Why is Thailand named Thailand?

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For common explanation to foreigner, Thai people would simply explained.

"THAI" means free in Thai. "LAND" comes from the British.
Thus: THAILAND !

However the story of the name is quite dramatic and it connect to the current dispute of race and political turmoil as it is in present day.


The name Thailand come from misconception of unity.

Thailand old name is Siam, which, composed from many ethnic groups namely Tai, Melayu, Chinese and including many minor ethnic tribe such as Hmong (hill tribe) and Morgan (sea tribe). In 1939, after the revolution, the leader of that time want to unified the country of different ethnic race under the same name by rename the country Thai as from Tai, the major ethnic race in central.

Name of country written in Thai is just ไทย (read: Thai). It follow by -land to denote that this land is belong to Thai people. The psychological feedback from Colonialism era to define the right of the belonging.

Change of name had cause long controversies among ethnic race especially the Melayu on the south (they would prefer called themselves by name of religion "a Muslim" instead of Thai). Overly dominating race especially in central (Tai race) is accustom of making racist joke onto other ethnic race to made the matter worse.

There are action to revert back the name to Siam, however, the public at large disagree since the name Thailand had been used for quite an era.
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