|Thailand Reflected in a River
By Steve Van Beek
Wind & Water Publishing
Hardbound with dustjacket
I have long thought that if one understands the importance of rivers
and the symbolism of water in Thai culture, one understands Thai
history, economy, culture, and values. Water is paramount in everything
from food to festivals, royal and lay rites of passage, commerce,
village settlement patterns, transportation, housing, literature,
and art, and that understanding the core meaning of water to Thais
adds a new dimension to an appreciation of all they have accomplished.
While it is a unique approach to Thailand, critical reviews suggest
that it is a valid one. If nothing else, it makes for entertaining
and thought-provoking reading. And the 590 illustrations both support
the arguments and enhance the reader's appreciation and remove the
book from the more academic approach of The Chao Phya, River in
Transition, considered elsewhere on this site.
It is a weighty book with dimensions of 9½" x 13¾" (24 x 34 cm.), and a weight of five pounds (2.3 kg.). While it takes that much to tell Thailand's story, I'm not sure I will write something that massive again, to spare myself a hernia, if nothing else.
Read the introduction , a
sample chapter on Floating
Forests, and a sample chapter on Water
Festivals. Then read what the
View photos of the Chao Phya River from the book
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