Did you know? Thailand

Did you know the first Thai students came to the University of Glasgow in 1910?

Nai Poot and Nai Neum (Nai being the English equivalent of Mr) enrolled in the Science Faculty to study Naval Architecture from 1910-1913.  

The next Thai students did not attend the Universtiy until the 1950s.

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4 Comments

Filed under Glasgow Firsts, South East Asia

4 responses to “Did you know? Thailand

  1. Iain

    Thais, in everyday life, often even in formal settings, are known by nicknames rather than their formal given and family names. On the face of it, Poot and Neum would appear to be nicknames.
    The Royal Thai Navy Museum, Sukhumvit Road, Bang Nang Keng, Samut Prakan, Thailand may have some information on the two men.

    • On 1 July, 1913, Thailand had the act of family name for the first time. Before the time, Thai people had only short real names, which the king Rama VI had contemplated the establishment of family names to be evidence of genealogy.
      ( จากหนังสือ”จากยมราชถึงสุขุมวิท : เหตุการณ์ใน ๔ รัชกาล”
      ผู้เขียน : ประสงค์ สุขุม,สำนักพิมพ์แห่งจุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย,
      พิมพ์ครั้งที่ ๔ , พ.ศ. ๒๕๔๗ )
      [translated version] (a summary from the book “From Yommarach to Sukhumvit : events in 4 reigns”
      Author : Prasong Sukhum, Publisher : Chulalongkorn University , Edition 8, Buddhist Era 2547 equal to 2004 in Christian Era)

      • Iain

        Dear Khun Lert, Thank you for that. Yes, King Vajuravudh introduced surnames by a decree of 22 March 1913 (๒๔๕๖). However, family names were in use by high-ranking families before this (Terwiel, ‘Thailand’s Political History’, 2005, p. 239). A case in point is found with Thailand’s first aviatiors who completed training in France in 1912.They were Major Luang Sakdi Sanlayawut, Captain Luang Arwut Sikitkorn, and Lieutenant Tip Ketuthat. In 1914 (๒๔๕๗) King Vajiravudh conferred names, ranks, and titles so they became Air Marshal Phraya Chalermakas, Air Marshal Phraya Vehasayan Sliapasit, and Air Marshall Phraya Thayanpikart. In France in 1912 Major Luang Sakdi Sanlayawut signed his license ‘L Sakdi’ and Lieutenant Tip Ketuthat his simply as ‘Thip’ (๙๐ ปี นภานุภาพ , pp 17-19). This is getting away from the fascinating story surrounding Poot and Neum, but maybe we have to keep an open mind in trying to trace these two naval architecture students through additional records?

  2. According to Thai wikipedia, the act of family name was drafted on 22 March, 1912, and became effective on 1 July, 1913. At that time, the King kindly gave surnames to particular families, totally 6,432 surnames. By the way, these two students arrived Scotland in 1910, so they might not have their surnames, even though they might come from powerful families. I would like to contribute more but it is a shame that there are a few books concerning my country in the university of Glasgow. However, it should be assummed that Poot and Neum could only be their real names, not nicknames, without any surnames.
    [Reference in Thai language: http://th.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A1%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%B8%E0%B8%A5%5D

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