A community in Singhanakhon district, Songkhla province, Ban Muang Ngam is under the Muang Ngam Subdistrict (Tambon) Administrative Organization. This village consists of 813 families, with a population of 3,391 (as of February 2013). Out of the population, 1,713 are male and 1,678 are female.
Ban Muang Ngam comprises two major groups, Buddhist and Muslim Thais, who have lived together in peace and harmony for centuries. Despite their different faiths, they have close-knit relationships, which have been passed on from generation to generation. For instance, when their neighbors of different faiths host events, like merit-making ceremonies, they will join and offer a helping hand. It is not surprising to see Muslims here attend a Buddhist ordination and other Buddhist-style functions. At the same time, Buddhists have also joined various events held by their Muslim neighbors without prejudice.
Intermarriages between Buddhists and Muslims are also common in this multicultural community. The couples of different faiths regard relatives of each side as members of their own families, with respect for each other’s religion.
Local residents are engaged in fishing, rice farming, and planting of various crops, such as watermelons, beans, and vegetables. The Buddhist group is involved mainly in rice farming, orchard growing, and sugar-palm production, while the Muslim group is involved mainly in fishing. Both groups sometimes exchange rice, fish, vegetable, fruit, and other items.
They have donated in cash and in kind for the construction of both temples and mosques as public places and for the development of other facilities for social services. Differences in faiths are not an obstacle at all to their interaction.