Khunphaen, Khunchang & Khunman Thong - Antares Buddha Centre

Go to content

Main menu

Khunphaen, Khunchang & Khunman Thong

Scared Powder

Khun Chang Khun Phaen is an epic Thai poem which originated from a legend of Thai folklore and is one of the most notable works in Thai literature. Chang and Phaen are the leading male characters, and "Khun" was a junior feudal title given for male commoners. The story is a classic love triangle, ending in high tragedy. Khun Phaen (dashing but poor) and Khun Chang (rich but ugly) compete for the lovely Wanthong from childhood for over fifty years. Their contest involves two wars, several abductions, a suspected revolt, an idyllic sojourn in the forest, two court cases, trial by ordeal, jail, and treachery. Ultimately the king condemns Wanthong to death for failing to choose between the two men. The poem was written down in the early nineteenth century, and a standard printed edition first published in 1917–1918. Like many works with origins in popular entertainment, it is fast-moving and stuffed full with heroism, romance, sex, violence, rude-mechanical comedy, magic, horror, and passages of lyrical beauty. In Thailand, the story is universally known. Children learn passages at school, and the poem is a source of songs, popular sayings, and everyday metaphors. (Wiki)

Back to content | Back to main menu