Question:
How is it that Buddhism in Thailand seems to be such a mix?

Thai Answer: I would say, you know, as regards Buddhism in this country, although we are Buddhists — we believe and have faith in the Buddhist philosophy — our way of life and by way of our culture we are more Hindu than Buddhist.... So Buddhism is just a philosophy.... Let me compare this — I hope it won’t be taken as sacrilege.... Had we only had Buddhism without Hinduism, Buddhism would not be able to make a start. [The Hindu beliefs] satisfied the weaknesses in our nature. The teaching of the Lord Buddha is supreme and absolute truth — we all know that.... It’s like a dry martini. You call it a dry martini; wash the glass out with martini [vermouth]; wipe it dry; and then just drink the gin.

— M. R. Kukrit Pramoj, from Thailand “Song Kran” (a BBC TV Production, 1980)