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Recovery and Buddhist Practices in the Aftermath of the Tsunami in Southern Thailand.

Publiceringsår: 2010
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 96-103
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Religion
Volym: 40
Nummer: 2
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Elsevier


For most Thai people, Buddhism serves as a base for explanations about life and death.

This article focuses on Buddhist practices and the importance of ceremonies in the recovery process after

the 2004 tsunami in Southern Thailand. The tsunami had devastating consequences for most people in

the coastal regions. First, through the loss of life, and second, through the damage to and loss of houses,

fishing boats and means of livelihood. This article analyses informants’ experiences, narratives, interpretations

and actions in terms of their Buddhist beliefs. The key findings of this article are that collective

ceremonies form an important part of the recovery process. One finding revealed that, in cases of

ambiguous loss, a Buddhist ceremony that was unknown to most people before the tsunami became an

important element of the search for missing persons. Another finding is that the common Buddhist

practice of communicating across the boundary between the living and dead became the most important

ritual among the surviving relatives. The ethnography is based on a long-term anthropological research

project with in-depth interviews, life stories and participant observation carried out in coastal villages

located mainly in Phang Nga, the worst hit province in Thailand


  • Other Social Sciences
  • Anthropology Buddhism Ceremonies Death Disaster Funerals Recovery Thailand Tsunami


  • ISSN: 0048-721X

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