Thailand is very diverse in terms of the ethnic groups living here. Besides all the falang (foreigners) living here, the country has more than 30 ethnic groups varying in history, language, religion, appearance, and patterns of livelihood. However, the Thai, akin to the Lao of Laos, the Shan of Myanmar (Burma prior to June 1989), and the Thai groupings of southern China , comprise about 75% of the total population of Thailand . The several branches of Thai are united by a common language.
Last Friday, September 7th, I attended an event called "Festival of Colors: A Celebration of Thailand’s Indigenous Peoples" at Chiang Mai University Art Museum (corner of Nimmenhaemin and Suthep Rd. ) The event included cultural performances, concerts, films, games, sports, food, art, and handicrafts from 15 of Thailand ‘s ethnic groups. There was furthermore a very nice (photo) Tribal Citizens Exhibition: Have we achieved equal rights or not?
For more information about the lack of human rights for indigenous and ethnic people in Thailand , please see the following United Nations document: http://www.un.org/democracyfund/Docs/Thailand06.doc
The photo below is from the event.