Authors : Vichai Imsuksom, Jarun Chaipratoom and Watanapun Krutasaen
Abstract: This research aims to study of Hakka shrines in Bangkok, its origins, their commonalities and the cross-cultural influences upon them. Area of study were Hakka shrines in Bangkok and the methods of research used were quantitative and qualitative such as field surveys, interviews and focus groups. It was found that the origin of Hakka shrines in Bangkok dates back to the beginning of the Rattanakosin era. They were sponsored, funded and built by the many Chinese Clan Associations in Chinese communities all over Bangkok. The Hakka shrines hold great moral and cultural values and provide a bond between all Chinese, Thai-Chinese and Thais. Many Hakka shrines today are ruined and abandoned due to lack of care and conservation. Only Hon Mong Kung shrine, Sam Nai Keng shrine and Sam Sua Kok Uang shrine, either in closed community areas or are in private hands are still in original conditions. There are many commonalities amongst the Hakka shrines in Bangkok such as architectural style, the decorations, the worshipped Gods and the system of shrine officers. The old beliefs of the five life elements of Earth, water, air, fire and metal can be found in the roofing structures and layout plans of not just the Hakka shrines but also Chaozhou and Hokkien shrines. The arts and design used inside and outside of the shrine are patterns of all things propitious, according to Chinese beliefs. Furthermore, art works such as sculptures, wood engravings and paintings demonstrated an intermixing of Chinese Ke Chaozan and Minnan architecture. The researcher had also found a combination of patterns from Chinese beliefs and Western patterns from Muslim and Persian cultures. This kinds of cross-cultural influences can be found in all the architectural and design elements of the shrines such as the roofing style, the entrance gates and the tympanum. Cross-cultural integration takes time and involves negotiations and eventual acceptance. However, the abstract that keeps the shrines identity unchanged from the past is perhaps the God of the shrine himself.
Vichai Imsuksom, Jarun Chaipratoom and Watanapun Krutasaen, 2019. Creating Cross-Cultural Meanings from a Common Identity of Hakka Shrines in Bangkok. Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 14: 5647-5656.