The Worldviews of ASEAN from Proverbs
Assoc.Prof. Dr.Supaporn Kongsirirat and Others

   
 

The Worldviews of Thai People from Proverbs
Assist. Prof. Wararat Mahamontri

   
 

The Worldviews of Lao people from Proverbs
Assoc.Prof. Dr.Supaporn Kongsirirat

   
 

The Worldviews of Myanmar from Proverbs
Dr.Sirapach Chanchaowat
Miss.Myint Thandar Thein

 

 

The Worldviews of Singaporean People from Proverbs
Assoc. Prof.Dr.Sombat Khruathong
Assist. Prof. Dr.Wilai Silapa-acha

 
 

The Worldviews of Indonesian People from Proverbs
Assist. Prof. Siriporn  Maneechukate

   
 

 

Thai Version   
 

   
The worldviews of ASEAN from Proverbs
by Assoc.Prof. Dr.Supaporn Kongsirirat and Others
 
This research report aims to study the worldviews of the people in 5 ASEAN countries; Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia and Singapore, from proverbs of each country.  The study is conducted based on the worldview framework.  The findings reveal that most ASEAN people project similar worldviews towards humans, towards nature and towards supernatural power in various aspects.  For example, Thai, Lao, Myanmar and Indonesian people emphasize the significance of family, kinship and marriage.  Singaporean and Lao people emphasize the significance of rulers and project evident acceptance of the women’s roles in the society.  In addition, it is found that ASEAN people project similar worldviews towards religion regardless of their Buddhist or Islamic faiths.  The similarities in the majority of the worldviews of ASEAN people are possibly the results of the closely connected cultural foundations of the ASEAN countries.  
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The Worldviews of Thai People from Proverbs
by Assist. Prof. Wararat Mahamontri


This research study aims to make a comparative investigation of the worldviews and ways of life of Thai people in the past and in the present day based on 1,280 old and new proverbs from various documents and media.  The findings reveal that the worldviews of Thai people reflected from proverbs are the worldview towards humans, the worldview towards nature and the worldview towards supernatural power.  Thai people in the past and in the present day project the worldview towards humans that one must be a good person and behave appropriately according to one’s roles and duties in order to achieve happiness and prosperity for oneself and for the society.  In addition, Thai people in the past and in the present day project the worldview towards nature that nature has power beyond human control, and humans, consequently, must learn about the characteristics of nature and know how to adjust themselves to nature in order to have a happy life.  Finally, regarding the worldview towards supernatural power, Thai people in the past and in the present day perceive that supernatural power can render happiness to those who behave themselves well and can cause sorrow for those who misbehave.  However, some Thai people in the present day project the worldviews towards people and some religious beliefs and traditions that are different from those projected by the people in the past due to social changes.  As for the ways of life, the proverbs reflect that Thai people in the past were engaged in simple ways of life according to their economic status, whereas Thai people in the present day are engaged in the ways of life embedded in the economic system of capitalism in which money is a key factor in life, resulting in a competitive struggle for a better life.

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The worldviews of Lao people from Proverbs
by Assoc.Prof. Dr.Supaporn Kongsirirat


This research study aims to investigate the worldviews of Lao people from the 8 proverbial stories published in the Lao language.  The study is conducted based on the worldview framework, and the worldviews are classed into 3 categories: the worldview towards humans, the worldview towards nature and the worldview towards supernatural power.  The findings reveal that Lao people project 11 worldviews towards humans, namely the worldview towards individuals according to their gender, the worldview towards individuals according to their age, the worldview towards the system of family and kinship, the worldview towards family ancestry and family lineage, the worldview towards marriage, the worldview towards the ways of living, the worldview towards the mind, emotions and feelings, the worldview towards education, the worldview towards the people in the society, the worldview towards economy, and the worldview towards the nation.  The 11 worldviews are all derived from “Heet-Kong”, the traditions and customs of the past, which has been blended with the historical background and the governmental and ruling system of Laos in the present day.  As for the worldview towards nature, it is revealed that Lao people perceive the significance and value of nature in that they see nature as the ways of living, as fertile resources for humans, and as an intrinsically balanced force, and that it is humans who bring destruction to nature.  This worldview towards nature is the result of Laos being an agricultural society that is dependent on nature.  In addition, seeing nature as fertile resources, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic makes use of nature as a basic capital for production, processing natural resources into products in order to connect the national economy to the global economy.  As for the worldview towards supernatural power, it is revealed that while Lao people hold a strong faith in Buddhism, the belief in spirits and legends still prevails.  Lao people believe that these supernatural forces can give rise to both good and bad things, a belief deeply rooted since the ancient past.  Moreover, it can be observed that Lao people perceive the Lao culture as valuable, universal, and suitably applicable to the use of people from other nations.   

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The Worldviews of Myanmar from Proverbs
by Dr.Sirapach Chanchaowat and Miss Myint Thandar Thein


The research entitled “The Worldviews of Myanmar from Proverbs” aims to study and analyze the worldviews of Myanmar people regarding humans, nature, religion and supernatural power reflected from Myanmar proverbs.  The researchers collected related documents and studied 960 Myanmar proverbs using 2 types of data collection: collecting proverbs from related documents and creating a research questionnaire.  The sample group for the interviews consisting of 40 participants was selected based on accidental sampling from Myanmar people in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and in Thailand.  The primary objective of this study is to investigate Myanmar people’s worldviews and ways of life reflected from their proverbs principally from printed materials.  The analysis of the meanings of the proverbs is assisted by the data derived from the questionnaire.  In addition, the study projects a developmental objective to understand the worldviews and ways of life of Myanmar people in order to create positive bilateral understanding and relations between Thailand and Myanmar at both local and national levels.  Lastly, the study aims to provide information that can be adapted into practice with educational, commercial and political strategies in order to strengthen organizations at the local, national and ASEAN levels.  The findings reveal that Myanmar proverbs reflect the concepts relating to humans, especially human society, culture and ways of living based on the roles and duties according to the status and interpersonal relationships.  As for the worldviews regarding nature, the proverbs show that Myanmar people have a close relationship with nature, have an understanding of the ways of nature, and have the ability to adjust themselves to nature and make use of nature in order to live happily with nature.  Furthermore, the proverbs make use of natural phenomena and resources in Myanmar to project the concepts and morals of the people.  The last section is concerned with the worldviews regarding religion and supernatural power reflected from the proverbs.  It is revealed that religion and beliefs play an influential role in the ways of thinking and living and the traditions and culture of Myanmar people.  However, although the majority of Myanmar people are Buddhists in the Theravada doctrine, they still believe that God, angels and powerful spirits or Nat play a significant role in their daily lives.  In all villages and most temples, a Nat shrine is a common feature.  It could be said that Myanmar people project a supernatural belief without a conflict in their Buddhist faith.  In overall, the proverbs show that the worldviews of Myanmar people combine new ideas with older thoughts, including expressions that present new concepts that are completely different from the old ones, which are usually projected as a dialectic discourse.

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The Worldviews of  Singaporean People from Proverbs
by Assoc. Prof.Dr.Sombat Khruathong  and Assist. Prof.Dr. Wilai Silapa-acha


Singapore is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society.  It is a multi-lingual and multi-religious country where 74.2% of the population are Chinese, 13.4% are Malay, 9.2% are Indian, and other races.  33% of the population are Buddhists, 18% are Christians, 15% are Muslims, 11% are Taoists, 5.1% are Hinduists, 17% are non-believers, and almost 1% are believers of other faiths.  49.9% of the population speak Chinese, 32.3% speak English, 12.2% speak Malay, and 3.3% speak Tamil.  English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil are national languages in Singapore. 
The findings from the research study of the proverbs in “A Book of Sayings, Proverbs and Aphorisms” reveal that the majority of the worldviews on the Singaporean ways of life are of the Chinese ways and culture or of the Confucian philosophy and ethics influenced by Buddhism.  The study of the worldviews of Singaporean people from proverbs regarding humans (ethics, honesty, diligence, interpersonal relations, etc.) reveal that the worldviews are significantly connected to the Confucian teaching which is related to an individual’s and the society’s ethical principles that instruct about the morality and ethics that an individual should have and should hold on to in his interactions with others in the society.  
The study of the worldviews of Singaporean people from proverbs regarding nature reveal that nature such as animals, tress, flowers, etc. is compared to human behaviours.  The worldviews regarding supernatural power reveal the viewpoints on heaven and hell, the transience of all things, the cycle of life and death, etc.
In addition, considering that 33% of the Singaporean population are Buddhists, the researchers bring Buddhist proverbs into the comparative analysis and study of the proverbs from “A Book of Sayings, Proverbs and Aphorisms”.  It is revealed that the Buddhist proverbs regarding humans are in accordance with the Confucian teaching.     
However, when the method of compiling the proverbs in “A Book of Sayings, Proverbs and Aphorisms” is considered, it is revealed that the proverbs feature a variety of origins from both the western and eastern thinkers and writers.  This reflects an important intent of the Singaporean people in creating harmony among the 4 important cultural races in the country.

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The Worldviews of Indonesian People from Proverbs
by Assist. Prof. Siriporn  Maneechukate


This research study investigates the worldviews of Indonesian people from proverbs.  The aims of the investigation are to study the worldviews of Indonesian people as reflected from the proverbs and to study the worldview towards humans, the worldview towards nature and the worldview towards supernatural power.  The findings reveal that the proverbs reflect the Indonesian people’s worldview towards humans at the highest level, and that the proverbs reflect a remarkable characteristic of Indonesian people in that their worldview towards the Dutch is negative.  These findings project a scorning attitude towards the Dutch’s selfish exploitations during the Netherlands’ 301 years of ruling over Indonesia.  Another remarkable identity is the Indonesians’ worldview towards Islam.  The findings reveal that the Indonesians regard the religion with highest significance, value and esteem.  The religion is closely related to education as Muslim people in the past began their education with the Koran.

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Faculty of Humanities, Naresuan University Tambon Ta-poe, Muang District Phitsanulok 65000