Thailand's national constitution guarantees freedom of religion. On the other hand, Buddhism has by far been the principal religion of the nation since its conception over seven hundred years ago. Slightly more than 90 percent of the Thai population are Buddhists who practice the Theravada school of Buddhism, which teaches that salvation can be earned only through one's own efforts. That is why it is not surprising to encounter Buddhism in almost all aspects of lives in this country. Buddhism deeply penetrates our culture, and is intricately woven into our artistic expressions at all levels of the nation's social hierarchies. This is particularly true with visual arts (drawings, paintings, murals, sculptures, crafts, etc.), which serves to communicate and transmit the ideals of Buddhism to all who care to study them.
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