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Thai Diaspora (Thai Cambodians)

          “Koh Kong” or “Patchantakirikhet”, its Thai former name, is an island province in the northwestern region of Cambodia on the eastern coast near Trat province. It was once a part of the Thai Kongdom. After the 1893 political crisis, this island province was annexed to Cambodia until today, making Thai residents in the province become diaspora. Nowadays, Thai diaspora makes up 25% of the entire population in the province. They hold Cambodian citizenship. The rest of the population is Khmer from other provinces, who have migrated to work in the province.

 

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Tai Berng

          Tai Berng, Tai Derng or Tai Korat is an indigenous group residing in the Pasak River Basin in Phathana Nikhom, Khok Samrong, Sabot and Chaibadan districts, Lop Buri Province. The customs, traditions and culture are similar to those of the Central Thai. However, their language, beliefs, traditional songs and plays, and weaving styles are unique to the ethnic group. The biggest Tai Berng community is in Tombon Khok Sung, Phathana Nikhom District, which has been there since the 13th century. They have maintained their traditions, culture and lifestyle ever since. There is archeological evidence illustrated in the ethnic architectural styles of Khok Samran Temple, which is considered the spiritual center of the ethnic residents (Surin Muksri, 2001). From oral accounts, it is hypothesized that this area might be an ore mine in the old days, from where the name of the village “Khok Thalung” was derived. As times passed, the name of the village was phonologically changed to “Khok Salung” until now (Phuthorn Phumathon, 1998; Surachai Suasungnoen, 2000; Chanwit Teeraprasert, 2005; and Junior Anthropology Students, Batch 59, Faculty of Archeology, Silapakorn University, 2016).

 

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Samre

          Samre is an Austroasiatic ethnic group, the largest group in Southeast Asia. The Samre language is classified in the Mon-Khmer Language Family, which is considered to have the largest speakers in the Southeast Asian region.

          Initially, it was revealed that Samre lived in the forested areas in the east of Bo Rai District, Trat Province. However, there are not many proficient speakers nowadays. Additionally, the ethnic group is also found in Chachoengsao Province, but no one can speak the language. It is believed that the ethnic group was taken from Cambodia in the Ratanakosin Period (Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, n.d.: online).

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