Sinxay Character Lamppost Finials in Khon Kaen

Sinxay Character Lamppost Finials in Khon Kaen

There is no where on earth where Sinxay is taken more seriously than in Khon Kaen, in Isan, Thailand.

It was i the late 1600s, when Sinxay is believed to have been written and the (now) northeastern part of Thailand was an integral part of the Kingdom of Lan Xang. When France and Siam negotiated the present borders of Laos in the late 1800s, the northeastern region located west of the Mekong, was allocated to Siam. This region is now known as Isan, and lies within Thailand, accounting for nearly a third of the country’s total area. Although Sinxay is often thought of originating in Laos, the reality is that Sinxay is a cultural heritage that is treasured on both sides of the Mekong.

The recent renaissance of Sinxay in Isan, began in 2005 and is centered in the municipality of Khon Kaen, which has a population of approximately 350,000. In the introduction to their project application for funding from the national government in Bangkok, Khon Kaen Municipality officials wrote that Sinxay was an important cultural heritage reflecting the wisdom of the ancestors of all Isan and Lao people, with the story transmitted in many ways: through reading, morlam, and local shadow puppet theatre performances and paintings. Through the Sinxay project, their goal was to encourage children to not only to learn the story of Sinxay, but also to have them embrace the virtues embodied in him, such as honesty, courage, sacrifice, and especially katanyu (gratitude).

In the years following that decision, Khon Kaen Municipality officials implemented a multifaceted plan to promote Sinxay through teacher-developed curricula taught in schools, a sports day, specialized programs held throughout the year, and lampposts designed for the city center featuring Sinxay, and his two brothers, Sangthong, and Sipo, as decorative finials.

Below are three photos of lampposts in Khon Kaen featuring each of the three brothers. It’s interesting that Siho came first, Sangthong second, and Sinxay last.

 

  • Sinxay Character Lamppost
    Sinxay Arrow
  • Sinxay
  • Sinxay Lamppost

 

Siho, as a symbol of strength and wisdom, is now seen as a pair guarding the Lak Meuang, the city pillar of Khon Kaen.

Sinxay Publishing

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