LIFESTYLE AND CULTURE
Most Pattani Malays work in the fishing, farming and rubber industries. The landscape is rural and dotted with farms covered in rows of rubber trees or plantations of tropical fruit trees and vegetables. Along the seacoast fishing villages abound, and you are likely to see one of this people group’s famed “kolae” boats. Carved and brightly painted with mythical creatures, kolae are just one of the handicrafts of this rich culture. Batik fabrics, shadow plays and traditional dance are all historic expressions of their culture. Modern culture, however, in the form of music, television, and movies, is a large influence on Pattani Malay youth and may play a part in the growing segment of youth battling drug abuse.
ISLAMIC REVIVAL . . .
The roughly two million Pattani Malays, who comprise only four percent of Thailand’s population, practice a type of folk Islam. The center of their communities revolve around mosques where they meet not only to practice their religion but also for celebrations, education, and simply to gather with other members of their community. Since the 1980’s there has been an Islamic revival called the Da’wah which has led to a more strict adherence of Islam among the Pattani Malays. This, together with a complex history, has caused friction between them and the rest of Thailand’s population which is nearly all Buddhist. Beginning in the early 2000’s, this dissonance was fueled and has led to violence, the deaths of over 6,500 people and injury of over 12,000 more.
WHERE DO THEY LIVE . . .
The Pattani Malay people of Thailand live, for the most part, in Thailand’s five southernmost provinces where they are the majority population. Nestled against the Malaysian border, they are Malay in culture, dress, language, race and religion. Thailand is home to the third largest population of ethnic Malays behind Malaysia and Indonesia.
HOW YOU CAN PRAY
- Pray that God would start a movement that would reach ALL Pattani Malay with the Gospel.
- Pray that God would raise up intercessors for the Pattani Malay people.
- Pray for missionaries as they seek out people of peace (someone who is open to spiritual conversations) and God’s strategies among the Pattani Malay.
- Pray for God to reveal himself to those suffering from and participating in the violence that plagues this people group.
- Pray for Divine deliverance from the widespread drug abuse for the glory of God.