Safeguarding the intangible heritage
Chiang Mai University amongst those who care
Manus Brinkman (Former Secretary General of ICOM, now living in Chiang
During the General Conference of the International
Council of Museums (ICOM), in Seoul in the first week of October we had the
honor to have HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn as our guest. The princess
is much interested in the cultural heritage in general and a supporter of
many museums in Thailand.
left to right) Manus Brinkman, Secretary General ICOM, Princess Maha Chakri
Sirindhorn, Jacques Perot, President ICOM, Annelie Hendriks.
At the conference 1200 museum professionals from all over
the world gathered to discuss a theme that is gaining more and more
interest: the intangible heritage. Museums collect mainly objects, be it
archaeological finds or works of art, but did not always pay much attention
to the intangible part: traditional knowledge, music, dance, festivals and
other aspects of our culture that cannot be “touched”; that are
To give you just one recent example: the knowledge of
Baisri Sukhwan, a northeastern ceremony to invite good spirits and led by
village elders. There are not many people left who know how to lead the
ceremony and some people in Ubon Ratchathani have even established a center
to preserve the tradition.
The princess stressed the importance of traditional
culture, and indicated her strong interest in it. Traditional knowledge
disappears quickly in our dynamically developing economy. Museums should pay
attention to conserve this, not because they want people to remain living in
the past, but to prevent traditions from disappearing. We need our past to
be able to live a more valuable life in the present.
Korea has been in the forefront of preserving traditions.
It established a system in which people with traditional expertise are
officially named “national treasures”. They even get a number and
documentation in a national register. UNESCO has recently adopted a
Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage and established a list
of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible heritage of Humanity, among which
the Royal Ballet of Cambodia and the Wajang Puppet Theatre of Indonesia
Thailand is not yet represented on that list, but has all
the potential. It has famous puppetry among others. Chiang Mai University
has studied this field extensively.
Thailand is a country with many traditions and has already been active in
the field of safeguarding our heritage. We felt honored by the fact that the
Princess personally undertook the effort to travel to Seoul to stress this
point once again.
Chang Klan Plaza’s Night Market and stage shows
Getting ready for the high season
The Chang Klan Plaza Night Market project will be unlike
any other walking street and will have a Lanna atmosphere and have
traditional, OTOP handicrafts to be purchased, said Songporn Photha, manager
of the Night Market Project.
band “Pawana” showcases their folk songs at Chang Klan Plaza.
The market will open from Monday to Saturday from 6 p.m.
to midnight, starting October 29 and continuing until February 26, 2005.
The market would boost local community economy, help
promote utilization of OTOP and local handicrafts, provide a new shopping
place for the city and make Chang Klan Plaza well recognized among Chiang
Mai people and its visitors, said Songporn.
Photha, manager of the Night Market Project explains details of the Night
Market at Chang Klan Plaza.
The upcoming Mardi Gras festival was re-sited to be on
Chang Klan Road, starting from Saeng Tawan intersection running to the Lanna
Palace intersection and would attract many people to visit the night market,
Apart from the Night Market, Chang Klan Plaza Stage
Challenge consists of various contests such as singing, folk song, boys and
girls Young Dancing, D.J. Music Mix and bands playing international music.
The contest will held on Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m.
to 10 p.m. The song contest will start from October 29 running to November
4, folk songs from November 19 to December 4, the young dancing teams from
December 17 to January 1, DJ music mix from January 14 to January 29 and
bands playing international music band from February 4 to February 26.
If you want to perform, application should be made at Chang Klan Plaza
Office, telephone 0-5382-0037-8 or fax 0-5382-0038.
Fashion festival mirrors ‘local wisdom, art’
In keeping with the vision of promoting Chiang Mai as a
regional fashion center, a Fashion and Jewelry Festival was held at the
Thapae Gate showground last week.
Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat, Ornadda Tantipat, the governor’s wife and
Boonlert Buranupakorn, visit one of the jewelry booths at the festival after
The festival was arranged in cooperation with Chiang Mai
Municipality, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Industrial Promotion
Center, Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce Jewelry Traders Club, and Raffles
LaSalle International Design School.
Beautiful models present
beautiful regional fashion.
Not only northern products were on sale during the festival but products
from other regions such as silk and silk dresses from Khon Kaen, Surin,
jewelry from Chantaburi, Aranyik swords and kitchenware from Ayutthaya
province. “The festival showed off local wisdom and art,” said Chiang
Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn at the opening.
New! Weekly Chiang Mai Walks
“Look for the man with the red umbrella”
Come along for steady paced Saturday Morning walks; 6-9 K
around town (2.5-4 hours, including break). Examples: “Walk the Moat,”
The Ping, to University and Ang Kaeow Lake, to Kam Thieng Plant Market, etc.
Free in the name of good health and spirit!
Leader: Joe Sanders (hiker in Oregon, USA)
Wear good shoes-sandals (no “flip flops!”), bring sun
block and water (optional: use umbrella for sun protection).
Meet every Saturday, Plaza east side of Thapae gate at
8:30 a.m.; beginning November 6.
For monthly schedule, email joesurfsand @yahoo.com