วันอังคารที่ 13 กรกฎาคม พ.ศ. 2553
The Dramatic Arts College, shown here at the main campus in Bangkok, is the current source of young Thais who will learn the skills and techniques to continue the country's rich history of musical and dance performances.
is never far away in Thailand, and fragments of the magic arrow found nearby have been ground and made into amulets that make the bearer as powerful as Rama himself.
Yet another uniquely Thai cultural tradition that has been influenced by the Ramakien is the ceremony known as wai khru, literally `paying respects to the teacher'. At its most basic level, this ceremony, allows students to pay homage to their real, i.e., human teachers, but the tradition also honors deceased masters and spiritual teachers, including Buddhist, Hindu, and animist spirits. The Hindu spirits are represented by a display of khon masks. This ceremony takes place on an annual basis at the institution of learning, and by tradition always on a Thursday. An abbreviated ceremony paying respects to the deities resident in the khon masks takes place before all dramatic performances of Ramakien origin, and on other special occasions as well. Indeed all khon masks are believed to possess a spirit are treated with great respect.
It is testimony to the power and versatility of this ancient epic that it can serve such a multiplicity of functions. As a dynastic genealogical mythology, a means of teaching children ethics, and a form of entertainment for all from prince to pauper with its tales of true love and bravery overcoming all odds, the Thais have built themselves an edifice they call the Ramakien, nurtured it, and it has repaid them many times over.