Ministry preparing to submit Thai national costume to Unesco for listing

BANGKOK: The formal Thai national costume is on the way to being proposed for inclusion on Unesco’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, as the Culture Ministry first asks for approval by the Cabinet.

Culture Minister Sermsak Pongpanich said a formal submission about the costume’s knowledge, craftsmanship and practices has already been prepared, but it should receive approval from the Cabinet first.

“Once receiving Cabinet's approval, the Department of Cultural Promotion will submit information to Unesco in March this year,” he said, adding that Unesco will also be considering submissions proposed by other countries.

Sermsak added that Thailand’s Tom Yum Kung (spicy shrimp soup) and kebaya, the traditional costume in Southern Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, will be considered later this year.

These items will be follow by the formal Thai national costume, Muay Thai and Loy Krathong respectively, he added.

Meanwhile, Department of Cultural Promotion director-general Kowit Pakamart said the formal Thai national costume proves the country’s identity, which has been preserved for more than 1,400 years harking back to the Dvaravati era.

“A significant development in the formal Thai national costume took place in 1960 when Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother graciously called for a study of the evolution of the Thai women’s costume and created eight types of costumes for people to wear on various specific occasions,” Kowit explained.

“Nowadays, Thai people continue to wear the eight types of formal Thai national costumes as part of their daily lives, such as attending state and religious ceremonies.”

Apart from making people proud of Thai craftmanship and tradition, Kowit said the formal Thai national costume is an example of the country’s soft power that creates jobs, generates income and stimulates the economy.

It also inspires new generations to further develop Thai fabrics into traditional or creative costumes, he added. - The Nation/ANN

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Thailand , Unesco , costume


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