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