San Francisco Glacier in Chile

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thai Capitals Before Bangkok

These old capitals of Siam are UNESCO World Heritage Sites
 
UNESCO seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. - Source
 
Sukhothai was the capital of the first Kingdom of Siam in the 13th and 14th centuries. It has a number of fine monuments, illustrating the beginnings of Thai architecture. The great civilization which evolved in the Kingdom of Sukhothai absorbed numerous influences and ancient local traditions; the rapid assimilation of all these elements forged what is known as the 'Sukhothai style'.

Source: UNESCO TV / © NHK Nippon Hoso Kyokai
URL: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/574/ (UNESCO video w/ historical info)

Founded c. 1350, Ayutthaya became the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai. It was destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century. Its remains, characterized by the prang (reliquary towers) and gigantic monasteries, give an idea of its past splendour.

Source: UNESCO TV / © NHK Nippon Hoso Kyokai
URL: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/576/  (UNESCO video with historical info)

Enjoy these videos.  I can personally tell you that the ruins of Ayutthaya are well worth seeing on your trip to Southeast Asia.  Now, Sukhothai.......I've yet to visit.  But it's on my Thailand Bucket List.

A few years ago I posted on Facebook some photos of a Buddha in a park outside Bangkok.  The first comment I got was from a Headland native - a former classmate of mine and member of the Baptist church.  Her reply was, "Boo Buddha.  Knock it down."   And it just reminded me of something that had been in the news: the Taliban destroying the 2000 year old Buddha statues that had been carved inside in Afghanistan.  So it dawned on me - it actually had much earlier - that Islamic Fundamentalists and Christian Fundamentalists have a tremendous amount in common.  I would encourage you to listen to the NPR report that's linked under the photo below. 

http://www.npr.org/2011/07/27/137304363/bit-by-bit-afghanistan-rebuilds-buddhist-statues

When finished with that, I would implore you to read this article.

God's Warrior Twins

Christian & Islamic Fundamentalism have a lot in common

by Kimberly Blaker

 
an excerpt:
 
Not all fundamentalisms, nor all fundamentalists within a particular religion, are identical. Environmental factors such as culture and government influence fundamentalist fears, reactions, and power. Still, several characteristics generally seem to be present: an inability to cope with modernity or life struggles; an authoritarian personality style; a need to simplify, which is accomplished through black and white thinking; and ultimately, given the right set of circumstances, the potential for inconceivable violence against those they perceive as their enemies.

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