Did you know that 90 percent of the people who live in Thailand are Buddhist and about three million people there are Muslims? The lifestyle in Thailand is probably very different than yours.

Culture, or the way of living in Thailand, is different from American culture. Thai children attend elementary school for six years and high school for four years. American students go to elementary school for six years, middle school for three years, and high school for four years. Another example of how the education is different is that Thai boys in the ninth grade have to start military training. Here, in America, young people must wait until they are 18 years old to enter the military. In addition to the cultural differences, their foods are also different than ours. Thai food is spicy most of the time, but American food has a variety of tastes. Not only is the culture unique, but the country’s history is also one of a kind.

There are several surprising facts about the history of Thailand. The original name of the country was Siam up until 1939. The definition of “Thailand” is “Land of the Free”. In 2000 B.C when the Siamese first started building settlements, it was thought the first person to build a settlement was Ben Chaing, which has been disproved. Another interesting fact about Thailand is that it is home to some of the world’s smallest and largest creatures. For example, the largest fish in the world, the whale shark, is found in Thailand. The country is also home to the world’s smallest mammal, the bumblebee bat. Just like its species, the country’s government is also unique.

Thailand’s government is also different from ours here in America. The prime minister is chosen by the House of Representatives and also must be approved by the King before taking office. In the United States, the President and other government officials are elected by the people. The American Revolution in 1776 led to the elected governmental system that still exists today. In 1932, there was a revolution in Thailand which then led to the establishment of the monarchy.

The day-to-day lifestyle in Thailand is very different than American lifestyle. Learning about other countries, their history, government, and cultures is important to understanding and appreciating the world’s differences.

[Sources: National Geographic Kids ; Samjuana ]