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The Thai-Flemish Community

Wat Dhammapateep is a temple and association inspired by the Thai Theravada tradition and cultural aspects of the society in Thailand. The Buddhist, cultural and social goals of Wat Dhammapateep are therefore firstly aimed at the Thai community in this country which is accepting Wat Dhammapateep as a "centre of Buddhist, cultural and social nature".

However, in the statutes is made clear that this Thai community is more than the migrants from Thailand. It also includes their partners and children, relatives and other persons with whom they live together. At least half of them are compatriots. Because almost ninety percent of these persons and families stay in the Flemish Region (plus the Flemish places in the Brussels Region) we talk about a Thai-Flemish Community.

In 2006, according to statistical data of the authorities, 2.754 Thai were living in Belgium. In 2008 that number exceeded the 3.000. The migration from Thailand has decreased in the last years but a number of Thai escape at these statistics too. Therefore the total presence in 2012 is estimated at about 3.500 Thai. It can be deduced that 6.000 to 7.000 persons belong to the Thai-Flemish Community.

Of course, Wat Dhammapateep is open for everyone with an interest and sympathy for Theravada and Thai culture. Among them are those who have a connection with other Theravada countries as Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The Temple also welcomes many Flemish (Belgian) visitors who do not directly belong to the Thai-Flemish Community. For the present their number is difficult to estimate.

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