Glossary -- Thailand
- baht (B)
- Basic currency unit, divided into 100 satang. In 1984 the
value of the baht was tied to a basket of foreign currencies,
including the United States dollar, that were significant to the
Thai economy. The exchange rate per US$1 was B25.74 in September
- Traditional title given to the highest ranking official in
the civil government.
- fiscal year (FY)
- October 1 to September 30.
- General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
- A multilateral trade agreement signed at the Geneva
Conference in 1947, which both sets out rules of conduct for
international trade relations and provides a forum for
multilateral negotiations on trade problems and the gradual
elimination of tariffs and other trade barriers.
- gross domestic product (GDP)
- The total value of goods and services produced within a
country's borders during a fixed period, usually one year.
Obtained by adding the value contributed by each sector of the
economy in the form of compensation of employees, profits, and
depreciation (consumption of capital). Subsistence production is
included and consists of the imputed value of production by the
farm family for its own use and the imputed rental value of
- gross national product (GNP)
- Gross domestic product (q.v.) plus the income from
overseas investments and wages, minus the earnings of foreign
investors and workers in the home economy.
- Khmer Rouge
- The name given to Khmer communists by Prince Sihanouk in the
1960s. Later (although a misnomer) it was applied to the
Cambodian insurgents of varying ideological backgrounds who
opposed the Khmer Republic of Lon Nol. Between 1975 and 1978 it
also became an informal designation for the regime of Democratic
Kampuchea, whose leaders were the radical Pol Pot faction of the
Kampuchean (or Khmer) Communist Party. After the Vietnamese
invasion of Cambodia in December l978, the Khmer Rouge became one
of the three components of the Coalition Government of Democratic
Kampuchea that contested the Vietnamese presence and the Hanoi-
installed regime of the People's Republic of Kampuchea.
- Body-spirit or life-soul, generally thought to reside in the
head; illness and death follow loss of the khwan.
- Title of distinction designating that its bearer is in royal
- Literally, master. Lowest rank in the traditional nobility,
the term is also used as a mark of respect for employers or any
person of superior status. Under the sakdi na
(q.v.) system, it identified its bearer as a landholder
to whom labor service was due. Variant form is naaj.
- General term for a variety of spirits believed to have power
over human beings. Specific kinds of spirits may have particular
- Traditional princely title prefix designating that its bearer
is a relative of the king; functional title given to holders of
ranks in the civil administration below that of phraya
(q.v.); honorific for monks or persons and objects
having religious associations.
- Generic term for commoners, variously translated as servant,
serf, or, incorrectly, as slave. The phrai was bound to
the land in the service of a nai (q.v.) under
the sakdi na (q.v.) system.
- Traditional princely title conferred on holder of second
highest rank in the civil government and on viceroys of tributary
states. Sometimes seen as phrajaa or phya.
- sakdi na
- Literally, sak (power in the sense of resources);
na (paddy land). A system of social ranking originally
based on the king's allocation of specific quantities of rice
land to persons according to their rank, each such rank being
defined in terms of so-called quality points (or dignity marks).
The size of the allotment was closely associated with the number
of persons owing labor service to an individual of a given rank;
by the beginning of the
Chakkri Dynasty in 1782, an individual's rank in the system was
thought of primarily in relation to the number of persons owing
him service, regardless of the amount of land he controlled.
shifting cultivation--A traditional method of agriculture
characterized by the rotation of fields rather than crops, the
use of short cropping periods and long fallow periods, and the
maintenance of fertility by allowing natural vegetation to
regenerate on fallow land. Clearing of new or previously cropped
land is often accomplished by cutting and burning vegetation.
Also known as slash-and-burn or swidden agriculture. Thai term is
- shifting culitvation
- A traditional method of agriculture characterized by the rotation
of fields rather than crops, the use of short cropping periods and
long fallow periods, and the maintenance of fertility by allowing
natural vegetation to regenerate on fallow land. Clearing of new
or previously cropped land is often accomplished by cutting and
burning vegation. Also known as slash-and-burn or swidden
agriculture. Thai term is tam rai.
- Official name of the Thai kingdom from 1855 to 1939 and again
from 1946 to 1949. Used conventionally in European sources from
the late sixteenth century for the kingdom of Ayutthaya and later
the kingdom of Bangkok, hence the term Siamese (q.v.) to
describe their inhabitants.
- Inhabitants of Siam (q.v.). Historically used by Mon
and Khmer to distinguish Tai (q.v.)-speaking settlers in
the Chao Phraya Valley from those in other regions. The term was
extended in conventional usage to inhabitants of Siam. Between
1939 and 1946 and since 1949, Thai (q.v.) and not
Siamese has been employed to describe the dominant ethnic group
of Thailand and Central Thai to denote the Thai of the Chao
- Term used by observers of Thailand for persons of Chinese and
Thai ancestry. It does not apply to a clearly delineated,
cohesive group; some such persons have been essentially
assimilated into Thai society; others (usually with a recent
Chinese forebear) have not.
- A family of languages spoken in Southeast Asia and southern
China including Thai (q.v.); by extension the peoples
speaking languages of that family.
- A national of Thailand; one or more persons of the (region-
ally varied) ethnic group dominant in Thailand; the (dialecti-
cally varied) language of the Thai people, one of several grouped
in Tai (q.v.) family of languages; also used
- World Bank
- Informal name used to designate a group of three affiliated
international institutions: the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International
Development Association (IDA), and the International Finance
Corporation (IFC). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary
purpose of providing loans to developing countries for productive
projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered
by the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits
to the poorest developing countries on much easier terms than
those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956,
supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and
assistance specifically designed to encourage the growth of
productive private enterprises in the less developed countries.
The president and certain senior officers of the IBRD hold the
same positions in the IFC. The three institutions are owned by
the governments of the countries that subscribe their capital.