, incense stick and candle and Thai traditional floralMalai.Common floral arts used in daily life are a flower-candle-incense stick, as well as a Thaitraditional floral, Malai.34
  35. 35. Figure 2.11 Sacred Lotus as floral arts2.3.1 A bouquet of flower, incense stick and candleThis type of floral art consists of flowers with a candle and three incense sticks. The flowersthat are commonly used in this type of floral arts are: (1) Sacred lotus and (11) Orchid and (6)Marigold. Figure 2.11 shows how a bouquet of flower, incense stick and candle is made fromsacred lotus. Figure 1.12 Making floral arts by using Sacred LotusMaking this type of floral arts requires only short period of time, comparing to other types,and minimal effort. Basically, arranging flowers for this type of floral art is just folding thepetals of sacred lotus buds. By doing this, the petals of lotus bud will be folded in the way theflower will expend as if it is blooming as in figure 2.12. Perhaps the reason that people uselotus buds is because it can stay fresh longer than the full bloom one.Thai Buddhists often use three of lotus flowers in a bouquet of flower, incense stick andcandle to pay homage to the image of the Buddha. Perhaps the reason behind this behavior isbecause three lotus blooms are offered for the three gems or Rattanatrai (Ounayakawit, 1972).Beside lotus, orchid and marigold are sometimes found in the flower-incense-stick-candlebouquet.Orchid and marigold are as durable as sacred lotus. However unlike sacred lotus, theseflowers did not have long record in Thai traditional art. Also using orchid and marigold in a 35
  36. 36. bouquet of flower, incense stick and candle does not require special arranging skills as otherflowers. For orchid, people often bind its branch with Pandan leaves in the bouquet. However,marigold is often used as the only flower in the bouquet. Figure 2.12 Praying with flower-candle-incenseScene of use: To start with, people hold a bouquet of flower, incense stick and candle in themost respective manner by putting their hands together in a praying gesture. Then a candle islighted up in front of the altars, and the bouquet of flower, incense stick and candle should beplaced in front of the Buddhist altar at a temple as in figure 2.13. After that, the incense stickshould then be lighted up and hold in connecting hands during the time of which peopleattentively pray a common short mantra. Some Thais also consider this action a way ofmeditation. Figure 2.14 Malai (Floral garland)2.3.2 Malai (Floral garland) is widely used all over Thailand. Malai is the most common Thaifloral feature of Thai traditional floral arts (Intakul, 2009). Figure 2.14 shows a commonmalai with jasmine, damask rose and crown flower. It is a rounded floral garland with two of“uba”, or tassels (see Figure 2.15). Many types of flowers can be used in a combination tomake the round shape of the floral Malai and its components. Commonly used flowersinclude Jasmine (2), Damask Rose (3), Crown Flower (7), Globe Amaranth (8), and CapeGardenia (12). Sometimes other flowers, including Sacred Lotus (1), Marigold (6), Crown36
  37. 37. flower (9), Orchid (11), Little yellow star (15), White Champaka (16),and Orange Champaka(17), are also used depending on availability.Malai componentsFigure2.15 show different parts of malai. Rounded part of malai usually consists of white tinyflower sewn together. In advance type, it is also include other flower petals such as damaskrose as shown in Figure 2.14. Uba or tassel is a line of flowers usually has dok kha, khaflower, at one end. Combining uba and rounded organized sewn flower make a simplegarland (malai). There is no rule of how many uba is needed, but at least 2 of uba iscommonly used. The more uba added, the more time and effort is needed. Therefore, malaiwith many uba lines is considered more precious than malai with few uba. The floral artistsuse their skill to sew all the components together. Furthermore, they do many advanced typesof malai based on these rule of components as well as available types of flowers at the time.Making of malaiThe making of malai process is obviously the women responsibility due to its delicacy.However, the men role for preparing materials for malai cannot be ignored. In the past, thereis no thread from factory, so men and boys are responsible to make a thread from a plant’sbark. Likewise, the coconut bark can be divided in long fiber line. It is used as a thread oreven replace needle in making floral arts. Nowadays, people completely replace the used ofplant barks with long needles and factory threads. 37
  38. 38. Figure 2.15 Parts of malai: combination38
  39. 39. Process of floral arts (from the observation in a field survey session with Mrs.WannaKluaymai N. Ayuthaya-Maneenuch on Aug 30th, 2011) shows how Malai is made from littlepieces of flowers as in Figure 2.16.Figure 2.16 Process of making malai 39
  40. 40. Unlike a bouquet of flower, incense stick and candle, making Malai requires time, effort, andskills. As a result, it is considered to be the most suitable form of floral arts for an offering todivinity. Consequently, malai is often used in every Buddhist holiday and other importantmoments, such as father days and mother days.People often pick flowers with a beautiful-meaning name or preferable scent and combinethem into organized symmetry pattern. However, the rule for selecting flowers is not verystrict. Arrangers can decide according to condition and availability. Therefore availableflowers are regarded as the best choices of flowers in each period of the year.Women members in a household are responsible for arranging Malai for daily usages, forinstance, as an offering to Buddhist altar and spirit house. Some households replace eachmalai after the current one is dried up. However, malai often lasts quite long, perhaps due tothe usage of chemical fertilizer nowadays.Flower types used in a traditional malai have been changed according to the ease of use. Forexample, the Malai was used to comprise of Damask rose petals, but now orchid petals areused instead. This is because orchid can last longer than Damask rose, and its thicker petalsare easier to be sewed together. Additionally, new designs of the Malai have been developedaccording to arrangers’ preference and the market needs. The more complicated malai designis, the more expensive it become.People nowadays start to buy an artificial malai instead of a fresh one. Artificial flowers aremade of plastic or variety of color cloths. The use of this artificial malais has been reinforcedby the facts they last a lot longer.From this, it can be seen that many changes have been found in the use of Malai. These allinfluence how Thai people continue to use malai nowadays (Mrs.Wanna Kluaymai N.Ayuthaya Maneenuch. Interviewed on Aug 30th, 2011).Scene of using malai in everyday lifeMalai generally is used in the same way as a bouquet of flower, incense stick and candle.Mainly it is used in religious purposes, such as offer to Buddhist altar and spirit houses.However, malai is also considered a gift for senior people, mainly for showing respect tothese people. From the interview, nonetheless, we found that those senior citizens who40
  41. 41. receive a malai as a gift often reuse it as an offering to Buddhist altar and spirit houses.Hence, the ultimate purpose for a malai is usually for religion.Scene of using floral arts in everyday lifeAbove we summarized the use of a malai and a bouquet of flower, incense stick and candle.Here we extend this to general use of floral arts in daily life. Figure 2.17 Daily making meritThree common usages of floral arts are (1) to offer to a Buddhist altar inside a house, (2) tooffer to guardian spirits at a spirit house, and (3) to offer to monks as part of alms givingalong with food and dessert in the morning (see Figure 2.17). Giving floral arts to monks isoften done in the morning when monks are wandering around a community to collect foodand donations. Alternatively, people also offer monks floral arts upon their visit at a temple.Usually flowers are picked in the early morning, so the arrangement of these flowers isusually done before noon. Then the head of the family take the responsibility to use floral artsto pray toward divinity on the behalf of all family members. In other cases, female familymembers can take responsibility instead of the head of the family when they are allowed.Alternatively, all of the members might offer the flower together at the same time.Thai people believe that by offering floral arts to a Buddha statue at home, they will beblessed by the Buddha. These floral arts can be either malais, bouquets of flower, incensestick and candle or both. Some Thais feel that this offering is a token of appreciation to theBuddha for the teachings he gave to the world. This behavioral tendency is so strong for somepeople that they cannot even start their day without praying at their home-based Buddha altar.Essentially then, for these people, floral arts are used on daily basis.The same belief can also apply to the usage of floral arts at a spirit house. Around a spirithouse, there is a small balcony where daily offerings of food, water, flowers, candles andincense may be placed as offerings. There is a belief that routine offering to spirit house will 41
  42. 42. make the family member protect by the area god or spirits. Hence the offerings requirereplacement of food everyday, but for new floral arts, they should be replaced every 3 or 4days.Not only on daily basis, but floral arts are also used extensively on special occasions. One daybefore special events, family members, especially females, are often responsible for preparingthe flowers in the early morning and arrange the flowers together on the veranda of the house(Interview with specialist 1 Mrs. Mintra Dinakara N. Ayuthaya, Interview session Aug4,2011). Figure 2.18 famous shrine in the center of BangkokBesides using floral arts in Buddhist-related ceremonies, Thai people also implement floralarts to worship divinity in other religions as well, such as Brahman god and goddess. Thaipeople often go to a temple or a Brahman shrine to pray for fortune. Usually floral arts are anintegral part of this praying (see Figure 2.18).By the way, this culture of using flowers for floral arts was common for every householddaily life. When they had not enough flower they can borrow or lend flower to neighborsregularly without hesitation.2.4 leftovers of flowers after the arrangementIt is considered wasteful to throw flowers away. Hence, Thais often find some methods toutilize the leftovers of flower materials after the arrangement. This shows how much Thaivalue flowers as precious natural resource.42
  43. 43. Figure 2.19 "Kra-tae" a floral arts resembles a squirrel2.4.1 Small flower work or toy for childrenAfter finishing the floral arts, often people arrange the left-over fresh flower into animalcharacters or small flower works for children. This provides another chance for novices topractice their skill of arranging as well as creating a toy for children such as in Figure2.19.This way, children might appreciate the value of flowers while enjoying their time with theirparents and family members.2.4.2 Used to decorate food or drink Figure 2.20 Damask rose petals on dessertMany flowers have desirable scent, and people take advantage of this scent for food anddrink. Specifically, they use leftovers from the floral arts for decorating dishes or flavoreddrinking water. Some scents from flowers are believed to raise appetite when used to touch upthe top part of baked desserts. For example, Damask rose petals are often used for decoratingbaked coconut milk dessert, Thaco (See figure2.20).2.4.3 Making flower sachetLeftovers of floral arts are often included in a flower sachet. A flower sachet is a combinationof dried floral arts and traditional fragrance from flower. In a sachet, dried flowers are used as1) an absorbent of fragrance emitted from other flowers and 2) a provider of fragrancethemselves (Amatadecha, 2011). 43
  44. 44. Figure 2.21 “Bu-nga” in flower sachetThe floral arts that were touched by the King or royal families have to treat specially by keepdry again in sunlight. Then spray the concentrated flower fragrance and put in the enclosedcontainer. This is called ”BU-NGA” means the dried flower with favorable fragrance smell.Bu-nga is usually kept in flower sachet as in Figure2.21. (From the observation of interviewsession of Mrs.Wanna Kluaymai N. Ayuthaya Maneenuch: on 08/04/2011)2.4.4 Dried up flower that was used to worship divinityThe flower after used as an offering will be collected and dried by laying over the sunlight.Later, it is grinded into powder and gives to Buddhist monks at temple. Monks will gatheredthem together with the dried flower from special events at the temple as an ingredient oftalisman or sacred amulet making.2.5 Flower medicationFlower in medication is widely used in Thai daily life from ancient time. Even though therehas no specific evidence of the origin, but the people in community learned from trial anderror. Many flowers are believed to have health healing benefit, for example, Sacred Lotus.The lotus has many other uses than offering to divinity. It has medicinal values in its petals,stamen and root. The seeds and the young leaves are delicious. The large tough leaf can beused to wrap cooked food. (Ounayakawit, 1972)Flower shows its benefits are not limited to beauty but also help preventing and curingdisease as one of Thai local wisdom.2.6 Flower in foodBeside the beauty and medication benefit, flowers also increase the varieties of Thai cuisinetaste and texture. Thai cuisine is a very delicate art. Thai food requires various choices ofingredients. Thai people use trial and error to adjust their food ingredient according to thenatural resource availability at the time.44
  45. 45. The flowers that can be cooked for food can categorize into the part of the flower used. First,the young flower buds that can be eaten with chili paste when boiled are: 20, 22, 23, 24, 29,30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 44, 45, and 46Meanwhile, the fresh flowers that can be eaten raw with chili paste are: 6,39,47,48Second, the medium bloom flowers that can be cooked as fritter fried dishes are: 19, 21, 22,25, 29, 30, 32, 34, 35, 37, 41, 42, 43, and 48Third, The full bloom flowers that can be cooked into soup cuisine are: 19, 21, 22, 25, 29, 30,32, 34, 35, 37, 41, 42, 43, and 48Fourth, the boiled flower that put in spicy salad dishes is: 20,23, 25, 40, and 41the fresh raw flower that put in spicy salad dishes are: 42, 49Fifth, the stir-fried flower buds dishes are: 10, 20, 30, 33, 34, 35, 36, and 37Sixth, the flower drinks can use: 2, 3, 19, and 28Seventh, the flower that is used to make food coloring is: 28Lastly, the flowers that can be used to make dessert are: 2, 3, 14, and 28Since Thai people spend a lot of time with food gathering and cooking, they are veryexquisite about food. Therefore, various food tastes, textures, as well as scents are available inthe same dishes. It shows how Thai people utilize available resources to create variation ofcuisine. Consequently, people try different ingredients due to availability instead of followingthe strict rules of cuisine.2.7 Thai traditional Fragrance from flower Figure 2.22 "Nam-ob" Thai traditional perfume 2.7.1 Liquid perfumeThai traditional liquid perfume (Nam-ob) is extracted from flowers together with other partsof plant. Main component of fragrance comes from the extract of flowers such as Ylang-ylang, Jasmine and rose see Figure 2.22 for image of liquid fragrance. Traditional fragrancehas main usage as a clothes or room fragrance. It can also be used as a body perfume(Amatadecha, 2011). Thai people believe that flower fragrance can change the humanemotion, mostly in positive way. Therefore people love to grow the plant that provide flower 45
  46. 46. with fragrance in their garden. The smell of flower diffusing varies by the time and type ofthe plant. (Thaithong, 1999) Figure 2.23 "Din-so-pong" Thai traditional solid perfume 2.7.2 Solid perfumeDin So Pong or Thai solid perfume is made from filtered white-powder soil. The first processof making Din So Pong is boiling and filtering white soil repeatedly. After its powderturnouts white and clean, it is then pressed into a drop shape. After that, powdered drop iskept separately with diffusing-scent flowers, including Jasmine, Damask rose and Ylangylang, in the same enclosed area in a bowl. In this bowl, a scented candle is burning for anight in order for the powder to have the scent of the flowers in the bowl. Solid fragrance iseither used as body powder or liquid fragrance by combining with other liquid for more long-lasting scent. The scent of Thai traditional fragrance is cool, and Din So Pong is also used forsoothing itchy skin (Amatadecha, 2011).2.8 The meanings of using flower in Thai daily life 2.8.1 Flower and family2.8.1.1 Family activitiesIn ancient days, Thai people used to have elaborate way of life. They valued details ofactivities and art works. Floral arts can be seen as an example of this way of life. Peoplespend significant time on activities related to flowers. Since flower has many usages inhousehold, daily life activity using flowers encourages family bonds.In the old days, women and children were responsible for floral arts. They calculated theamount of flowers they needed for floral arts and picked the flowers from gardens. It waseveryone’s concern not to be wasteful with flowers. Girls often followed their cousins, sisters,mother or grandmother to the garden to prepare their own flowers. On the other hand, theboys prepared long coconut stripe to use as a needle. Then everyone gathered around andfocused on their jobs. Beginners started with picking flower from gardens by following the46
  47. 47. veterans. Veterans had a responsibility to teach beginners how to prepare each type of floralarts. For example, beginners started by learning how to categorize jasmine by size andripeness, and how to split the rose into petal and float in water to avoid dehydration.(Interview with specialist 1 Mrs. Mintra Dinakara N. Ayuthaya, Interview session Aug 20,2011)2.8.1.2 Flexible way of life due to flower availabilityBasically, Thais’ rules about religion are very strict. However, when it comes to crafts orlifestyle, Thai people spend enormous amount of time on their preference. Once people learnbasic processes, they might ignore some rules and create new forms or use different materials,as they are comfortable with. Thai people are highly flexible at adapting to materials that areavailable at that time. Sometimes overall forms might change or mix with other crafts they arefamiliar with. Creativity then is another key feature of floral arts in Thailand.2.8.1.3 Transmission of knowledge in a familyIt is a habit of doing floral arts when other housework has done. Family members gather andspend time together. There are variety of materials and special flowers used in somehouseholds, and consequently, some families have their own style of floral arts. These familyhabits have become customs of the family to carry on for the next generation. Even in thesame area, people practice variety of floral arts styles where they somehow keep the skillsecret to only family members.While arranging flowers, people talk about traditional beliefs about living together withnature. For example, every flower taken should be used up. The waste of flowers shows non-respectful manner to nature. Hence after the main floral arts are finished, the extra flowermight end up as a decoration or toy for children or even a decoration for food as mentionedearlier. Moreover, it is prohibited to sniff flowers. This is because the smell of fragrance is themost value part that should be offered to divinity, not normal people. From this belief,sniffing takes away the sacred of flowers.2.8.1.4 Specific scent reflects good quality of lifeFlower scent is important and has underlying meanings for Thai people life. Flowers withdesirable smell are recognized as the blessed ones. Gathering these flowers and combiningthem systematically when arranging them can create sacred artworks. The scent from thiscombination of commonly used flowers is regards as a representative scent of blessing bydivinity. 47
  48. 48. 2.8.1.5 Teaching each family member’s responsibility for their roleFloral arts are not just a hobby; rather they are viewed as a routine chore. All family membershave their own obligation. Each person’s job is integral to the whole process, and moreimportantly it is a learning process. Children learn some of agricultural basic as they helpwith growing flower plants. Then boys take care of preparing the string or thread made fromcoconut or banana trunk while girls and woman spend most of their daytime arrangingflowers. Floral arts are, in fact, a more desirable obligation to Thai ladies than others, likecooking. After the floral arts are done, a father or the leader of a household takes theresponsibility to offer to divinity or area god in order to receive the best wishes of naturalpower.2.8.2 Flower and community2.8.2.1 Encouragement of networking in a communityPicking flower enhances communication in a community. It is a chance for people to step outof their houses and communicate with others, who may pass by or also pick flowers. Flowershave their own specific picking time to get the best of its preferable characteristic. This way itis a great chance for people to gather at the public space at the same time of the day, andtherefore, inadvertently meet. Hence, flower gradually helps strengthen the community bond.2.8.2.2 Flowers as an emotional symbolSometimes Thai people use flowers to non-verbally express their emotions. Different types offlowers are associated with different types of emotions, ranging from affection, apology, tosympathy. For instance, Crown flowers are often use as an expression of affection betweenmales and females. Similarly, floral arts in a form of malais are often used to express apologyto others. Likewise, to express sympathy, it is a common practice in Thai culture to usemarigold in a form of supporting malais (see Figure 3.5 for an illustration of a malai of thistype).2.8.3 Flower and nature2.8.3.1 Natural resource utilization48

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