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Thai History: The Bunnag family's Persian connection

It is a fact that in the period of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, i.e. the early 17th century, Persian people migrated to Thailand. They were mainly traders and merchants. These people of Persian decent were referred to as ‘Khaek Ma-ngon’ (แขกมะหง่น) or ‘Shia Muslim’ which is ‘Khaek Chaosen’ (แขกเจ ้าเซน) in Thai. Over the centuries, most of the Khaek Ma-ngon converted to Buddhism and were integrated into Thailand’s society.

culturepolitics
By Sirinya Pakditawan

Saturday 12 December 2015, 10:17AM


The Bunnag family 

Some of the Thai families of Iranian decent have been very influential in Thai public life. In this context, the Bunnag (บ ุนนาค) family is most wellknown and established up until today. Their ancestor is Shaykh Ahmad Qomi who came as a merchant to Ayutthaya in 1602 and stayed in Thailand for 26 years.

The Bunnag family was acknowledged as a Siamese Royal Family in the early Rattanakosin period. They were most powerful in the 19th century. The first patriarch of the Bunnag, Akka Mahasena, was a close friend and confidant of Rama I who married five of Bunnag’s daughters as royal consorts. Thus, the Bunnag family also influenced the succession in the Chakri dynasty. However, in the late 19th century the Bunnag power was restricted by King Rama V (Chulalongkorn). 

Click here to read full, original post.

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                                                                                                         Yours, Sirinya

Sirinya Pakditawan is a ‘luk kreung’, or halfThai, born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. She enjoys writing about Thailand, with a focus on culture, art, history, tradition and on the people, as well as a mix of topics concerning Thai popular culture, travelogues and articles about Thai food.

Sirinya’s aim is not only to entertain you but to provide you with information and facts about Thailand, its culture and history that may not be generally known, in particular to the Western world. She has a PhD in American Studies from the University of Hamburg.To read the original story, and many more, be sure to check out Sirinya’s blog: www.sirinyas-thailand.de

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