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Posted 2010-02-11 08:24:18
"In the reign of King Borommatrailokkanat (1448-1488) a formalised system was introduced, designed to force even the most far-flung regions into line. King Trailok passed a series of laws that have resonated down Thai history to today and are probably the most influential royal commands issued in Thai history. Trailok introduced a governmental system which nowadays is known as the Sakdina System, but at the time were laws of Civil, Military and Provincial Hierarchies. The system itself was based upon a cultural and social order that had been practiced in much of the country at local level for centuries, Trailok made three important changes to this system, he expanded it, standardised it and centralised it.
Thai society that had long been divided into two classes, the nobles and the masses, the Sakdina System clearly defined the roles within society of these two groups, how they would interact with each other and amongst themselves creating a strict social order based on the quantified worth of each individual." By Paul Wilding
Modern day example of Sakdina.
The PAD seeking to change the government by non-electoral means. Moreover, they seek also to change the constitution in a way that they hope will permanently break the electoral dominance of rural Thailand, arguing that rural Thais are not sufficiently well educated to be trusted with such power - Sakdina.
Generation after generation of young Thai girls (peasant girls are of no worth in the system) being sent to work in the sex industry - Sakdina.
The guy driving a Mercedes, demanding his position on the road, due to his perceived elevated social statues - Sakdina
Sin Sod, from the days when nobles could buy multiple wifes - Sakdina.
Government corruption and the exceptance of it - Sakdina.
There are many more examples.
Posted 2010-02-11 09:20:17
Governments deliberately keeping the masses uneducated by not allocating real money to the education system so they can buy votes and win landslide election victories. - Sakdina
Posted 2010-02-11 09:41:17
Hard to compare as then the nobles where Thai, today they are Chinese.
Posted 2010-02-11 12:27:22
Thailand's cultural heritage is largely feudal and agrarian based. This "Sakdina" is just an offshoot of that mentality. Most developing world countries have this mentality when dealing with their people. You are not saying anything profound here.
There are a lot of Thais who are aggravated by this system this is why you have so many competing political ideologies these days. We can get into why this is so but there's no real freedom of speech on a forum like this and you'd have to address some rather controversial issues dealing with certain figureheads.
Posted 2010-02-11 12:46:18
Funny that U as the OP, are first to ask this!
Posted 2010-02-11 13:15:53
Trouble is, that the 'Sadinka' mentality will not realise that in this modern day and age things are changing very quickly, and if they persist with this mentality there will be trouble.
Posted 2010-02-11 13:18:22
Trouble from whom? Class reinforcement is a part of Thai culture. The "poor" know their place and the rich have no issues with lording it over them. This will never change until a strong educated middle class is developed in Thailand and who knows when that will ever happen.
Just look at Thai television it's all rich hi-so people lording it over the poor and each other. There is literally no shame here with walking over others because of your status.
Posted 2010-02-11 13:20:20
Basically Sakdina = people control. It was/is a feudal system introduced so people accepted their (usually poor) status.
Posted 2010-02-11 13:26:15
Ummm because they aren't?Really. Why?
Sin Sod --- as it has been used in modern history --- a system to assure the well being of a wife and children in a country where men walk out. Thailand doesn't have an advanced welfare system as you well know.
Rural girls and prostitution --- not related to the sakdina system at all (since in Thailand the majority of men frequenting prostitutes are have the same social background as the prostitutes themselves )
Mercedes drivers ---- as likely to be middle class as anything else. I OWN the road is a common belief of any driver. See the "mercedes mentality" thread and read the OP's thoughts ... he seemed to think even on a motorcycle HE owned the road.
Government corruption and the exceptance of it (SIC) --- are you saying countries that didn't have this system are therefore not corrupt?
If you want an example of how the sakdina system is no longer working in Thailand one only has to look at the cases of Thaksin. In years past under the sakdina system he would have been exempt from prosecution for the most part. That is no longer the case.
Posted 2010-02-11 15:01:27
You have a right to your opinion of course, but I disagree with all your 5 points. Your final point actually demonstrates sakdina. Thaksin was empowering the rural poor, which upset the elite, contributing to his downfall.Ummm because they aren't?Really. Why?
Posted 2010-02-11 15:11:34
I have gotta agree with Jdinasia, these are things that are much more economic in nature and parallels could be drawn to at least a dozen other countries. This seems more like a cheap plug for taxsin's back wood thugs against the govt, than the history lesson that it starts out as.
Posted 2010-02-11 15:16:15
Now, were that Mercedes flanked in Police Motorcycles haring down an empty rush hour street while thousands are kept waiting in hot cars stuck in sub sois, all so some jumped up politician could make his lunch appointment, that would be a case of Sakdina in a modern context.
Posted 2010-02-11 16:00:26
Yes, You have to watch out for those thugs in the woods
Posted 2010-02-11 16:11:26
Even on a motorcycle? Sure put his foot in it there, didn't he?
Ontopic, first thanks to the OP for a new word for the day - Sakdina.
The trick is IMHO to effect some kind of spectrum across the classes, without reaching the abysmal result of ignorant middle-class rule that was the fate of the country I come from. It would be nice to see the majority of the population get an even break, but not if it leads to authoritarian anarchy of the masses.
Posted 2010-02-11 16:16:43
Yes, You have to watch out for those thugs in the woods
Only when they jump on buses and in the back of Vigo's on their way to "peacefully" protest in the capitol.
Posted 2010-02-11 16:24:27
When you brought in the current political climate, particuarly the PAD, with a comparison to them and Sakdinan elitism in your OP.
Posted 2010-02-11 16:24:55
As the date that the criminal gets sentenced approaches, expect to see a never ending wave of propaganda about how he was 'empowering' the poor instead of robbing them blind or murdering them without trial.
Posted 2010-02-11 16:25:29
Nah that would be the privilege of modern top tier politicians everywhere... if it happened.
even on a motorcycle refers to the concept that "I own the road" isn't limited in many circumstances to folks in a mercedes .... some people (rarely Thais though) think they own the road on a 125cc Honda. (Thais know that the biggest vehicle invariably "wins" .. motorcycles yield to cars .. cars yield to trucks .. everyone yields to big trucks and busses)
Posted 2010-02-11 16:28:22
I think Garry's examples are a bit stretched. A (now unacknowledged) ranking system based on "na" (fields) has little to do with village girls going to Bangkok to work in the sex industry, and Thaksin was just as willing as anyone else to appeal to seniority when asked questions by the media in his latter years as PM. ("Lueang khong phuyai. Mai tong thaam." "This is a matter for the seniors. You don't need to ask.")
Sakdina was not set up with the Chinese-Thais in mind. This ethnic group is now fully Thai and exercises power through money, networks and savvy (that's how they got the money). In sakdina as it was established in Ayutthaya foreigners had no sakdina whatsoever (even slaves had 5 rai, but foreigners none). You can bring sakdina in as a basis for some kinds of deference in Thai society, but the "deferential vote" (i.e. working class vote for the Tories) was strong in England up to the Second World War (does it still exist?), so it's not just a Thai thing.
Posted 2010-02-11 16:31:01
So just what is Sakdina if it is not handing privilige to the powerful?
As an asides, it used to happen regularly in the Thaksin era.
Edited by ProfessorFart, 2010-02-11 16:32:49.
Posted 2010-02-11 16:37:29
Ummmm ... no Thaksin thought he was exempt from consequences from his actions due to his status of 1) Being a true member of the elite 2) Being super-wealthy and 3) Being a top office-holder in this country. You make the ever-so-common error of not thinking of him as "elite" when you toss that word around.
Thaksin suffering consequences for his actions show clearly that the sakdina system (which in law has been dead for a long time) is now dying.
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