Chiang Mai People and Culture
The people and culture in Chiang Mai provide a deep insight into the heritage and tradition of the place.
Chiang Mai Province consists of a population of 1,670,317 (This number from Department of Provincial Administration, Dec 2008) live in the city. The people of Chiang Mai are of mixed origin. The Mon was first the first group of traders that joined the inhabitants of Chiang Mai, and founded a new region. By the 13th century, Tai became the dominant ethnic group in the region.
Burmese came to Chiang Mai in the 16th century and brought in their culture and traditions. In the later half of 19th century, a number of Chinese and Muslims also migrated to the place. Thus, people of Chiang Mai are a mixture of various world cultures.
The ethnic language spoken here is kham muang. Theravada Buddhism is the main religion followed by the people of Chiang Mai. Islam and Christianity are also followed by some ethnic communities in the city.
The culture of Chiang Mai is deep-rooted in traditionalism, yet in sync with modernity. The city is home to numerous art centersthat promote the artworks of local artistes. Silverwork, bamboo work, woodcarving, etc are some of the local forms of handicraftsthat are extremely popular.
Various Thai festivals and events are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm as per the culture of Chiang Mai. The architecture of the buildings in the city is a fine blend of western and oriental influences, styles and methods.